Books Alive is pleased to announce Peter FitzSimons as the ambassador for its fifth national campaign running from Wednesday 25 July to Friday 31 August 2007.
FitzSimons’ new book, The Ballad of Les Darcy, a biography of the legendary Australian boxer, will be available exclusively and for free during the campaign as an incentive to buy any book from the 2007 Books Alive Great Read Guide.
‘This is a huge honour for me,’ said Peter. ‘I greatly look forward to encouraging all Australians to buy and read books throughout the month of August.’
‘I also enjoyed having a go at doing the story of Les Darcy which, along with the shipwreck of the Batavia, is one of the two greatest Australian stories of all time – and I don’t just mean sports stories.
‘For me, it has everything – passion, patriotism, love, betrayal, sport, religion, politics, war, friendship and moral ambiguity – all wrapped in the one tale. For what it’s worth, I think his personal story is much stronger than the story of Sir Donald Bradman and Phar Lap, and it is a privilege to be able to bring it again to such a wide audience.’
Books Alive will print 260,000 copies of the limited edition book.
‘This represents 15 percent growth on 2006,’ said Sandra Yates, chair of Books Alive. ‘The highest selling book in Australia last year sold 238,000 copies, so having a title this strong is exciting for us. We expect huge interest in The Ballad of Les Darcy and we are thrilled to have Peter on board.’
The exclusive giveaway title and the 2007 Books Alive Great Read Guide will be released on Wednesday 25 July. The 50 titles in the Guide represent a wide range of contemporary fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children, chosen by nine representatives from the Australian book industry.
‘Every one of the books is a great story and 80 percent of the selection is by Australian writers,’ said Brett Osmond, director of Books Alive. ‘There’s truly something for everyone during Books Alive 2007.’
Books Alive is an Australian Government funded initiative developed through the Australia Council for the Arts. It is backed by a national advertising campaign, promotions, author tours and events across Australia.
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