Campaigns from HarperCollins, BonnierZaffre, BlueBird (PanMacmillan) and Hachette Children’s have been announced as winners of the January-March 2019 awards at the quarterly BMS Members’ Meeting, held 22nd May at the Havas KX Creative Agency.
The full list of award winners are:
Best Debut Campaign
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Silent Patient
“a meticulous, strategic campaign which wasted no resource and smashed its objectives”.
Award goes to: Amy Davies, Orion
WINNER: The Familiars
The judges said this campaign “delivered on its objectives in spades, overcoming both market and industry hurdles to create an unmissable title. The approach was targeted, creative and relentless – it took nothing for granted and took no prisoners.”
Award goes to: Stephen Dumughn, Felice McKeown and Sahina Bibi, BonnierZaffre
Adult Fiction Campaign:
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Lanny
“This campaign turned all its challenges into opportunities in true jujitsu fashion, resulting in one of the year’s most talked about titles.”
Award goes to: Katie Hall, Faber
WINNER: The Binding
“This campaign had it all – long-lead strategising, immaculate targeting, innovation and engagement. It placed the book as physical object at the core of everything it did, and this confidence – plus an absolutely colossal amount of hard work – paid off in its stellar sales.”
Award goes to: Sarah Shea and Katy Blott, HarperFiction
Adult Non-Fiction Campaign:
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Marvel Fearless and Fantastic
In a crowded marketplace, this team used an arsenal of channels, forged new partnerships and thought way outside the box to cut through the noise.”
Award goes to: Jamie Elby, DK
WINNER: Pinch of Nom
“This was a dynamic, creative and highly professional campaign that has set a new standard for converting Online engagement into physical sales. From the clever early release of information to Pinch of Nom’s fanbase, driving unprecedented early pre-orders, to the sustained multichannel push that has resulted in record breaking sales, this has been a marketing masterclass.”
Award goes to: Don Shanahan, Jodie Mullish and Andy Jouannou, BlueBird (PanMacmillan)
Young Adult Campaign:
HIGHLY COMMENDED: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
“Clever use of subscription box Fairyloot and a strategy that led to an amazing first week in sales.”
Award goes to: Emily Moran, Bloomsbury
WINNER: King of Scars
“An impeccable executed six month campaign which combined clear audience targeting and creativity, from retail activation to Waterstones pre-orders. The campaign had well thought out branded partnership with subscription boxes Ilumicrate which generated a strong ROI across sales and engagement.
Award goes to: Naomi Berwin and Natasha Whearity, Hachette Children’s
HIGHLY COMMENDED: A Pinch of Magic
“Very clear targeting and school outreach, with a stand out partnership with the Reading Agency, Skype call with the Author and use of Authorfy. Innovative approach to partnerships and technology.”
Award goes to: Olivia Horrox, Simon and Schuster
WINNER: The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky
“Excellent audience understanding and cohesive messaging throughout, with great brand partnerships, VOD and social activation. In addition, this campaign achieved wider social engagement creating a strong platform for the series.”
Award goes to: Alex Cowan and Beth Maher, HarperCollins Children’s Books
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Chasing the Sun
“A tenacious campaign yielding phenomenal results, with strong retail partnership and a clear creative message throughout, on a very small budget.”
Award goes to: Flora Willis, Profile Books
WINNER: How to Clean Your House
“A multi-platform campaign leveraging a strong existing platform with creative brand partnerships and social activation.”
Award goes to: Janet Aspey and Hannah Sawyer, HQ
For the first time, the BMS also awarded some Spotlight Awards in some of the key judging areas. The winners of these were:
- Audience Development: Double Crossed, for its close targeting and growth of a hard-to-reach demographic – Stephanie Naulls, Ebury Publishing
- Innovation: The Hunting Party, for its innovative and agile approach to reinvention which snowballed into a mass success – Abbie Salter, HarperCollins
- Creativity: The Dirty Dishes, for hyper-creative use of resource, partnerships and content – Don Shanahan, Jodie Mullish and Jess Duffy, Bluebird (PanMacmillan)
Almost exactly a year ago, I was delivering a “Get a Job in Publishing” conference with my two bks Agency colleagues and we were talking about marketing careers. I found myself declaring “marketing people are the most disempowered and exploited people in publishing!” Alright, a bit of an overstatement but I (and probably you) have suffered enough last-minute pitch documents, author-appeasing “distress advertising” briefs and feedback like “just the packshot and the shoutline please … and the Tesco tag” to feel like marketing was more service department than agenda setter.
