Now, if it were FREE BOOK DAY... Ah, the reader in me would DIE. I'd be like a 1D fan and line up two or even three nights in advance just to be the first to get in.
Of course, I know the logistics of organizing something like this would be massively difficult to organize, but then our local bookstores have already been able to successfully handle FCBD events. So why not this? I know the costs would be huge, too, but I like to think the potential benefits could offset it. Today's younger generation has never been more interested in reading and we've got the Wattpad authors to thank for that. Those readers pay for books they've already read online because they love those stories so, so, so much. Imagine, publishers and authors, having access to those readers and having an opportunity to get them to buy your books! You can do that with FBD.
Also, I like to think that Wattpad book lovers are PROOF that Filipinos do still read and they do love to read as much as readers from other countries do. Maybe, we just need to give them more books to choose from. And thanks to the rise of self-publishing and indie-publishing, that's more than possible now.
I admit to being very disappointed in the past that most local publishing houses appear to favor a certain type of book to publish. If you don't fit this "mold" then your chances of getting published here in PH is practically nil, which is why I thank God for nudging me towards self-publishing. Now, I can't be thankful enough that those rejections happened - they had to happen because I wouldn't have found myself - my "real" self in writing - if I hadn't been left without a choice but to go indie.
Of course, this doesn't mean I've given up my dreams of sharing more of my books with Filipino readers. It doesn't mean that I've turned my back on writing stories with Filipino characters and Philippine settings. Those are still my dreams and maybe with an FBD, I'd be able to make those dreams come true without having to be anything but myself with my books. With an event like FBD, other new authors will have the opportunity to share their books with readers - at no extra cost to the latter. You see, I really believe that for most readers, they only need one book to figure out whether they're a fan of the author for life - or not. However, money is even harder to earn these days, and this of course limits a reader's ability to splurge on books by unknown authors. Buuuuuut...if it were offered for free and the cover, blurb, or anything about the book catches his / her interest? You can bet your life that reader will take the book. And buy the next one if he or she ends up liking it.
Considering I already have several books FREE to download on various online retailers, it's not that far a step (for me) to offer paperback versions of my books for free as well. There are just too many potential benefits to enjoy. Gaining new readers is always one of my major goals, and I know I can get that with an FBD event. Even now, I still find it surreal when someone I don't know actually ends up enjoying my book. ;) That's always the best feeling in the world, and it's something I'm more than willing to invest in.
So...Free Book Day in the Philippines. Somebody make this happen please. :)