Please welcome Brad Wirz, founder of GoneReading!
You first introduced my readers to GoneReading back in December 2011. Tell us a bit of what you have been up to in the last couple of years.
Wow, we have just been really, really busy! Just like any startup, we’ve been focused on great products and great marketing. Although our heart is philanthropic, we’re really just like any other business. Without great products and great marketing, our philanthropy will get nowhere. So that’s been our focus: Finding and creating great products for avid readers and book lovers, and marketing the heck out of them. If you haven’t visited our site in a while you will see we’ve added tons of new products. And in one of the biggest developments this year, we’ve hired what I can only describe as a kick-ass marketing team to spread the word.
With the funding of your first library in Ethiopa, you have assisted changing the lives of so many children for the better. Do you have any future projects in the works that you can share with us?
We have two incredible charities that we support in Ethiopia Reads and READ Global. They do the real work; we just provide them with additional funding so they can reach more people in more places. These organizations approach us with project ideas, and we fund what we can. Following the new children’s library in Ethiopia, I’m not sure what will be next because it depends on our success during the holiday season. A huge part of our annual revenue comes from Holiday sales. Our year-end donations will be a function of how much we can sell between now and Christmas!
What books do you believe should be available in every library and/or to every child around the world?
Great question. Our charitable partners allow the local communities they serve to determine what books will appear in their own libraries. There are no mandates for inclusions or exclusions, and that policy is exactly in line with GoneReading’s philosophy. I think it’s just like with families. Parents know what’s appropriate for their own kids, and so do the local communities we help support. Each library has its own unique needs based on the community it happens to serve. I’ve personally perused the shelves of some of READ Global’s libraries in rural Nepal, for example, and you wouldn’t believe the variety. From children’s books in Western languages to local farming techniques in Nepalese.
With the holidays quickly approaching, what gifts do you recommend from your shop for fellow book lovers?
Where to start! People love our bookish t-shirts; they’ve always been our best sellers. Some of the more recent highlights include our expanded book journal collection, which includes a dozen different titles, as well as our brand new “Home Décor” collection. Our book-shaped plates are getting a lot of buzz, especially for those who host book club. And who doesn’t love our new Bamboo Bathtub Caddy? If you’ve ever found yourself reading in the bathtub, it’s absolutely perfect.
That’s easy. Two things: One is to check out our store at www.GoneReading.com and include us in your holiday shopping. Everyone has some bookish folks on their shopping list. Two, and this is equally important, share our story with your friends and family. The easiest way is to find your favorite product(s) in our store and share them on your favorite social media network.
I am so excited at all this amazing news coming from GoneReading! What a better mission than to be spreading the love of reading and literacy in general around the globe, and to children and adults alike that may not have the opportunity. Thank you so much to Brad Wirz and GoneReading for all their hard work!
Before I sign off, however, we have one more amazing surprise! I am excited to announce that GoneReading will be giving away one special item to one lucky winner! Read below for the giveaway details.
One entry per person.
One winner receives their favorite item from the GoneReading Store, up to $25 in value.
Entries will close
Sunday, November 24, 2013 @ 11:59 PM CST.
To enter, please complete the form below AND comment with the favorite item that you would like to win.
Winner will be emailed and announced here on the site. Winner address information will be passed on to GoneReading for mailing and will be used for no other solicitations.