But are things changing for marketers? I detected an upbeat tone at our recent BMS Masterclass, at which we heard in detail about four tremendous crime and thriller campaigns, all of which went beyond the narrow confines of book promotion into actually driving the publications.
Lullaby by Leila Slimani was about to suffer the fate of many books whose commissioning editor has moved on; being somewhat undersold and neglected, when Katie Hall, Faber’s marketing director, led a drive to reposition the book in a commercial and ambitious direction (but still stylish – this is Faber, right?) . The hook – “The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds” – became the focus of not just the marketing activity but the whole publishing strategy, with proof copies acting as book prototypes, to gauge reaction. As a result, the cover and copy neatly positioned Lullaby right on the edge of the domestic noir market and was a huge commercial success as a result.
Abbie Salter told another reboot story when she described her work on The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, which wasn’t chosen for the HarperCollins “Event Book” treatment. Convinced of its potential, Abbie and colleagues ran a radically responsive campaign for the book which, far from prioritising delivery of a pre-agreed masterplan, embraced the opportunity to test – using a free esampler on Amazon and of course netgalley – to gather reaction and adjust their messaging. With spend focused on digital channels, and a split ebook/physical publication schedule, closely coordinated with sales colleagues, everyone involved needed to forego a “ta-da!” moment in favour of an always-developing publishing strategy. A big leap of faith for nervous editors, when you’re asking them not to worry about a small initial subscription.
Viking’s Lindsay Terrell is driving the he fast-growing crime author Cara Hunter’s brand, using some similar tactics; using Netgalley, bloggers and Amazon reviewers to gather valuable reaction; as “social listening” tools as much as promotional ones, to gather fuel for the campaign, one reader at a time.
Vintage lead a huge international brand in the form of Jo Nesbo, as Sophie Painter explained. Because the author broke early in the UK, they’ve been in the driving seat, defining the global approach, coordinating activity and timings and making decisions about use of the author’s time. Their brand activities are year-round, and the brand is genuinely international, so their regular newsletter to partner publishers is a vital focus. Sophie and team have also had a strong influence on publishing strategy; they repositioned Nesbo’s Macbeth retelling, based on solid reader insight.
What does all that amount to? Firstly, a hugely reader-focused approach to book marketing. But not through formal market research or paid-for insight work; instead, using reviews, book communities and socmed as social listening devices. The reader data gives marketers the insight and the evidence required to influence position and cover copy. And fast-responding digital work puts marketing teams in more collaborative relation to their sales colleagues.
Marketers often now have their hands on the controls of a publication; monitoring, adjusting, testing and refining. It’s an increasingly technical role, and increasingly central.
Our next Masterclass, in July, will focus on YA marketing, and we’ll have a mix of campaigns from traditionally children’s and adult lists. Our “surgery” session will address the big questions addressing YA marketers and we’ll talk in detail about dilemmas and challenges facing our peers.
Thank you to Katie, Abbie, Lindsay and Sophie for sharing their work so generously and helping us all see what exciting times these are in book marketing.
As always, there was so much to take away from the day, but these ten things in particular stood out to the BMS team…
- Clear positioning of a book is key. While Lullaby was already an international bestseller and prize winner when it was released in the UK, the marketing team knew they needed a way to position it clearly as an upmarket domestic thriller. Pulling the first line out of the book was the perfect way to do this.
- Samplers are not dead! Several presentations talked about sampling in various formats. 50,000 samplers of Lullaby were given away with Elle magazine, and a free digital sampler, listed on Amazon, was a key part of the Hunting Party campaign.
- Proofs are still vital in building up word-of-mouth. 700 proofs were given away for Lullaby, The Hunting Party campaign used around 1,500 and they formed a key part of the strategy for launching Cara Hunter.
