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A Special Guest Post from WorldReader.Org:

How You Can Help Share Kindles and Kindle Books Around the World … In Just 20 Seconds!

(Ed. Note: Regular readers of Kindle Nation Daily know that we’ve been thrilled to support our friends at WorldReader.org for the past couple of years in their very important work of bringing the magic and reading revolution of Kindle to children around the world. Today we’re happy to share a guest post from WorldReader’s Susan Moody on how we can all use the power of voting to change education in Africa. –Steve Windwalker)

By Susan Moody, WorldReader.org

We have great news today! Worldreader has been chosen as one of 25 charities to participate in the second annual American Giving Awards presented by Chase! This is a big deal for us. Why? It’s an opportunity for Worldreader to win up to $1 MILLION, and to increase “Books for all” awareness globally like never before.

The stakes are high. With $1 million, we could enter 20 new countries, work with hundreds of new schools and help tens of thousands of children. It would allow us to scale our capacity in extraordinary ways, and get e-books and Kindles to an entire generation even faster. That means empowering students sooner, and giving them more resources to break the cycle of poverty and step confidently into their promising futures. If we win, it would be a rocket ship blast forward on every “Books for all” front.

Friends of Worldreader, we need your help. We won’t be able to do this without you. It’s that simple. Here’s the truth: We ARE experts in getting e-books into the hands of children in the world’s most poverty-stricken areas.  We are NOT experts in mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people to vote for us on Facebook. That’s why we’re going to need all of your help in getting enough votes. Whether you’re a high school student, an author, a book lover, part of a running group, a taxi driver, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a parent talking to other parents at soccer games, or a radio host – whatever!  We need every single one of you. We ask you to commit to help us win $1 million so we can do more of what we’re good at — transforming reading in the developing world.

We can’t win this without you so please vote and forward to your friends and family- it will make all the difference.  Winning means we could empower a generation of young readers in 20 new countries across the developing world with the reading materials to change their lives.

Here’s how to help, it’s easy:

  • Step 2. Help spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, your blog and your newsletter. We’ve put together a kit where you can grab banners, Facebook posts, tweets…whatever you need to get the word out. Click here: What More Can I Do
  • Step 3. Forward this newsletter

Help us change education in Africa. Please commit to vote for Worldreader between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 and share it with your circles.  Check back in the coming days for banners, videos and other resources you can use to get the word out. The results will be announced on NBC Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. EST.

Our success is your success. Let’s do this together!

From the bottom of all of our hearts, THANK YOU!

The KND-Kindle Chronicles Interview: Reading Books and Feeding Minds, One Kindle at a Time – WorldReader’s Million eBooks Movement Comes to Sub-Saharan Africa

Len Edgerly Interviews David Risher,
CEO and Co-founder of Worldreader.org


Contributing Editor

It is difficult to imagine how much an eReader like the Kindle can change the life of a student in sub-Saharan Africa.

I know that the Kindle has improved the way I read in deep and satisfying ways, adding convenience and a more intimate engagement with an author’s words. But I and most of you reading this are transitioning to eBooks from a rich prior relationship with traditional books.

RisherDavid Risher (photo at right), a former Amazon executive who co-founded Worldreader.org in late 2009 to distribute eReaders and eBooks throughout the world, has seen a more profound transition.

“We see kids, for example, go from three books in their lives before our program up to 200 on average on their Kindles,” Risher told me in this week’s Kindle Chronicles podcast interview on October 23rd.

“It’s almost one of those things that blows your mind,” he said.

Imagine if you had grown up in a home with one Bible and one other book. Now as a student you are given a device containing hundreds of books—everything from African writers to Nancy Drew mysteries to Roald Dahl classics such as James and the Giant Peach.

WorldreaderWorldreader has offered approximately 3,000 kids this mind-bending experience through projects in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The nonprofit organization has distributed about 1,000 Kindles and has plans to triple that number by the end of January, 2013. (Click on the image to make a donation, or click here to see the Worldreader.org website.)

