Author: katie

Olly Harnett – BBC Creative Director – Our key notes

His Dark Materials

Last month BBC CREATIVE Director Olly Harnett, Creative Director (BBC ONE, Radio 2) came in to our Members’ Meeting to talk about some of his recent campaign work.

BBC Creative is the in-house creative team at the BBC, run on an agency model. It was brought in house in 2016 and is made up of around 150 people split between London and Salford.

Here are some of our notes:

HIS DARK MATERIALS marketing campaign case study

Positioning line: tricky title if the consumer hasn’t read the books (or Milton!). Therefore it was important to find the cornerstone of the campaign: ‘one girl will change worlds”. Promises adventure, destiny and excitement.

Marketing challenge: 16 -24 year olds are not watching terrestrial TV. TV trails don’t work anymore. How do we reach them? More OOH activity to reach that audience. Special build OOH for social media pick up. Although shouldn’t seem just like a kids drama.

Campaign activity:

TV TRAIL – very filmic and exciting


His Dark Materials

– Story board artist helped create the layout for creative that was used across OOH. No stills ready so went for an illustrative approach for sign off of concept

-Westfield White City – Billboard featuring an armoured bear bursting out of a billboard, breathing out icy breath. Major social media and marketing industry pick-up

-Ad lifts – important not to be too London-centric. Birmingham and Manchester shopping centre vinyl wraps in lifts with selfie spots, audio featuring actors and added peppermint scent

-Cinema spot. Guaranteed audiences of millennials. Shown 1 week ahead of tx date

Results on launch:

10 million viewers of episode 1 across tv and iplayer

Most successful UK drama launch in 5 years


-Snapchat lens where user can turn themselves into the armoured bear

-Continuity idents – adding motifs from the show into regular BBC idents

-Daemon bot – for superfans. What is your daemon? 40 options. Inspired by illustrations in the novels. INCLUDE LINK.

In summary:

Traditional marketing still has its place but we have to find new, exciting and creative ways to reach audiences, particularly our youth audience, who are key to the future of the BBC

Audience questions:

What are your timelines? Very tight, due to special effects and schedule changes. Ideally 4 months notice to get a team in place. Clips arrived very late so clip-based assets were very close-to-the-wire

What’s the mix of skills within the team? All in-house, but we bring in freelancers into the team when we need them.

What didn’t come off? Had to drop our idea to fly a real-life zeppelin over key UK locations because the only available zeppelin was already booked for an Oktoberfest event.

Other work referenced:

Peaky Blinders fan-art campaign

Dracula shadow billboard

  • Inspired by a Japanese artist who makes shadow art
  • By day – stakes hammered into billboard
  • By night – transforms and the shadow left by the stakes forms the shape of Dracula’s face
  • Front page of Reddit twice, picked up by global media

This is a love story: Key takeaways from the Fleabag campaign

In January, Helen Flood of Hodder won the October-December 2019 Best Non-Fiction Marketing Campaign award for her wonderful work on the campaign for Fleabag: The Scriptures. Here, she shares her three key lessons from that campaign:

Keep the faith.

For a really long time in this campaign I worked without any visuals or any knowledge of what the extra material would be. There were no proofs, no audio clips, no meetings with author or agent. All I knew was that a lot of people loved Fleabag and if we presented a campaign pitched to what they loved about the show, that they’d get it.

You can do a lot without an author.

Our three ‘Fleabag parties’ (authorless events) sold out, because people really wanted to come and talk about Fleabag. They loved getting goody bags and taking part in the confessions. And brands loved the show as much as we did – Marks and Spencer gave us 450 free gins and in tins, Becca and Elizabeth Arden sent lipsticks and Philip Kingsley provided the hair masks (because hair is everything). Fans loved visiting the café because they adore the series and wanted to take photos – it didn’t matter that Phoebe wouldn’t be there. We found lots of fans to tweet and share our messaging, and after some convincing even the BBC got on board and tweeted about the book.

Give something back.

Soho Theatre is so important to the Fleabag story, and they do great work with young writers, helping them to bring their work to the stage. I really wanted to work with them as their fans and followers are people who love the craft of theatre and are more likely than anyone else to buy scripts to study the way the show is put together. By sponsoring a bursary for a writer who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford to attend a theatre writing course it felt like Fleabag could come full circle and was a great finishing touch to the campaign.

