Getting books into book deserts
One key challenge in many developing countries has been the price of books – typically 3 to 4 times more expensive than in developed countries. But as with many other challenges, it also represents an opportunity.
That's why we have launched a program we call PopUpBookShops, in which used books, sourced from the US though donations, are packaged into a kit, including marketing materials, and then provided to entrepreneurs in developing countries to sell.
PopUpBookShops offers a way to get books to people who want them; it offers a way for someone in need to make money; and it creates awareness of books and reading among folks who might not otherwise be thinking about it.
The PopUpBookShops team works with local non-profits to recruit and support PopUpBookShops entrepreneurs. We also work with local industry to support its growth through coordinating with local publishers to take advantage of joint marketing and customer outreach opportunities and with local artists to use unsold books as source material for their creative works.
We are currently running trials with partners in Nairobi and Accra and look forward to a formal launch of a full scale program later in the year. You can read more about this project at popupbookshops.org