You can get an idea of how highly Worldreader’s efforts are valued by asking yourself how many of the 500 Kindles in Ghana over an 18-month period do you think were lost due to theft.

The answer is three. The number is even lower in Uganda and Kenya.

“The teachers understand from a very early stage that this is an important part of the education process,” Risher said. “One of the girls told us in Ghana years ago that thieves really don’t steal education, and we found that to be the case.”

If you are reading on a Kindle, I am sure you have friends or family who are attached to print books and opposed to eBooks. In developing nations where print books are woefully scarce, there is little resistance of this nature.

“The hardest thing for us,” Risher said of Worldreader, “has turned out to be easy, and that is getting people to change their behavior, getting kids to read more. That’s almost automatic.”

The reason, Risher believes, is that people everywhere are curious.

“People want to improve their lives,” he said. “People want to become doctors, or lawyers or football players, or just be curious about the world.  And that fundamental curiosity is so strong, that it serves as a pull.”

Which is not to say that Worldreader has taken on an easy challenge. Yes, there is nearly infinite demand for eBooks in places where traditional books are scarce. But it is a daunting mission to increase the number of eBooks distributed from the current level of about 220,000 to a million, and to increase the number of participating kids from a thousand to a million.

“These are big numbers,” Risher admitted. “When you’re thinking about numbers like that, the biggest challenge is execution.”

You’d have to say that, so far, the execution of Worldreader’s mission is going very well.

When I last spoke to Risher in March of 2010, the organization had four full-time employees and was just starting a pilot project in one country, Ghana. Today the employee count around the world has reached 25. And within two weeks, Tanzania, the fifth country hosting Worldreader sites, will come on line.

If you are not familiar with the Worldreader story, a great place to experience the scale and humanity of the effort is their web site, worldreader.org. You will find compelling videos of students using Kindles, evaluation data on field projects, and lots of excellent photos.

You can support the mission a number of ways, including donations at the web site. As little as five dollars gets an eBook to a child, and you can click here to make it happen.

Risher hopes to have in place next year an innovative tool with which you will be able to select from specific books needed in Worldreader projects and know that your donation will make it possible for them to be wirelessly delivered to student’s Kindles within 60 seconds.

With his Amazon connections, Risher works closely with the company on efforts such as the one that recently went public, Whispercast for Kindle, which is a free, online management system for schools and businesses managing “fleets” of eReaders.

“We’re like a particularly intense customer that gives them an enormous amount of feedback,” Risher said of Amazon. In effect, Worldreader helped the company develop Whispercast over a period of 18 months before it was announced on October 17th.

Risher in his comments on the video describing Worldreader’s “Million E-Books Movement” states, “We are creating a culture of reading in a part of the world where it’s never been able to take hold before.”

If Worldreader manages to scale its success so far, it is not difficult to imagine an extraordinary impact decades hence.

“Twenty years from now we’re going to have an entire generation of kids who have been able to read any book they want or need,” Risher said, “and we will really have made a bit of a dent in the universe in that way.”


 lenKindle Nation Weekender columnist and contributing editor Len Edgerly blogs at The Kindle Chronicles, where you can hear his interview with David Risher at 23:58 in Episode 221.

Exciting Kindle News From Worldreader: Read A Book, Feed A Mind

(Editor’s note: Kindle Nation readers will remember Worldreader.org from our previous posts found here. We’re thrilled to introduce Worldreader.org communications director Susan Moody Prieto and team member Dani Zacarias with some great news about the organization’s efforts to connect kids around the world with some Africa-based children’s book publishers. — Candace Cheatham, Associate Editor of KND, Editor of Kids Corner @ KND)

By Dani Zacarias

There is a book famine in Africa. But it won’t be fixed by pumping in books about snowmen and skiing from the developed world. It can only be fixed from within, by fostering the established publishing sector and by creating a demand for locally relevant stories.

