This was a popular motto several years ago, the meaning of it is that adversity makes people stronger, and it’s certainly true about our American sankritana warriors who accepted challenges posted by COVID-19 and forced lockdowns and proved once again that book distribution does not really depend on external factors but rather on one’s determination and sincerity. This time it was Vaiseiska Prabhu who led the charge and inspired devotees in his zone to increase their efforts as well as provided practical training in how to sell books online without approaching people face to face. Bhaktivinoda Thakur Marathon we mentioned earlier was run from May 6 to June 20 and the key mantra was “distribute from home – all you need is a phone”. Teams were formed in ISKCON Silicon Valley (of course!) as well as in New York, Laguna Beach, Seattle, Philadelphia, Houston, Delware, Chicago, Round Rock, Texas , and Toronto and London internationally. Team ISV doubled their book distribution and in total during marathon over 26,000 books and over 500 sets were distributed. This marathon was also the first time when e-books were distributed in significant numbers – 750 ebooks and 53 ebook sets. Next big innovation is going to be distributing audio books, which is a market of 3.5 billion dollars in the outside world. Important feature of this online marathon was that devotees were not distributing alone, as is usually done on the streets, but they had daily “Zoom parties” and kept in touch, sharing news and tactics at the same time as they were making Whatsapp and Instagram calls to reach customers. The picture is from one of these conferences. After the marathon was over the “tough” didn’t stop and announced renewed commitment to the pledge to distribute 10,000 Srimad Bhagavatam sets before this years Bhadra Purnima. A big help in set distribution is a video of a two year old boy Kunjari who had listened to the entire Bhagavatam while in the womb of his mother and, as you can see, has become very expert in explaining it himself!
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