Winners of the October-December 2019 BMS Awards

Book Marketing Society Awards

And the winners of last night’s BMS Awards are…

Best Multi-Title Campaign

  • Highly Commended: That’s Not My…

Marketers: Joanna Olney & Sarah Connell (Usborne)

‘We loved the joined-up, strategic thinking behind this campaign, which reached straight into the hearts of the target audience and elevated sales across the range. Very impressive!’

  • Winner: MerkyBooks Pop-Up Shop

Marketers: Emma Wallace, Natalia Cacciatore, Lydia Weigel & Sharifah Grant (Cornerstone PRH)

‘The panel was unanimous in awarding this fantastic campaign to celebrate the Merky Books imprint. The pop-up shop not only successfully connected its growing community of underrepresented readers and writers, but also made some noise within the industry. Excellent work.’

Best Guerilla Campaign

  • Highly Commended: Where’s My Guitar? by Bernie Marsden

Marketer: Liv Marsden (4th Estate HarperCollins)

‘We all absolutely loved the passion that went into making this campaign such a success. On zero budget this campaign built on the loyalty of Bernie’s fanbase and looked to leave no stone unturned in a bid to engage audiences.’

  • Winner: Find Me by André Aciman

Marketer: Phoebe Williams (Faber & Faber)

‘An excellent example of a focused marketing campaign channelling its modest budget into a campaign meeting its core audience where it is! This singularly focused, yet imaginative, campaign deservedly resulted in great sales for this sequel title.’

Best Children’s Campaign

  • Highly Commended: The Taylor Turbochaser by David Baddiel

Marketer: Alex Cowan (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

‘Showed fantastic creativity with an experiential taxi brand activation amplified on social channels; a trailer distributed across cinema, TV and digital; activity at go-karting sites to reach the perfect audience, and retail theatre.’

  • Winner: Earth Heroes by Lily Dyu

Marketer: Hester Seddon & Julia Kathro (Nosy Crow)

‘With only a 4-month lead time from acquisition to promotion, the team managed to develop a brilliantly executed campaign to reach young environmentally-minded readers, with teaching resource packs, partnerships and a video competition that leveraged user-generated content.’

Best Young Adult Campaign

  • Highly Commended: The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

Marketers: Hannah Reardon Steward & Joanna Olney (Usborne)

‘The team behind this campaign demonstrated a thorough understanding of their audience. They tackled a challenging subject matter with finesse and style, with excellent results.’

  • Winner: It’s Not OK To Feel Blue (and other lies)  by Scarlett Curtis

Marketer: Alesha Bonser (PRH Children’s)

‘This campaign was a masterclass in talent and asset management. It was meticulously planned and expertly executed, with no resource wasted. This team chose not to rest on its laurels and instead is in the process of building an unforgettable brand.’

Best Adult Non-Fiction Campaign

  • Highly Commended: Fleabag: The Scriptures by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Marketer: Helen Flood (Sceptre/Hodder & Stoughton)

‘Simple and understated, the campaign understood the bones of Fleabag. The quotes worked as in-jokes to those who were fans, and cheeky commentary to those who were not.’

  • Winner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Marketer: Rebecca Hibbert (Ebury PRH)

‘We were wowed by the sales numbers this book, by a virtually unknown author, managed to achieve on a modest budget. Props to the marketing team who showed a real understanding of the audience and took every opportunity to build its passion for the title.’

Best Adult Fiction Campaign

  • Highly Commended: So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

Marketer: Rachel Quin & Sarah Shea (HarperCollins)

‘It’s always a joy to see innovation and passion combined and that’s certainly what we saw in this fresh and exciting campaign. Special mention to the Podcast which we all thought worked brilliantly.’

  • Winner: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Marketer: Sophie Painter & Kate Neilan (Vintage PRH)

‘A brilliantly creative and multifaceted campaign ticking all the boxes and more! Audience and retailer understanding was at its core but it went far beyond this and we, as judges, loved the teams desire to innovate. Bravo!’


  • Audience Development Spotlight:

The Secret Commonwealth  by Philip Pullman

Marketer: Gemma Rostill & Michael Bedo (PRH Children’s)

‘This team took nothing for granted with its approach to audience, unpacking its insight from all possible angles in a way that maintained loyalty, reincorporated lapsed fans and brought new readers into the fold. Inspiring work all around.’

