Under the program, which begins on Wednesday, October 1, publishers--including Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Faber, Pan Macmillan, Canongate and Profile Books--are donating titles for Waterstones to sell in its 280 stores; the entire the price of the books will go to Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal. Authors whose works are part of the program include Hilary Mantel, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Lee Child and Salman Rushdie. Titles will be announced on Wednesday.
The money raised will help Oxfam's program to deliver clean water to another 150,000 people in Syria, and provide support to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan over the next year.
Waterstones managing director James Daunt said, "In desperate times like these, everyone feels the need to do something, to help in some way. We are doing what we do best: bookselling, and it only feels right that every single penny of each book sold will go straight to Oxfam. We are proud to be able transform the generosity of authors and publishers into such a substantial contribution to Oxfam's work."
Daunt acknowledged to the Bookseller that much of the program's sales would substitute for "sales upon which otherwise we would be earning money" in the holiday season, but said the company is "very fortunate to have an owner [Alexander Mamut] and board who have put this to one side and supported the initiative."
Earlier this month, author Patrick Ness launched a fundraising page for Save the Children to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. Within hours, readers had donated £40,000 (about $60,910), which was matched by £10,000 donations from Ness and fellow authors John Green, Derek Landy and Jojo Moyes, Ultimately the campaign raised £600,000 ($913,650