- When it comes to digital campaigns, be as agile as possible, testing and learning constantly. Test with small amounts of budget as early as you can so that you know that you’re running the best possible creative and copy when the book is released.
- A free digital sampler released a few months ahead of publication is a great way to test your Facebook messaging. The Hunting Party campaign kicked off four months pre-publication, promoting a free sampler on Amazon. This allowed them to test their creative and copylines while driving people to something free that was an easy sell for consumers to download.
- Twitter advertising is making a come-back. Thanks to their improved targeting, it looks as though it delivers good results within the crime and thriller genre in particular.
- As social media algorithms change, newsletters are becoming increasingly important. Vintage put together a monthly newsletter for their biggest brand author, Jo Nesbo. They have very limited time with him, so plan out a year’s worth of content in advance, so that they can get exclusive material from him. They also have an always-on acquisition plan to get new readers to the list, with a mix of paid-for and owned activity to promote it.
- Regular activity is really important to a newsletter’s engagement – the Nesbo newsletter had a big drop off in terms of engagement when frequency dropped from monthly to every other month.
- Reader reviews have huge power in digital advertising. The digital marketing results for Cara Hunter showed that time and again, reader reviews from Amazon and Netgalley delivered better results than copy featuring traditional media or comparable author reviews.
- Making a big book now is all about the build. You start early and keep pushing it and pushing it. Then when publication comes around, you just keep going. There’s no splashy outdoor to kick off publication and end the marketing activity. If a book is getting traction, you need to be thinking about ways to build on that and reach more readers.
Our venue has been found and the drinks have been ordered – take the night off and come along to our Autumn social for some fun on the South bank!
The evening will kick off with a secret book swap: bring a recent proof of a book you’re excited about, wrapped up to keep it hidden but with a sticker or label on the front hinting at the content and with your name & Twitter handle.
Everyone chooses a package then tracks down the giver to find out more and hopefully meet someone new!
Benugo Loungeside @ the BFI 18th October
6.30pm till late
Drinks (on us) will be served on arrival so get there early.
The social is open to members only and space is limited. Book your place here.
The BMS Masterclass series with Publisher and Consultant James Spackman is back with two events this autumn, offering members a chance to participate in expert discussion and more, with some of the best marketing brains in the industry.
October’s masterclass event focused on groundbreaking debut campaigns, showcasing marketers who have launched first-time writers with originality and flare. For the second session in November, the emphasis will be on ‘author brand’ marketing, featuring discussions with the people behind Jodi Picoult, Harry Potter, Alan Bennett and Joanna Trollope.
Both Masterclasses are, as ever, an in-depth look at what made them successful, key learnings from each, as well as useful takeaways that can be applied to other campaigns.
The sessions are a great opportunity to benefit from fresh insights and inspiration. Anyone part of a BMS member company is eligible to attend.
We keep the size of the masterclasses small so places are limited. Team packages are available.
Commenting on the Autumn themes James Spackman said: “Debut publications are growing in importance all the time. Creating a buzz from a standing start and bringing real momentum to publication, is one of the areas in which a marketing team can add real value for their company.
Meanwhile the challenges of maintaining and developing a lucrative author or series brand, or rescuing a failing one, are no less significant. Both of these masterclasses will get under the hood of exemplary campaigns which made a big business difference, and I can’t wait to hear more about them.”
Thurs 5 October 2017 – DEBUTS
Thurs 23 Nov 2017 – BRANDS
Sessions run from 9.30am-1pm and include a break for refreshments (entry from 9am)
- Fleur Clarke, Senior Marketing Manager at Hodder & Stoughton, will discuss Jodi Picoult’s latest best-seller, Small Great Things, and the clever ways they’ve been able to keep the Picoult brand fresh
- Ian Lamb, Head of Children’s Publicity at Bloomsbury, on the publisher’s reinvention of the megalithic Harry Potter series for its 20th anniversary
- Niamh Murray, Marketing Director of Profile Books, on Alan Bennett’s Keeping On Keeping On, and Bennett’s continued success in the literary market
- Sarah Arratoon, Head of Marketing Fiction at Pan Macmillan, and Emma Bravo, Pan’s Communications Director, will talk to James about the enormously successful marketing campaign for Joanna Trollope’s City of Friends
–> Booking for the Brands session is available here.