To this end Worldreader, an NGO founded on the mantra of bringing books to all, has been digitizing stories from Africa and making them available on the Kindle. If you go to Amazon and type “Worldreader” into the search bar you’ll pull up all of Worldreader’s books. They run the gamut from children’s storybooks to decidedly more adult stories. They tell the story of an Africa different from the one we see on the news or in infomercials. Theirs is an Africa full of stories about heroes, histories and, overwhelming about ordinary people living ordinary lives, the fabric, nuance, beauty and sometimes tragedy of which has been captured in print.

We’ve chosen to feature 5 titles from the Worldreader list here that caught our eye.

Hugo Hippo’s ABC Fun Book in Africa written by Gail A. Porter and illustrated by James Okello. Published by Jacaranda Designs.

Bright, beautifully rendered and fun illustrations help children learn their  alphabet while also learning the geography of Africa. Great for the Kindle Fire, but it works on other Kindles as well because the illustrations carry well over in gray scale.


 Fatuma’s New Cloth written by Leslie Bulion and illustrated by Nicole Tadgell

This is the kind of children’s book that both adults and children can’t help but fall in love with. It handles the complicated topics of beauty and self esteem with simple elegance while simultaneously introducing readers to elements of East African culture. It even comes with a delicious recipe for East African chai!


 The Canoe’s Story by Meshack Asare. Published by Sub-Saharan Publishers.

Meshack Asare, one of Africa’s most beloved authors, recounts how a canoe is made. Told from the tree’s point of view, this thoughtful story details the tree’s journey from forest to ocean and the hard work of the fishermen who make it happen.

 Let Me Tell You edited and compiled by Sarah Forde. Published by Storymoja.

Follow the lives of a group of real Kenyan coastal girls as they battle through the trials and tribulations of adolescence. In addition to what we would expect to see – infatuations, the desire to fit in at school – there’s also more complex issues to be handled – those of absentee parents or early marriages often rushed into to escape situations that are not so much escaped as replicated.

 Faceless by Amma Darko. Published by Sub-Saharan Publishers.

Amma Darko, widely seen as a successor to some of Ghana’s greatest writers, weaves a dark story about the collision of two worlds: that of a middle class woman and a group of street children. Definitely for an older audience than the previous offerings it’s a beautifully written story full of tragic and compelling characters. In a strange reversal of roles children often sound like adults and adults often seem to be children.

The profits from each book go directly back to publishers in Africa. A portion helps to fund Worldreader’s projects in impoverished schools in Africa.

To learn more about Worldreader visit: www.worldreader.org

Around the Kindlesphere: Amazon Announcing Earnings, BookLending Doing Good, Kindle Authors Getting Wealthy

Amazon to Announce Quarterly Earnings. With the markets closed today in religious observance, it seems a good time to note that next Tuesday, after the close of the normal trading day, Amazon will announce its most recent quarterly earnings and hold a conference call for analysts to drill down on what the numbers really mean. The event will be webcast live, and the audio and associated slides will be available for at least three months thereafter at www.amazon.com/ir. I always find it interesting in these conference calls to see what the questions and answers portend for the future of the Kindle and related innovations. Amazon’s share price is currently about 3 percent off its all time high and has been especially healthy since the announcement and immediate launch of the Amazon Cloud Drive on March 29, as shown by this comparison with the NASDAQ COMP index and Apple’s share price since March 28:

Marketwatch Share Prices Since March 28, 2011 – AMAZN Green, COMP Red, AAPL Blue

BookLending.com Raising Funds for WorldReader. If you’ve just sold off your AMZN or AAPL stock for millions in gains, or even if you’re just one of the rest of us commoners, you might want to join the good folks (and our partners) at BookLending.com who have committed themselves to raising $5,000 in funds to help the wonderful people at WorldReader.org in their mission to help change kids’ lives with ebooks, all around the world. You’ve heard about WorldReader.org here at Kindle Nation before, and you can learn more about


this great fundraising challenge — and participate — by clicking here.

