Entertainment & Arts

Book world joins forces for charity

(l-r) Ian Rankin, Hilary Mantel, David Walliams Image copyright PA
Image caption Authors and publishers are taking part in Waterstones' drive to raise £1 million for Syrian refugees

Some of Britain's bestselling authors and their publishers are joining forces to raise money for Syrian refugees.

David Walliams, Hilary Mantel and Ian Rankin are among those whose books will be donated by publishers and sold by Waterstones for charity.

"Buy a book, help save a life," said Rankin.

"We are doing what we do best: bookselling," said Waterstones' James Daunt. "Every single penny of each book sold will go straight to Oxfam."

The Buy Books for Syria campaign is a joint initiative between authors, publishers and Waterstones.


Authors involved include Neil Gaiman, Ali Smith, Philip Pullman, Marian Keyes and Lee Child.

"The cause is so obviously good that anything we can do is worth doing." said Pullman; Ali Smith added: "I support this initiative with heart, mind and soul."

Best-selling children's writers including Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo are also taking part.

"We often speak as an industry about the power of books to change lives, " said Tom Weldon, CEO at Penguin Random House UK.

"Our aim with this campaign is to use the power of books to save lives.

"I'm humbled by the way publishers and authors are collaborating... I hope that together we can make a difference."

With the support of many major UK publishers, including Penguin Random House, Pan McMillan, HarperCollins, Hachette and Faber, Waterstones hopes to raise one million pounds for Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal.

The books, donated by publishers, will be stickered with 'Buy Books for Syria' and will go on sale in Waterstones shops from 1 October.

"Jack Reacher says: do your Christmas shopping at the Buy Books For Syria table!" said Jack Reacher's creator and author Lee Child.

"With £1m our programme could deliver clean water to another 150,000 people in Syria, or support to tens of thousands of people in Jordan over the next year," said Mark Goldring of Oxfam.

"This help is urgently needed as the conflict in Syria shows no sign of ending."

Last month, a campaign set up by children's author Patrick Ness to raise funds for Syrian refugees raised more than £150,000 in 24 hours.

Ness offered to match the first £10,000 in donations, an offer that was itself matched by fellow authors John Green, Derek Landy and Jojo Moyes.

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