  • Innovation Spotlight

I Carried A Watermelon  by Katy Brand

Marketer: Claire Brett & Joanna Rose (HQ HarperCollins)

‘This stunt was strategic, focused and FUN. With minimal budget this team honed in on one core piece of activity, which they then made work across multiple platforms.’

  • Creativity Spotlight

Wham! George & Me  by Andrew Ridgeley

Marketer: Claire Bush & Vicky Photiou (Michael Joseph PRH)

‘The design of the campaign reflected the nostalgia of the time. In a blink, the 80s backgrounds took you back to Smash Hits and WHSmith stationery, giving the campaign a visual language.’

Three takeaways from the award-winning Start Your Voyage campaign

Congratulations to Fleur Clarke, Emma Pickard & Rachel Quin of HarperCollins, who picked up the Best Multi-Title Campaign award at our recent BMS Members’ Meeting with their HarperVoyager campaign: Start Your Voyage. The judges said: “This was a well thought-out campaign, bringing traditional branding into the 21st Century to excited existing audiences and incite new one. Through the design of a great suite of assets, and making use of a number of list authors in the UK at the same time, the publisher was able to give this list the brand reboot it deserved with a distinct look and feel.” Here, Fleur shares some of the top learnings from that campaign:

1. Go beyond the logo

We knew that to stand out at events and online we needed to create an engaging visual identity that we could use on anything – from Twitter cards to tote bags. The logo alone was not going to cut it.

We’re one imprint, but the Voyager galaxy contains multitudes from epic fantasy to boundary pushing science fiction. Our amazing cover designer Micaela Alcaino created a series of illustrations inspired by some of our most popular works past and present:

For our event stand dressing itself we pushed this one step further, bringing the Voyager galaxy to life in a night-time seascape with a boat travelling through the Voyager world.

2. Create merchandise not POS

The SFF and YA audiences are massive collectors and the merchandise you create can be just as covetable as a special edition hardback.

So, we wanted every piece of POS to be the kind of thing these readers would keep in their collection – posters they’d want to frame, standees that would take pride of place on their shelves. This meant reducing the sales messaging to the bare minimum (or relegating it to the reverse), and investing heavily in design.

3. Get your money (and time’s) worth

Anyone in marketing or publicity knows that events are a massive time and budget investment. So we always need to make them work as hard as possible.

Ahead of the campaign we set three clear KPIS: newsletter sign ups, Twitter followers and book sales. The latter is what funded the events, the signs ups and followers are what delivered the real return.

We made sure every piece of activity delivered on at least one of the metrics, ideally all three. We used our auto-response email to promote ebook deals and audiobook giveaways, announced flash price drops on Twitter, and ran a convention treasure hunt that people had to follow us on Twitter to hear about.

Thank you Fleur, and congratulations again!

Full list of 2019 Book Marketing Society Award Winners

Book Marketing Society Awards

Book Marketing Society Awards

January – March 2019

  • Debut – The Familiars / Stephen Dumugn, Felice McKeown, Sahini Bibi (BonnierZaffre)
  • Fiction – The Binding / Sarah Shea, Katy Blott (HarperFiction)
  • Non-fiction – Pinch of Nom / Don Shanahan, Jodie Mullish, Andy Joannou (Bluebird)
  • Children’s – The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky / Alex Cowan, Beth Maher (HC Childrens)
  • YA – King of Scars / Naomi Berwin, Natasha Whearity (Hachette Childrens)
  • Guerrilla – How to Clean Your House / Janet Aspey, Hannah Sawyer (HQ)

April – June 2019

  • Debut – Queenie / Cait Davies (Orion)
  • Fiction – In a House of Lies / Tom Noble (Orion)
  • Non-fiction – The Secret Barrister / Paul Martinovic (Pan Macmillan)
  • Children’s – Malamander / Jill Kidson, Jo Humphries-Davies, Josh Alliston, James McParland (Walker)
  • YA – A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder / Jasveen Bansal, Dannie Price (Egmont)
  • Guerrilla – Lowborn / Sophie Painter (Vintage)

