When Big Bad Wolf debuted in Indonesia in 2016, regional organiser Uli Silalahi of PT Jaya Retail was not convinced the event had legs.
Usually book exhibitions are only 3 days with a total of 5 thousand visitors.
But here was Big Bad Wolf suggesting not just a twelve day book sale open 24 hours. But a 12-day 24 hour non-stop book fair in Indonesia selling, wait for it, English-language books.
So when Big Bad Wolf told Silalahi they anticipated 100,000 visitors he had his doubts.
In fact the event surpassed that number in the first few days.
Since then Big Bad Wolf has returned to Indonesia, in 2018 on no less than three occasions, shipping a total of some 10 million books last year. The 2018 Jakarta event attracted a crowd of 750,000, lured by 5.5 million books – 4.5 million of them in English.
This year Big Bad Wolf is back with 5.5 million books again in March (1-11) and the target is one million visitors. That’s over 80,000 visitors per day!
But not content with that Big Bad Wolf is planning a total of 7 trips to Indonesia this year, and hopes to attract a total of 3 million visitors over the course of the year.
And that’s just in Indonesia.
Big Bad Wolf kicked off 2019 with a debut 1 million book event in Myanmar –
, and in a couple of days will begin the first of its Philippines runs with a trip to Pasay City, Manila where 2 million books have been unloaded from fifty 40-ft containers and await the crowds (February 22-March 4).
But the year is young. This is Big Bad Wolf’s tenth anniversary and it plans to mark it in style. Big Bad Wolf aims to ship 60 million books to over 30 cities this year, and almost all of them will be English-language.