John Locke’s Kindle Earnings Pass $100,000 a Month. Speaking of folks who are doing very nicely, thank you very much, it is truly remarkable to see what some Kindle authors have achieved in a very short time. According to this very interesting piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, novelist John Locke’s Kindle unit sales have grown from 1,300 in November to 75,000 in January to 369,000 in March. Click here to see all Locke’s books on Amazon.

Guest Post by Susan Moody Prieto of WorldReader.org: “Win a Kindle Lover’s Dream Trip to Ghana!”

Regular readers of Kindle Nation may recall our past efforts to help get the word out about a terrific non-profit organization called WorldReader.org that is doing all it can to spread the Kindle Revolution worldwide:
So we’re especially pleased to welcome WorldReader.org’s Susan Moody Prieto for this guest post to tell you about a very cool opportunity for the more adventurous and globally oriented among the citizens of Kindle Nation!
Here’s Susan:

All’s great here at Worldreader – the kids in Ghana are reading up a storm and we’re moving into Kenya.

Just a quick note to share with you this contest: http://blog.worldreader.org/2011/03/21/win-a-volunteer-trip-to-ghana/ The contest ends at 12 P.M. Eastern time this Friday, April 1, but I was thinking that your Kindle-loving readers might be interested.
A little more info:
eDreams.com, Worldreader’s travel partner, is sponsoring a once in a lifetime contest to spend a week in late May/early June volunteering with Worldreader in Ghana.  eDreams will cover the flight, food, and lodging- the winner will only need shopping money (and the market is quite cool!)

The winner will fly into Accra and will be met by a Worldreader team member, spend the night and next day in the capital touring historic sites and visiting the market.

Then they’ll be driven out to Ghana’s Eastern Region– to Adeiso and Kade, where Worldreader has 500 e-readers in 6 schools.

They’ll spend the next two days volunteering in the schools doing reading exercises and helping teachers.  The days will be long, and there might be issues that Worldreader will be working on (see iRead Challenges).
Then winner spend two days accompanying a film crew into some of the homes of the children who Worldreader filmed last time-  to talk to parents about how the e-reader is being used by the family.

The hotel is Ju’niel Lodge in Osenasi- it’s rustic and overall the trip is not “relaxing” in a vacation sense–it’s working long hours in a hot climate, but the winner will be making a huge difference in a child’s life.

Thanks, Susan! And of course I’ll my two cents for our readers here at this end:
  • If you’d like to help but you’re just not sure about a trip to Ghana just now, don’t hesitate to click on this Donate button for WorldReader.org.
  • If a Kindle Nation reader does enter the contest and wins, please send an email with your contact information to kindlenation@gmail.com and Kindle Nation’s parent company Windwalker Media will donate a free Kindle for you to bring with you to give to one of the participating schools through the auspices of WorldReader.org!


Helping Kids Around the World to Read, One Kindle at a Time

If you’re interested in helping to spread the magic of the Kindle Revolution around the world, you might be interested in this relatively new non-profit organization.

Worldreader.org is a Barcelona-based not-for-profit devoted to making digital books available to children in developing countries. Using emerging e-book/reader technology, the organization’s mission is to improve children’s lives.  (Here’s a link to a short video, courtesy of YouTube, showing the children’s excitement.)  Their promotional materials stress that e-book technology is “sharply reducing the cost and complexity of delivering reading material everywhere”.

The end-goal: to stimulate under-served youth internationally with “life-changing and power-creating ideas” in books published across the globe. Former Amazon.com executive David Risher is behind the project. His former boss, CEO Jeff Bezos, has praised Risher’s innovative philanthropic work.

The project has received attention from CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post. In the July 5 article published by the Journal, Risher said that Worldreader.org is embracing the “long-term idea is that technology will ultimately help create a real culture of reading in parts of the world where that’s not been possible before.”

Risher and his colleagues are preparing for a year-long trial in Ghana, where the Ministry of Education has offered support, to determine the effects of e-book technology on the literacy of children. As they wage this e-campaign, Worldreader.org is underway building relationships with local African publishers and authors to digitize relevant content for Ghanaian communities.

For more information, visit Worldreader.org or go straight to the organization’s Donation Page.