July – September 2019

  • Debut – Our Stop / Hannah O’Brien, Ellie Pilcher (Avon)
  • Fiction – The Testaments / Rosanna Boscawen, Chloe Healy, Sophie Painter (Vintage PRH)
  • Non-fiction – Three Women / Hannah Paget (Bloomsbury)
  • Children’s – Top Marks for Murder / Sonia Razvi (PRH Childrens)
  • YA – The Deathless Girls / Naomi Berwin (Hachette Childrens)
  • Guerrilla – In at the Deep End / Fleur Clarke (HarperFiction)
  • Multi-title – Start Your Voyage / Fleur Clarke, Emma Pickard, Rachel Quin (HarperFiction)

October-December 2019

  • The Starless Sea / Sophie Painter & Kate Neilan (Vintage PRH)Fiction
  • Non-fiction – The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse / Rebecca Hibbert (Ebury PRH)
  • Children’s – Earth Heroes / Hester Seddon & Julia Kathro (Nosy Crow)
  • YA – It’s Not OK To Feel Blue (and other lies) / Alesha Bonser (PRH Children’s)
  • Guerrilla – Find Me / Phoebe Williams (Faber & Faber)
  • Multi-title – MerkyBooks Pop-Up Shop / Emma Wallace, Natalia Cacciatore, Lydia Weigel & Sharifah Grant (Cornerstone PRH)

4 key learnings from Three Women

Three Women

Three Women

Congratulations to Hannah Paget of Bloomsbury, who picked up a BMS Award for her outstanding work on the Three Women campaign. The judges said she “delivered a highly impactful and beautiful campaign for an unknown US author by building advocacy from both key influencers and booksellers.”

Here are the key learnings Hannah wanted to share about the campaign:

1. Important books are for everyone

While it is often crucial to have a target market in mind, with Three Women we wanted an approach that wouldn’t limit the potential audience. Mindful of the special high/low nature of the book, our aim was to position it as a ground-breaking piece of non-fiction but also a thrilling read. We deliberately kept the messaging around it as broad and open as possible. I carefully planned the first proof, keeping the design pared back and using that amazing Dave Eggers quote, to confidently assert that this was important book to be taken seriously. Settling on the cover image was also long process (our amazing designer Greg Heinimann tried over 100 covers!) as we wanted to make sure we were doing something original and universal that wouldn’t narrow the audience.

2. Booksellers are your friends and key champions

Getting retailers on side was crucial. We knew the author was a huge asset, so we brought her over to the UK four months before publication. Allowing booksellers to meet her, to hear her speak about the book and the eight years she spent researching it, led to a huge increase in booksellers reading and loving it. Through working closely with those key buyers and booksellers we were able to secure strong in-store support. Foyles in particular were incredible supporters. They chose it as their book of the month, had a special edition including gift with purchase, a sold out event before publication and multiple window displays. They’ve gone on to name it their Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Waterstones Gower Street were also amazing at hand selling and created the most beautiful window display!

3. Helpful to determine creative clarity as soon as possible

In order to straddle a serious non-fiction treatment with a highly original and thrilling read, I wanted to ensure visuals around the campaign were pared back and not suggestive or leading. This was established early on and adhered to throughout. I also wanted the marketing materials to feel high-quality and tactile, so I chose a soft touch laminate finish for the postcards and the second proof, which influenced the decision for the finished book. An initial style guide for internal use and for international offices was also incredibly useful for keeping this consistent.

4. Have regular meetings with a core group to keep yourself on track

Working so closely as a team was incredibly important. I would meet regularly with Alexis, the editor, and Emma, the publicist, to go over every detail of the campaign. We drafted and redrafted the initial copy and closely thought through the positioning and messaging. We were all busy working on it separately, but meeting regularly kept our messaging and visuals aligned.

Announcing the Book Marketing Society Mentorship Scheme

We’re pleased to announce our first cross-publisher mentorship scheme for marketers.


Mentoring is a relationship, usually between a senior mentor and a more junior mentee, designed to provide a neutral and confidential space for discussion, to help with shaping careers and navigating areas of development.

The BMS scheme is designed to be reciprocal, with much of the steering coming from the senior partner, but advice on offer where appropriate from the junior partner. While some larger publishers run their own mentorship schemes, this is designed to be complementary – there is a benefit to cross-industry links and different ways of approaching challenges.

The aim of the scheme is to build networks and support best practice across publishers’ marketing teams.

There are 12 places available in the first year.


The mentorship is designed to last for 1 year and each pair commits to meeting at least 3 times over the year. The onus is on the mentee to request a meeting with the mentor checking in if necessary to move things on. We suggest you choose a neutral venue and meet for a coffee –this may need to fall outside work hours but we will leave it to each pair to arrange a suitable time. The suggested meeting duration is 60 to 90 minutes.