Plus our campaign ‘surgery’ session – bring your dilemmas and the panel will help!
The speakers at our Debuts event were:
- Bethan Ferguson, Managing Director of Quercus, spoke about The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney, and the challenge of marketing crisp new thrillers in a competitive market.
- Katie Hall, Head of Marketing at Faber, on the genius guerilla campaign for the release of the best-selling Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter.
- Hannah Gamon, Fiction Marketing Director at HarperCollins, explained the thinking behind their brilliant campaign for The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon.
Nielsen Book offices, 5th floor
Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8TJ
£45 per class, or book x3 spots for £120
- Click here for the Brands session.
Places are limited and only available to BMS members (or colleagues working for a member company). For larger team bookings please contact email@example.com
The Book Marketing Society has created a new series of workshops that will boost skills and increase day-to-day campaign impact for those working in book marketing and promotions.
The sessions are designed to get the maximum out of a half-day with loads of practical tips, insights and examples specifically tailored for book comms.
SEO & Search Marketing with Peter Phillpot
Thursday 28 Sept 2017, 9.30am-1pm, Nielsen Book offices
This course is for digital marketers and sales teams with experience of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and those looking to jumpstart their SEO practice. Learn the latest strategies and tactics used by digital agencies to optimise digital content and increase visibility in Google. From keyword research to competitor analysis, technical considerations to earning links; following the practical tasks included in each section of the course, you’ll take your SEO expertise to the next level.
Full detail and bookings:
Creativity & Social Media with Julia Kingsford
Thursday 13 July 2017, 9.30am-1pm, Nielsen Book offices
Julia Kingsford presents a practical workshop offering real-world creative takeaways that will immediately boost your day to day marketing as well as bigger ideas for long term strategy. Aimed at anyone who wants to get more out of their book marketing and promotion whatever size of company or stage of career, whether promoting books is your full time job or a side hustle.
Sharper Copywriting with Richard Spencer
Thursday 29 June 2017, 9.30am-1pm, Nielsen Book offices
Whether your aim is to create better AIs, snappy web copy or more successful emails, Richard Spencer (A Thousand Monkeys) will send you back to work with a head full of useful tips and techniques to boost sales. In each of the modules, Richard will take examples of successful copy and explain how the techniques could work for publishing. At every step of the way, you’ll get hands-on practice writing using the various techniques.
Bookings & Venue information
All workshops are priced at £65 for BMS members // £120 for non-members
5th floor, Endeavour House
189 Shaftesbury Ave
London WC2H 8JR
BMS comprehensive and intensive all-day BMS Primer workshop for book marketers is back on Wednesday 24 May.
Targeted at those in the early years of their career, as well as those hoping to join the industry or just wanting a refresher. The full day offers an in-depth overview of book marketing, with new insights and the latest thinking around campaigns, available tools and resources.
