Traditionally Big Bad Wolf, the world’s biggest book sale, does not share revenue numbers, just volume of books shipped and footfall volume.
So it was with some surprise that I saw it reported in The Irrawaddy this week that Big Bad Wolf, which shipped 1 million books to the Myanmar capital Yangon in January 2019, collected revenue of 2.6 billion kyats, or $1.8 million dollars at that event.
Not bad for a flash sale of English-language books in a country where English is not the first language and that is widely regarded as having little interest in books.
Too soon to know if revenue count announcements will be a fixture of the 2020 Big Bad Wolf reports, or of this was a one-off or just slipped out. Time will tell.
The 2020 Yangon Big Bad Wolf event starts January 10 for eleven days, and the second Yangon event will run almost parallel with a debut event in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, starting January 9.
Last year Big Bad Wolf ran a second Myanmar sale in Mandala:
But the Big Bad Wolf Yangon country manager U Myo Aung told The Irrawaddy that it had not yet been decided if there would be a second Mandalay event this year. He said 250,000 visitors had attended the 2019 Yangon and Mandalay events, but it was not clear if that was 250,000 across the two events or 250,000 at each.
Over the next five years Big Bad Wolf plans to ship 1 billion books to the emerging markets where, or so conventional wisdom has it, nobody reads.