For those based outside of London, we recommend arranging meetings via Skype (or equivalent) or by phone.


Mentees should apply by 10th December 2019. Matches will be announced by mid-January 2020.

To apply as a mentee

NB Mentee applicants should have at least six months’ experience in an entry level marketing role

Email by 10th December 2019. Please include in your email:

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Experience to date
  • Location
  • What you would like to gain from a mentorship – please be as detailed as possible in order to help match you
  • Any specific challenges you’d like to address

To volunteer as a mentor

NB Mentors should be of Marketing Manager (or equivalent) level, or above

Email by 10th December 2019. Please include in your email:

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Experience to date
  • Areas of expertise
  • Please let us know if you have mentored before
  • Anything else you think it would be helpful for us to know

If you have any questions, please email

The BMS Mentorship Team are:

  • Niamh Murray, Marketing Director, Profile Books
  • Matt Clacher, Marketing Director, Fourth Estate
  • Celeste Ward-Best, Deputy Marketing Director, Little Brown

Winners of the July-September 2019 BMS Awards

Book Marketing Society Awards

Book Marketing Society Awards

And the winners of last night’s BMS Awards are…

Best Multi-Title Campaign

  • Highly Commended: The Year of Tracy Chevalier

Marketer: Abbie Salter, HarperCollins

“It was a challenge to reignite the passion of a classic title, re-engage existing audiences and create new ones. This campaign was carefully planned and connected the dots between the titles, loyal audiences and the engagement of new!”

  • Winner: Start Your Voyage

Marketers: Fleur Clarke, Emma Pickard & Rachel Quin, HarperCollins

“This was a well thought-out campaign, bringing traditional branding into the 21st Century to excited existing audiences and incite new one. Through the design of a great suite of assets, and making use of a number of list authors in the UK at the same time, the publisher was able to give this list the brand reboot it deserved with a distinct look and feel.”

Best Guerilla Campaign

  • Highly Commended: The Carer by Deborah

Marketer: Victoria Abbot, Headline (Hachette)

“An imaginative approach to casting the net wide to find the audience for Deborah’s book, demonstrating a real sense of understanding a brand.”

  • Winner: In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

Marketer: Fleur Clarke, Harper Collins

“A fantastic example of trusting your instincts to build on a strong campaign message. Strategic planning lead to a raft of opportunities that gave the paperback the exposure it needed and it really paid off.”

Best Children’s Campaign

  • Highly Commended: Plastic Sucks by Dougie Poynter

Marketer: Kat McKenna, Macmillan Children’s Books

“Leveraging a great publishing proposition, the team harnessed Dougie Poynter’s social media presence with the use of strategic content, devising creative partnerships with WWF, Kidzania, Sea Life London, Sky Ocean Rescue, Summer in the City and devising a school outreach programme and a nationwide event to inspire a new generation of environmental ambassadors.”

  • Winner: Top Marks for Murder by Robyn Stevens

Marketer: Sonia Razvi, Puffin Books

“It’s not easy to run a recruitment campaign for 8th book in a series, but the Top Marks for Murder marketer devised fantastic initiatives for renewed bookseller engagement, leveraging the existing fanbase on Twitter and Popjam, and devising creative partnerships across Sblended Milkshake shops, Trampoline Parks, Coffee Shops and school engagement to reach a new audience.”

Best Young Adult Campaign

  • Highly Commended: Crossfire by Malorie Blackman

Marketer: Michael Bedo, Penguin Random House Children’s

“Great core creative idea running throughout the #DearMalorie campaign, supported with presence at Glastonbury and good use of influencers, social advertising and animated trailer.”

  • Winner: The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Marketer: Naomi Berwin, Hachette Children’s Group

“A solid campaign which leveraged owned channels and third-party activities, including a mini-brochure in Illumicrate boxes, influencers outreach, presence at YALC, and an animated mini-trailer to target the perfect audience.”

Best Debut Campaign

  • Highly Commended: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Marketers: Jamie Forrest and Sophie Walker, Atlantic Books

“Oh the beauty of this campaign! Stunning creative, brilliant copy and a tenacity with the paperback which drove sales and made this book unmissable.”

