Author: Jon Slack

Jon is Development Manager for the Book Marketing Society. He is involved in a number of projects that also include co-directing the DSC South Asian Literature Festival and South Asian literature Reading Campaign; co-curating The Literary Conference (for The Literary Consultancy) and founding the inaugural International New Publishing Network. He co-founded Canon Tales with Doug Wallace and co-produced the 2010 Author Blog Awards. He has previously worked in sales, marketing and publicity roles at Taschen, Transworld and Aurum Press publishers, as well as Borders Adelaide prior to that.

‘Immersive Marketing’ and World Record-beating campaign lead BMS Awards for May-Aug 2013

In the swish refurbished Orion offices, the winners of the Best Marketing Campaign Awards for May-August 2013 were announced.

Adult winner:

Night Film, by Marisha Pessl
Marketers:
Rebecca Ikin, Jamie Fewery, Vincent Kelleher and author Marisha Pessl (Random House)

This one took the concept of an “integrated campaign” to heart: it was clear that the marketing of this book had been thought through from the outset, with standout visuals and a huge range of digital assets. The team did not lose sight of this book’s core target audience: ‘urban enthusiasts’, as evidenced by realising their ambitious goal of delivering an ‘immersive’ marketing campaign. A ‘reality’ for the characters in the story was brought to life through creations generated outside of the book. This ranged from the use of the ‘found footage’ of the films created by the book’s central character, to the engagement of pro graphic designers creating posters for those films. The campaign carried an integrated aesthetic from the book trade launch onwards.

Children’s winner

The Paper Dolls, Julia Donaldson with Rebecca Cobb
Marketer:
Louise McKee (Macmillan Children’s)

The Guinness Book of Records attempt to create the world’s longest paper doll chain was a stroke of genius, and worked fantastically well in engaging people with the content – over 5000 email addresses were collected from those who submitted. It reflected the level of engagement across the campaign which was very strong – from the Save the Children partnership through to extensive blogger take-up, and strong targeting of mum websites and teachers.

Shoestring campaign winner:

1913, Florian Illies
Marketer:
Flora Willis & Niamh Murray (Profile Books)

An imaginative campaign, executed in classy style, which explored the actions of historical figures the year before war broke. Great use of Twitter, creating a year’s worth of e-cards, one for each month in 1913, which in turn received strong support from Waterstones. All in all an impressive impact for tiny spend.

 


One campaign was also highly commended:


Adult:

Dead Man’s Time by Peter James

  • Marketer: Jodie Mullish, with Naomi Bacon (Pan Macmillan)
    • Peter James’ campaigns are consistently strong but this was an especially tenacious effort
    • The local engagement with Brighton and the link with Peter’s stories was second to none, and extensive. Highlights included an experiential campaign using large vinyl stickers across a wide range of local businesses and shops, which in turn linked to the “Peter James’ Brighton” website
    • The campaign delivered another good example of Blippar in action, with significant engagement across the globe (more than 25,000 times in 3 months)

     

The winners were chosen from a list of more than 30 submissions from members of the Book Marketing Society. They were judged by BMS officials (Jo Henry and Alastair Giles, Executive Directors, and Jon Slack, Development Manager) together with Dominic Gettins of European ad agency Havas, Hugh Salmon of the marketing and communications agency The Salmon Agency and Brand Republic blogger, Simon Appleby of publishing web specialists Bookswarm, and Simon Scott, founder of Push Entertainment.

 

 

Gone Girl, Geek Girl win in Jan-April 2013 BMS Campaign Awards

In the esteemed surroundings of Faber’s Bloomsbury offices, the winners of the Best Marketing Campaign Awards for January-April 2013 were announced.  The winners in the three categories – Adults, Children’s and Shoestring – were:

Adult winner:

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
Marketers:
Mark Rusher and Jo Dawson, Orion

This title came over from the US with a head of steam but, as many campaigns before it have proven, this doesn’t always translate into success. Gone Girl was an exception. It was Mumsnet’s Book of the Month and was instantly identifiable from it’s striking use of colours on a widespread poster campaign. The approach to the posters was unique in another way. Two quotes from the male and female protagonist’s were contrasted side-by-side to show the two points of view – reinforcing the tagline ‘there are two sides to every story’ – and offering appeal to both men and women. Became one of the genuinely ‘Book Everyone is Talking About’ titles of 2012.