Featuring a breakout session where participants will get the chance to to create their own marketing campaign working with others across the industry.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Matt Haslum (Consumer Marketing Director, Faber)
- Steve Bohme (Research Director, Nielsen Book Research)
- Katie Roden (Content, publishing and marketing strategy consultant)
- Julia Kingsford (Director, Kingsford Campbell Marketing)
- Jon Hibbit (SEO Analyst, SiteVisibility)
- Richard Spencer (Creative Director, A Thousand Monkeys)
- Lucy Upton (Marketing Director, Hachette Children’s)
- Penny Took (Managing Director, Total Media)
- Suzy Carter-Kent (Customer Success Manager, Adestra)
- Lucy Howkins (Marketing Director, Hodder & Stoughton)
- Tory Lyne-Pirkis (Associate Director, Midas PR)
Sessions will include:
- How does book marketing fit into the 2017 consumer landscape
- How to plan and evaluate a campaign
- Targeting your audience
- Email marketing and segmentation
- Get the most out of working with authors
- How to make the most of your (often non-) advertising budget
- The importance of good SEO, and how it can boost visibility and drive sales
- Writing compelling copy that will stand out
- Social media do’s and don’ts – being creative and getting the basics right
Tickets are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
WHEN: Wednesday 24 May 2017, 9.30am-5.30pm (registration from 9am)
LOCATION Nielsen offices, 66 Porchester Rd, London W2 6ET (map)
COST: BMS members & students £125 / Non-members £199 (includes lunch and end-of-day drinks)
SPECIAL MULTI-BUY OFFER:
Buy one full-priced ticket, get the second and third ticket at half price per each
For example, for BMS members:
3 tickets = 1 ticket @ £125 + 2 tickets @ £62.50 each = total £250 (save £125)
6 tickets = 2x £250 + 2x £62.50 = total £500 (save £250)
or for non-BMS members:
3 tickets = 1x £199 + 2x £99.50 = total £398 (save £199)
Join us at our annual joint event with the Publishers Publicity Circle where we will be asking what is the trick to creating emotive and memorable campaign moments that spark a narrative in the reader’s imagination, long before they open a book.
In a session entitled “The Visual Life of Campaigns“, our assembled panel will take a comprehensive look at the importance of visual language in the digital age, and demonstrate how books are more relevant than ever as ready-made sources of sensorial content. How is the trend for immersion in content and the dominance of imagery being used to engage audiences? And how can we translate this into new ways of bringing more readers to the book?
Chaired by Preena Gadher (Managing Director, Riot Communications), Julia Kingsford (Director, Kingsford Campbell literary agency), Jack Smyth (Designer, Simon & Schuster) and Naomi Bacon (freelance consultant) will bring together a wealth of examples and practical ideas spanning social media and advertising, retailing, visual language, pop-ups and immersive events.
Tuesday 14 March, 14:30 – 15:30
Olympia Room, Grand Hall
Further details for getting to the event on the London Book Fair website.
Note: Entry to this event is free but requires a ticket to LBF to attend
Preena Gadher is MD and co-founder of the award-winning Arts and Culture communications agency Riot Communications. Having started her career in PR at Penguin Books, she set up Riot Communications in 2009. Eight years on, in their home in East London, the agency continues to flourish. Clients include: Arts Council England, Southbank Centre, World Book Day; Moomins; Luna Cinema; Mammoth Screen; The Royal Society; Alice’s Adventures Underground; Penguin Random House; Book Trust and Waterstones. Riot Communications is the most decorated agency in its field.
Naomi Bacon is a freelancer and co-director of a consultancy specialising in Marketing, PR, Social Media, and Creative Strategy. Prior to this, Naomi was Digital Communications Manager at Pan Macmillan, advancing the company’s YouTube strategy and developing their approach to content creation by hiring a YouTuber as their Creative Producer. Aware that discoverability continued to be a major issue in publishing, Naomi also established relationships with brands such as Topshop and ASOS, working with them on 6-month content strategies which enabled cross-promotion.
Julia Kingsford is the co-founder of Kingsford Campbell, a literary agency and marketing and publishing consultancy launched in 2014. She specialises in helping companies, brands and authors connect with consumers and run their strategy in a consumer-centric way. Prior to this she was Marketing Director at Foyles – where she developed her consumer marketing expertise – before helping found the reading for pleasure charity World Book Night and becoming its CEO in 2011. Julia has also worked at Random House, the BBC and Barbican.
Jack Smyth is a designer from Dublin, Ireland who has worked in house and freelance for Little, Brown Book Group, Tower Records, Wagamamma and Cath Kinston amongst others. He currently designs book jackets for Simon & Schuster. He has an MA in Graphic Design from Kingston University where he teaches from time to time.
The BMS Masterclass series with publisher and consultant James Spackman continued this Spring as he interviewed the marketers behind three original and very different children’s campaigns, each hand-picked for their various approaches to children’s and YA marketing.
As ever, the sessions were an in-depth look at what made them successful, the key learnings from each as well as useful takeaways that can be applied to other campaigns.
