, Book lovers across Sri Lanka, it’s time to get ready for the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. The Sale is coming to Sri Lanka for the 4th consecutive year, along with its popular 50%-90% discounts. What is intriguing this year is that the Sale is venturing to an online platform, promising a pioneering experience for every Sri Lankan.
Behind this passionate initiative and ensuring the Book Sale’s return for the 4th consecutive year, is the Co-Founder of Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Andrew Yap and Director of ProRead Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Nishan Wasalathanthri. Here are excerpts of an interview where the duo describes the preparations for the Big Bad Wolf Online Book Sale and what Big Bad Wolf Book Sale fans can expect from the latest edition of the World’s Biggest Book Sale.
Q. The idea of an Online Book Sale seems to be the right move at present. What are your thoughts on this?
Andrew: Yes. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a major shift in daily affairs making people search for alternatives to combat the challenges thrown at them. During a time when Sri Lankans have gradually absorbed the challenges and are optimistic about their future, we felt that we could make a difference and improve their outlook towards all that has happened and is happening, bringing in positivity. We believe that knowledge must never be felt as an entitlement that needs to be chased but instead must be made equally available to everyone. As you know there is a heartfelt need for access to brand-new and affordable books from diverse genres and creations for everyone. True to our purpose we want to encourage people to read more, educate themselves and improve their English knowledge.
It is a challenging time for all of us and safety needs to be our top priority. The rise of e-commerce during these times kept many needs and wants fulfilled. We feel e-commerce is the best and safest solution moving forward and it is also encouraging to observe how consumers have embraced and adopted the “new normal”. As the organizers of the World’s Biggest Book Sale, we did not want to disappoint our long-standing fans, hence we decided to take the Sale to an online platform this year.
The Big Bad Wolf Online Book Sale 2020 is a prime example of our focus on safety, customer convenience and affordability, opening up a plethora of reading treasures to all readers in Sri Lanka. We want to take this opportunity to point out the excellent efforts made by the Sri Lankan Government and praise the authorities who worked hard to curtail the pandemic. It is commendable to see how the authorities are persisting with precautionary measures, stressing on the safety of the public. We want to support these efforts, work further adhering to best safety standards, while assuring our fans an even more “Bigger and Better Experience” this time around.
Q. How do you think the fans would benefit through an Online Sale?
Nishan: With this Online Sale, we make sure that customers can shop from the comfort of their homes. They don’t need to waste their time travelling to a physical location, wait in traffic, get agitated over parking, worry about safety and use sanitizers, wear masks and so on. What they can do is stay at home, order their desired books and they will be delivered to their doorsteps. This is what we mean by a “hassle free shopping experience”. Other than the amazing offers in store, I think it is the ability to access the books within seconds that will be the greatest attraction for the customers.
Since the sale is online this year if you think you have missed one haul, you could definitely come back for more, continuously, whether you are at home, office or with your friends and family. You could even team up, “book pool” or even have “book lovers get together/ nights” making it a memorable and fun occasion. This I feel is a unique advantage of having an Online Sale this year.
The search option in the website will also make the browsing experience more convenient than browsing books physically. The books will be categorized in to various niches and buyer interests such as automobile, design, photography, food, beverages, etc, further facilitating easy browsing.
Q. As “The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale” is the first online international Book Sale, will there be any additional costs for the consumer?
Andrew: We saw many book aficionados making their way from all parts of the country for the previous three editions. This time book lovers across the entire island will have an opportunity to virtually visit the World’s Biggest Book Sale, whether you are in the North, East, South or West or the Central part of the country. Travelling, time, accommodation and cost are no longer obstacles for you. Access to a world of knowledge is available at your fingertips with the click of a button.
We are very excited this year as this is an international Sale and Sri Lankans get to experience its online version for the very first time. Wolfies will have access to more than thrice the number of titles than in any of the other previous editions in Sri Lanka. This also gives us the opportunity to provide an affordable shipping option as opposed to any international couriering service any purchase from the sale up to LKR 7,999 will only need to pay domestic courier charges. whereas any transaction of LKR 8,000 and above will not pay any courier charges at all!
Q. Can you describe a bit about the overall experience and the challenges you came across in organizing this Online Sale?
Andrew: The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale’s mission stands clear, it is to build a new generation of readers by providing access to affordable brand-new English books. We have been able to create a massive following and an emotional fan base within a short time span and they have been supporting us from the inception of this Sale in Sri Lanka.
The comments we receive through social media platforms and messages mean a lot to us and encourage us further to come up with more offers and make us further improve our level of services and offerings this year.
The team is well geared to serve the customers and bestow a unique Online Book Sale experience upon them, despite the challenges. This year, the team is tasked with extra responsibilities such as the packing of books, maintaining and updating the website etc. Since this is a novel experience, we are getting ourselves equipped to face all challenges. In August, Thailand was the first testing bed. This made us better equipped, helping us to understand and overcome any shortfall – which will make the Sri Lankan Online Sale a better and happier experience. We hope our fans will support us in making this first Big Bad Wolf Online Book Sale in Sri Lanka a smooth one.
Q: Finally, what do you have to say to your Wolfies?
Andrew: We invite everyone to be a part of the World’s Biggest Book Sale, grab their favorite books, and enhance their knowledge. The Sale is available only for four days, customers will need to hurry up and order their books while they enjoy the many offers available. Rest assured “The Wolf” is paying its dearest attention possible to all our loving followers’ requests. Your feedback really helps us to provide a superior offering every year. I am pretty sure that most of our fans will visit the Online Sale again and again throughout the four days. The Online Sale is open 24 hours non-stop from 1st October to 4th October.
We take this opportunity to invite all book lovers across Sri Lanka to stay up to date on the latest news and upcoming contests through our website and our social media pages: Website: http://www.bigbadwolfbooks.lk/, Facebook: https://facebook.com/bbwbookssrilanka and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigbadwolfbooks_lk.
Image 1- Andrew Yap: Co-Founder of Big Bad Wolf Book Sale
Image 2- Nishan Wasalathanthri: Director of ProRead Lanka (Pvt) Ltd