There are three contenders for “the” global publishing story of the year here at TNPS, and regulars will not be surprised to learn Big Bad Wolf is among them.
But unless one of the other two produce a remarkable rabbit from a hat in the next two months then Big Bad Wolf is going to take that top spot.
Because just when you think the Big Bad Wolf has huffed and puffed so much there can’t be any surprises left, it whips the complacency rug from under our feet and delivers another stunning twist in a story already so implausible it beggars belief.
Later this month Big Bad Wolf, the Malaysia-based global pop-up bookstore arm of Bookxcess, will be returning to the Philippines for the third time this year, taking a million – literally a million – new books to Davao City.
This after having only debuted in the country in February, with 2 million books taken to Manila.
Such was the response from the reading public that a second run was organised in July, this time taking 1 million books to Cebu.
And now a third run will launch in Davao City on November 23 and run until December 2.
Next year Big Bad Wolf plans to hit six venues in the Philippines.
So far this year Big Bad Wolf has taken millions (literally) of books to the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Taiwan and home country Malaysia, each event costing between $3-$5 million to pull off, with containers of millions of books (over 5 million at one Indonesia event) shipped to each country and laid out for 10-11 days as 24/7 non-stop pop-up shops.
Earlier this year there were indications Big Bad Wolf planned debut events in Dubai, Taiwan, Bangladesh, South Korea and Iran this year.
With less than two months to go Dubai and Taiwan have happened, and while Iran strikes me as an ambition too far there’s still time for Big Bad Wolf to pull off the South Korea and Bangladesh events.
In any case Big Bad Wolf still has its flagship Kuala Lumpur event to come in December, where 4.5 million books will be up for grabs.
What will 2019 bring? More surprises, that’s for sure.
We do know Big Bad Wolf is planning to hit 30 cities next year, and can safely assume all those that happened this year will happen again next year.
As to what new countries Big Bad Wolf will seek to get its teeth and claws into, we’ll have to wait and see.