  • Winner: Our Stop by Laura Jane William

Marketers: Hannah O’Brien and Ellie Pilcher, Avon (HarperCollins)

“A sharp, focussed campaign with rigorous audience testing and an unwavering brand proposition, this team outperformed its own objectives, smashing sales targets and shifting industry perceptions.”

Best Adult Non-Fiction Campaign

  • Highly Commended: Gotta Get Theroux This by Louis Theroux

Marketers: Sarah Arratoon, Andy Joannou, Sarah Patel and Connie Roff, PanMacmillan

“We loved how this cheeky and fun campaign captured the spirit of Louis while being underpinned by a smart media strategy.”

  • Winner: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Marketer: Hannah Paget, Bloomsbury

“They delivered a highly impactful and beautiful campaign for an unknown US author by building advocacy from both key influencers and booksellers.”

Best Adult Fiction Campaign

  • Highly Commended: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Marketer: Tom Noble, Orion

“With a limited budget, this campaign demonstrated enormous integrity and passion. Its consistent, bold branding brilliantly tied in with the book’s sinister premise.”

  • Winner: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Marketers: Rosanna Boscawen, Chloe Healy and Sophie Painter, Vintage

“For the book event of the decade, the team at VINTAGE were by no means complacent, and created a dovetailed, innovative and highly impactful campaign which made the most of every opportunity.”


Audience development

  • One Minute Later by Susan Lewis

Marketers: Fleur Clarke and Rachel Quin, HarperCollins

“With thorough, in-depth analysis, the team developed an insight-driven, creative campaign which engaged new, relevant audiences for an author three decades into her career.”

Innovation spotlight

  • Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

Marketer: Amy Fulwood, Simon & Schuster

“Really impressive audience targeting tailored to multiple platforms, the most ambitious being the animated Smart TV ads served to Queer Eye watchers, streamers and – surprisingly – video gamers.”

Creativity spotlight

  • The Holiday by T.M. Logan

Marketer: Felice McKeown, Zaffre / Bonnier Books UK

“This campaign was as compelling as a movie trailer. Clever use of language and cohesive branding gave it a life of its own as a fitting prelude to the book.”

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who submitted their campaign. Look out for the next round of award entreis coming in the new year!

What made the Lowborn campaign such a success?

Lowborn - Kerry Hudson

Lowborn - Kerry Hudson

Earlier this year, Sophie Painter of VINTAGE won the Best Guerrilla Marketing Award (April-June 2019) for her campaign for Kerry Hudson’s Lowdown. The judges said this was:

A stellar example of a campaign delivering on some clear objectives with a small budget and within a very short timeline. They not only conceived and delivered a campaign to support an important social justice campaign, but also made use of high profile partnerships with relevant charities to deliver a wide range of events and reach new audiences for this book.

But what did Sophie think the key elements of the campaign were? Here are her key takeaways:

  • The best campaigns are created when the author, agent, editorial, sales, publicity and marketing all agree and work towards the same goals from the outset. This was a hugely collaborative campaign based on the plans we set out to author and agent nine months ahead of publication. It’s especially important to have built this trust early on when a book is so personal to and difficult for the author.
  • In order to draw non-traditional book-buying audiences to events the key things to consider are the accessibility of the location, price and format.
  • You don’t need a huge advertising budget if you can work with large charity partners in a meaningful way, but your activity has to be led by their campaigns.
  • The personal recommendation of booksellers is central to this kind of narrative non-fiction in hardback, it can be time consuming to reach out to individual bookshops but their passion will sustain the sales once all of the publicity and marketing has run.

3 takeaways from The Secret Barrister

BMS case study

Earlier this year, Paul Martinovic of Macmillan’s campaign for The Secret Barrister won the BMS Award for Best Non-Fiction Campaign, April-June 2019. Here, he shares three key takeaways from that campaign…

  • Combining a large social media platform with traditional marketing (ie featuring traditional ads on social media) can massively amplify reach. Authors tweeting about ads can double your value!
  • For the right audience, cinema ads can be an excellent option – they are very impressive (i.e. author pleasing and give the impression of a large spend, while the reality is much more reasonable) and good at reaching regular book buyers
  • For paperback non-fiction, the lack of rotation among the big sellers mean that a big launch is imperative – if you can get it in the top ten you will be much more likely to keep it there. Due to word of mouth and a low price point, the big books just get bigger and will take care of themselves if you have given them the right launch platform