Children’s winner

Geek Girl, by Holly Smale
Marketers:
Nicola Way, Hannah Bourne, Abby Tayleure (HarperCollins’ Children’s)

From the aspirational strapline – “Celebrate Your Inner Geek!”, to the engaging Geek Girl cover shot competition (get your pic snapped on the cover) at the NEC Birmingham Clothes Show, this was a campaign with a lot of energy and plenty of visibility. It was promoted in Shout Magazine and on radio, and more than 1,500 photos were taken in their special photo booth (with glasses provided, of course). It was also the Number 1 debut in children’s books to date – a well deserved achievement for this first-time writer.

Shoestring campaign winner:

Knackered Mother’s Wine Club
Marketer: 
Alice Shortland, Bloomsbury

This book benefited from the genuine engagement of Waterstones booksellers, resulting in their voting it the Waterstones Book of the Year 2012; strong targeting of a foodie audience which managed to turn restaurant customers into book buyers; great competitions for the potential audience, and amazing sales and ROI.

 


Two campaigns were also highly commended:


Adult:

Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  • Marketers: Gemma Green, supported by Nicola Chapman (Penguin)
    • Original and thoughtful use of copy in campaign materials, particularly dealing with the difficult subject of a 16-year old cancer patient. The campaign demonstrated a productive level of collaboration between the Marketing and PR team, with the tricky twin-audience targeting of  YA/adult cross-over market handled particularly well.
    • The creative was really effective and consistently imaginative – for instance drawing on hospital terminology in some of the banner adverts. The unique ‘Pass-it-on’ word of mouth campaign really worked and all told, the book is on target for half a million sales in 2013!

Children’s:

The Chocolate Box Girls (series) by Cathy Cassidy                                             

  • Marketers: Julia Teece (Puffin)
    • Extensive consumer research was carried out among target audience in advance, to see what they wanted to see from author. As a result, launched the Cathy Cassidy TV channel (CCTV) which quickly saw 119k views of her video blogs, with a new one released each week. Judges were also impressed that a strong ROI was delivered within a very tight budget, with sales up 18% year on year

 

The winners were chosen from a list of more than 30 submissions from members of the Book Marketing Society. They were judged by BMS officials (Jo Henry and Alastair Giles, Executive Directors, and Jon Slack, Development Manager) together with Dominic Gettins of European ad agency Havas and Hugh Salmon of the marketing and communications agency The Salmon Agency and Brand Republic blogger.

 

 

Sept-Dec 2012 campaign winners include a disaster-prone celebrity, a wimpy kid and Venetian foodies

At a packed BMS Meeting held last week (Feb 21st) in Bloomsbury’s beautiful new offices in Bedford Square, the winners of the Best Marketing Campaign Awards for September-December 2012 were announced.  The winners in the three categories – Adults, Children’s and Shoestring – were:

Adult winner:

Is It Just Me?, by Miranda Hart
Marketer: Vickie Boff, Hodder

Hodder used the author to the best advantage, despite restricted access. They initiated an innovative Twitter campaign crowd-sourcing the general public’s own embarrassing stories in response to the book and released these as a free ebook, No, It’s Us Too a month ahead of publication, with embedded links to pre-order Is It Just Me? Nearly 90k were downloaded. They also released weekly themed videos through Telegraph.co.uk and Twitter;  the Christmas video was viewed over 48k times.  This was clearly the Christmas No. 1 celebrity book – and a genuine bestseller.

Children’s winner

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel, by Jeff Kinney
Marketers:  Vanessa Godden and Julia Teece, Puffin

Puffin has certainly not rested on their laurels – this campaign was another notch up from the last one (which also won a BMS Award).  The team pre-tested the story line to see how readers responded; the campaign built on these responses and resulted in nearly 80k views of the trailer, 28k new fans recruited and a 23% growth in sales.

