National Crime Reading Month (NCRM), has been hailed as the biggest campaign to date, as over 100 crime fiction events were hosted across the UK this June.
Ambassadors of NCRM include giants of the genre Ian Rankin, Anthony Horowitz and L J Ross, who helped amplify the campaign in the media reaching an online audience of over 80 million; features ran in the Telegraph and across BBC radio, with a Twitter campaign #PickUpAPageTurner.
The successful month coincides with the news that the genre dominates Amazon book sales.
Amazon announced Lee Child’s Jack
Reacher titles are the bestselling book series of all time, followed by
self-published author L J Ross, the Roy
Grace books by Peter James, and the
Detective Kim Stone Crime thrillers by Angela
Harry Potter books came in fifth.
The major initiative by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), ran in partnership with the charity, The Reading Agency, to get the nation reading. NCRM culminated in the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards, announced on 29 June.
The campaign was led by CWA board member and NCRM director, the bestselling crime writer, Sam Blake.
Sam said: “After flagship launch events in London, Dublin and Cork, NCRM was embraced online and off by libraries, bookshops, bloggers, writers and readers. It shows the incredible appetite for this genre, and the positive role it can play in encouraging reading. Ensuring accessibility and inclusivity was a touchstone of the project, and online events, podcasts and interviews are still available on the NCRM website.”
One in six adults in the UK struggle with reading and one in three adults do not regularly read for pleasure. England ranks 23rd out of 23 OECD nations for literacy level amongst 16–19-year-olds, and studies have shown that those who do read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations.
A number of crime authors feature in The Reading Agency’s Quick Reads series, including NCRM ambassadors, the authors MW Craven and Vaseem Khan.
Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the CWA, said: “National Crime Reading Month is all about bringing new books to readers and new readers to pacy exciting books that will keep them reading.”
Appointing regional ambassadors across the UK, to support the CWA’s own bookshop and library ambassadors, ensured that events ran from Cornwall to Scotland, as well as in Ireland, north and south.
Ambassadors include authors Steve Cavanagh, MW Craven, Elly Griffiths, Alis Hawkins, Anthony Horowitz, Vaseem Khan, Nadine Matheson, Louise Phillips, Ian Rankin, LJ Ross, Robin Stevens and Sarah Ward.
Sam added: “As our ambassador Anthony Horowitz, who has written over 40 books
including the bestselling Alex Rider teen spy series, said:
‘National Crime Reading Month is a great idea. Really there should be twelve of them a year.’”