BMS Masterclasses – which will return in Autumn 2017 – are a great opportunity to gain fresh insights and inspiration. Anyone who is part of a BMS member company is able to attend.
Information about our Masterclasses in October and November is available here.
The speakers and campaigns were:
- Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, talked us through the marketing campaign for the stunningly successful 20th anniversary WBD
- Andrea Bowie, PRH Marketing Officer, on Tom Fletcher’s ‘The Christmasaurus’ and the challenges and opportunities of working with pop star authors and crumpets
- Jenny Fry, Communications Director of Canongate, on their campaign for ‘The Girl Who Saved Christmas’ by Matt Haig, which deftly addressed retailers, parents and teachers
Before the session, James Spackman commented: “Following a superb Masterclass in January on backlist campaigns – insights from which I have been quoting ever since – I’m delighted we’re turning our attention to children’s publishing. These three campaigns were all outstanding and demonstrate the scope and quality of children’s book marketing in the UK. We have much to learn from them.”
The Book Marketing Society’s Masterclass with publisher and consultant James Spackman has returned by popular demand following the success of the first events earlier this year. The first of these new sessions took place on Thursday 13th October in Central London and focused on adult fiction and non-fiction.
The next masterclass will focus on promoting backlist titles (on 26 January), and with a follow-up session focused on children’s marketing campaigns (on 13 April).
James Spackman: ‘Our first Masterclass yielded fascinating insights and we had more of that in our October masterclass with the people behind Lean in 15’s spectacular conversion of social fans into pre-order customers, Belgravia’s groundbreaking, integrated digital product development and promotion, and Everyone Brave is Forgiven’s exceptional trade engagement.’
Jon Slack, BMS Development Manager: ‘We have fine-tuned the format across this new series so that each masterclass has a separate focus on Adult, Backlist and Children’s campaign case studies. There is also be a ‘campaign surgery’ section that offers everyone attending the opportunity to discuss their current campaign challenges within the group, and proved to be alive with ideas and discussion at the October session.’
It’s the ideal opportunity to gain the inside track on bestselling marketing campaigns and pick up insights and tips for your future marketing strategies. Further details on the January and April masterclasses will be made available soon.
Speakers and campaigns for the January masterclass will be announced soon.
Thurs 13 Oct 2016 – ADULT done
Thurs 26 Jan 2017 – BACKLIST
Thurs 13 April 2017 – CHILDREN’S
Each session will run from 9.30-12.30pm and include a break and breakfast refreshments (doors from 9am)
Nielsen Book offices, 5th floor, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8TJ
£40 per class, or book x3 spots for £110
Places are limited and only available to BMS members.
For larger or more complicated team bookings please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
BMS announces the return of this comprehensive and intensive all-day BMS Primer for book marketers. Targeted at those in the early years of their career, as well as those hoping to join the industry or just wanting a refresher. The full day offers an in-depth overview of book marketing, with new insights and the latest thinking around campaigns, available tools and resources.
Featuring a brand new breakout session where participants will get the chance to respond to creative campaign challenges.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Matt Haslum (Consumer Marketing Director, Faber)
- Katie Hall (Consumer Marketing Manager, Faber)
- Lucy Howkins (Marketing Campaigns Director, Atlantic)
- Steve Bohme (Research Director, Nielsen Book Research)
- Ben North (Creative Director, HarperCollins UK)
- Alastair Giles (Director, Agile Marketing)
- Plus speakers from Alchemy Worx, Total Media and more
- How does marketing fit into the publishing landscape
- Planning and evaluating a campaign
- Targeting your audience
- Email marketing and segmentation
- Working with authors
- Making most of your advertising budget
- The importance of good SEO, and how to achieve it
- Thinking creatively and writing great copy
- Identifying and engaging with communities
- Making sense of social media
Tickets are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
- WHEN: Thursday 28 April 2016, 9.30am-5.30pm (registration from 9am)
- LOCATION Faber & Faber, Bloomsbury House, 74 – 77 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DA
- COST: BMS members & students £125 / Non-members £199 (buy 1 get 1 half price offer is available)
- BOOKINGS: http://bit.ly/BMS2016_Primer