The media is all abuzz with World Book Day. Trouble is, most of it seems to be centred around last-minute costume ideas for harassed infant school parents. (I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a close second to Halloween in revenue for the fancy dress industry).
Perhaps we should take a step back from the over-commercialisation and reclaim the day for the purpose it was created, in World Book Day’s words:
World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
They are encouraging us all to read or get us to go out and buy a book – whatever kind! From gardening to the classics, Harry Potter to crime fiction.
It’s a brilliant initiative. As a copywriter you might expect me to say that. Reading is my favourite pastime and we have upwards of 2,000 books at home. Of course, writing is my great love, too.
And thinking about the gamut of books that people will be buying on WBD reminds me of the wide variety of styles that I cover in my copywriting. It’s not just that I write about wide-ranging topics (from hostage negotiation to the hotel business). It’s that tone of voice is also crucial, and differs for every client.
I may have to be chatty, formal, elegant or humorous. It depends on the culture of my client, their industry and their audience. For example, in the past few months I’ve been working for a Mexican sustainable fish farm which wanted a lively but passionate website and adverts to demonstrate its innovation and commitment to the environment.
I’ve written and edited two major reports for the Creative Industries Federation that ignited political and economic debate on the contribution of the Creative Industries to the UK economy. I’ve run press relations and produced in-depth papers, including reporting at a major summit in Davos, for an international charity. They couldn’t be more different but for me they all involve being creative with my words and a love of writing.
So whilst I won’t be rushing out to dress up as Oliver Twist, Alice in Wonderland or Voldemort, I’ll be celebrating World Book Day this year in true spirit, by curling up on my sofa and reading a chapter or two of my favourite book.