 

Shoestring campaign winner:

POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts)
Marketer: Alice Shortland, Bloomsbury

This book benefited from the genuine engagement of Waterstones booksellers, resulting in their voting it the Waterstones Book of the Year 2012; strong targeting of a foodie audience which managed to turn restaurant customers into book buyers; great competitions for the potential audience, and amazing sales and ROI.

 

 

Four campaigns were also highly commended:


Adult:

A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

  • Marketers: Charlie King, Helen Gibbs and the Marketing team at Little, Brown Book Group

The team delivered a hugely effective campaign within very tight guidelines set by the author and the need for complete confidentiality.  They provided genuine support across the whole range of retailers, particularly independents, as well as the library sector.  The result was a truly global campaign, with strong collaboration round the world, resulting in strong branding, awareness – and sales.

Big Questions for Little People by Gemma Elwin Harris                                               

  • Marketers: Susan Holmes & Silvia Novak, Faber & Faber

A brilliantly integrated campaign, including partnerships with Mumsnet and Heart FM plus NSPCC.  Great Twitter campaign using an infographic as a highly visual and arresting image resulted in really impressive sales on a tight budget.

Children’s:

Dork Diaries: Dear Dork by Rachel Renne Russell

  • Marketer: Kat McKenna, Simon & Schuster

The judges were particularly impressed with the range of partnership eg win a day as a journalist at Pop Girl magazine competition which worked hard – and successfully – to establish this new series in the mind of the target audience.

Shoestring:

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook

  • Marketers:  Dawn Burnett & Owen Davies, Simon & Schuster

This was a very targeted promotion with lots of limited editions and lots of collectibles for the diehard fans, with strong sales through HMV – aided by free CD  – the production of which avoided need for self-promotion.

 

The winners were chosen from a list of nearly 30 submissions from members of the Book Marketing Society representing the cream of the Christmas books crop for 2012.  They were judged by BMS officials (Jo Henry and Alastair Giles, Executive Directors, and Jon Slack, Development Manager) together with Dominic Gettins of European ad agency Havas, Hugh Salmon of the marketing and communications agency The Salmon Agency and Brand Republic blogger, Sam Missingham of The Bookseller magazine, and Gary Sheppard of Gardners, the leading UK wholesaler).

 

Foyles launch ‘Patented, FoolProof Gift Acquisition System’ campaign

Foyles has announced the designs for its Christmas 2012 marketing campaign, with the ‘Foyles Bookshop Patented, FoolProof Gift Acquisition System’, a tongue-in-cheek flowchart designed in-house by Jeff Clark, Miriam Robinson, Foyles Head of Marketing, and Heather Baker, Foyles Senior Buyer.

The campaign guides the reader through a series of mildly irreverent yes/no decisions, with the Foyles’ marketing team describing the 16-sheet Central London Underground advertisements, 1000m x 1400m in-store posters and online banners designed “to remind Christmas shoppers that books are wonderful presents, and that Foyles bookshops is the best place to go for advice on buying them.”

Over the next few weeks, segmented versions of a larger flowchart will appear in windows and tables across Foyles five London bookshops and Bristol branch, as well as on Foyles.co.uk and other online platforms. The complete flowchart will then be trailed via social media before appearing on London Underground posters from 10 – 24 December.

Miriam Robinson, Head of Marketing for Foyles said: “We wanted to deliver the message that the beauty of bookshops is that no matter who you’re shopping for, we can find something to match their interests.  We also wanted to have a little fun – Christmas shopping can be perceived as stressful but in a good bookshop it should be the opposite – it should be entertainment”.

The flowchart format builds on the design of Foyles’ autumn 2012 events leaflet, also created in house by Simon Heafield and Miriam Robinson.

