Children in Read

Children in Read is a charity book auction which raises funds for the long-established British charity, Children in Need, itself an arm of the BBC. It was founded by Paddy Heron, who continues to organise and drive the event forward from year to year.

Now in its sixth year, it has raised increasingly larger amounts each year. In 2019, it managed to raise almost exactly £8,500, and received over 378 books as donations for the auction.

From Doctor Who to Mary Beard

The auction itself is fully automated using the Jumblebee platform, and, in past years, Children in Read receives sponsorship from Construction Impact Framework, an ethical, award-winning construction framework based in Liverpool, for the cost of running the auction.

How it works.

Paddy “opens the shop” to donations in early July. Authors will contact him, and Paddy himself will approach new and previous donors asking for them to donate a book. Most authors are only too happy to donate a book. Children in Need, and Children in Read are both excellent causes to be associated with and have the highest approval and acceptance of almost any charity in the UK.

You can see the different genres that are donated

For an author to donate a book, there’s nothing easier! Just email Paddy Heron at or Tweet to him (and Follow him) at @ChildrenInRead and tell him you would like to donate a book.

All genres are most welcome as are all age-group books.

There is obviously a big rush at the start, but once you have made contact, Paddy will message the authors when he needs the data for their auction lot. This is:

The Author’s name, with a “head shot” photo.

The book title and a “cover shot” photo

The authors bio, and the “book blurb”

And the Author’s web page and Twitter addresses.

My entry for Heart of Stone from last year.

After the Auction, on November 13th, Paddy and the team will contact the authors with the details of the winning bid.  The author then signs a copy of their book and sends it to the winner by post!

Could it be easier, or more worthwhile? I do not think so! 😉

I donated last year, and just got in before they closed the auction to new entries, so they can certainly take donations right up to the wire.

Charity is all very well but…

Yes, Children in Need is a charity, and arguably the best-known charity in the UK. However, as an author with one of the smaller publishing houses (Crooked Cat Books) I also see this as an outstanding promotion for all participating authors. To be there, on display, on an equal footing with the great and the good from ALL levels and genre of authors in the UK, is fantastic for “putting yourself out there”.  The auction website also comes with “share buttons” for Facebook and Twitter, making it very easy indeed to publicise your own generosity, and both the Charity and the Auction.

Sharing on Facebook

The costs for this are derisory – for me that works out at around £10 for the cost of a book, an envelope and UK postage.

You would be mad not to!!!

And for Readers?

Check out the Auction Site when it goes live on September 1st., and keep checking back right up to the auction for “late entries”. You will see the widest choice of books in ALL genres, waiting for YOUR bid!

Many of the books on offer are by the best-selling authors of today. Last year these ranged from Jeffrey Archer and Nigella Lawson to Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson. From Kate Mosse to Lucinda Riley and Tom Kerridge!

If your bid wins, you receive a signed and usually dedicated copy of the book – and ALL the money that you bid at auction goes straight to Children in Need!

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