5 key takeaways from King of Scars

POSTED ON: 10/07/19 TAGS:

by katie

King of Scars

King of Scars recently won a BMS Award for Best Young Adult campaign. Here, winners Natasha Whearity and Naomi Berwin share their learnings:

  1. Start building anticipation early

We announced King of Scars 15 months pre-publication and consistently seeded information, exclusives, giveaways, sneak peeks, etc from then until publication. With a brand with a) an existing fanbase but b) the potential to grow significantly, this gave us the opportunity to build maximum excitement amongst fans both old and new.

  1. Collaborate with your global partners

We worked incredibly closely with our publishing partners in the US – as well as Australia & New Zealand and other export territories – on everything from messaging and design to major announcement and detailed campaign elements such as social media readalongs. Particularly for a brand with a young, digital-focused readership, that alignment was invaluable in providing clarity of message, driving conversation, and maximising overall impact.

  1. Work your backlist

As King of Scars is set in a complex fantasy world previously introduced in Leigh’s earlier novels, it was vital that we use our long lead-time to familiarise new readers with the story so far – as well as driving excitement among existing fans by re-immersing them in the Grishaverse. We did this in a strategic, carefully timed, multi-layered way, using a combination of ebook price promotions, event activity, NetGalley coverage, digital advertising and global readalong campaign. Not only did this contribute to the success of the King of Scars campaign and expand Leigh’s overall fanbase, but it also generated significant backlist sales revenue.

  1. Consistency of message

Early on in the campaign planning process, we agreed on the messaging and visual approach that would be used consistently across territories and all campaign assets. The arresting ‘FACE YOUR DEMONS … OR FEED THEM’ and striking black and gold aesthetic became quickly recognisable and really added to the readers’ sense that they were seeing the book everywhere.

  1. Know your superfans

Going into this campaign, we knew that Leigh – whilst not yet at the same sales level here as in the UK – had a dedicated and extremely passionate core fanbase, and that these people were our most valuable advocates. We made sure to identify and engage these superfans early on, finding bespoke ways – from exclusive original artwork to personalised chocolate to licenced merchandise and more – to leverage their influence and drive maximum word of mouth.

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