 

 

Winners announced for the May-Aug Marketing Campaign Awards

The winners of the May-August marketing campaign awards have been announced, with Ebury, Palgrave and Macmillan Children’s Books all notching up a win for the season. The new “Shoestring” category proved popular in its first outing, with entries showing impressive levels of creativity and energy to hold their own against the big-budget campaigns.

Louise Jones from Ebury won Best Adult campaign for Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace, and was commended for a ‘hilarious campaign’ with lots of energy and the originality to help sell-in the first fiction book, difficult even from a ‘sleb’ such as Wallace. Louise found the right tone of voice to match the author’s and executed creative ideas throughout including a fully-fledged spoof London paper,  resulting in a very good return on investment.

Amy Lines from Macmillan Children’s Books  won Best Children’s campaign for Dreamless by Josephine Angelini, against some very stiff competition. The judges felt it was a well-targeted and very comprehensive campaign, which left no stone unturned in finding an audience for this new series. Behavioural research into 13-17 year old girls lead to an intensive online campaign which channelled all activity back to Mykindabook.com, while the publisher partnered with the likes of New Look and generated a strong pre-publication Amazon chart position, excellent click-throughs – and sales.

Claire Morrison from Palgrave was the first winner for Best Shoestring campaign, making the most of a successful ‘arty’ rebranding of the BFI Collection, with a high profile sampling exercise (GQ Man of the Year event) to reach a new audience. This was alongside a well-targeted but very cost effective campaign which increased sales by over 250% and boosted visibility within the trade.

Highly commended campaigns were as follows:

  • SHOESTRING
    Campaign Title: HHhH, by Laurent Binet
    Marketers: Claire Wilshaw & William Smith, Harvill Secker
  • CHILDREN’S
    Campaign Title: The Hobbit, Tolkein
    Marketer: Laura Di Giuseppe, HarperCollins Children’s
  • ADULT
    Campaign Title: Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
    Marketer: Dawn Burnett, S&S

 

To find out more about previous Award winners and the judges, see here.

 

 

Fiction Uncovered launches FM radio programme at Foyles

Fiction Uncovered has announced the full programme for their pop-up FM radio station to be hosted at Foyles on Charing Cross Road. The four days (from 20th to 23rd June) will include interviews, panel discussions and live literary salon events, as well as a specially commissioned radio drama by Gabriel Bisset-Smith (Royal Court/Soho Theatre).

Author interviews include all eight Fiction Uncovered authors: Peter Benson, Cressida Connolly, Jill Dawson, Tibor Fischer, Doug Johnston, Susanna Jones, David Park and Dan Rhodes.

There are also additional live interviews with other British writers including Jake Arnott, Stella Duffy, Geoff Dyer, Stuart Evers, Philip Hensher and Courttia Newland.

Hosts for the pop-up radio station are Damian Barr, Katy Guest and Matt Thorne.

Guest panels will discuss:

  • Fiction in translation (with English PEN) with Daniel Hahn
  • Asians in Bloomsbury (with Wasifiri and Beyond the Frame)
  • Crime in fiction (with Cathi Unsworth)
  • Diversity in publishing
  • Uncovering fiction with Faber Finds Richard Kelly, with Marcel Theroux
  • Ethical reading
  • Literary fiction as a genre (with The Bookseller’s Philip Jones)
  • The impact and worth of specialist fiction prizes (with Catherine Hall)
  • Independent Booksellers Week
  • Tips for aspiring literary, ethnic minority and SF writers with literary agents and commissioning editors
  • Live tweet-ins from readers and writers, and questions from Foyles book buyers

Additional audio content has also kindly been provided by the Royal Society of Literature, Shoreditch Literary Salon, Granta, Faber and Bloomsbury – and includes recordings with Chris Cleave, Ian McEwan, Rachel Seiffert, Jon McGregor, DW Wilson and Roshi Fernando

Listeners in Central London can tune in to 87.9FM or the station will available simultaneously online at www.fictionuncovered.co.uk/radioShows will also be available to play from Fiction Uncovered’s website and available for download on iTunes.

Tweet your questions to any guests or panels to @FictUncovered or email hello@fictionuncovered.co.uk