Publishers are planning to up their marketing campaigns over the crucial festive period, including sending out newsletters on Christmas Day to reach new digital readers who received an e-reader as a gift.
Bloomsbury will be sending out an e-book newsletter on Christmas Day highlighting individual titles, following on from its online advent calendar, which offers a different title at a 30% discount each day through Bloomsbury's own site.
Dorling Kindersley will also be sending out newsletters during the festive season, supporting them with social media activity. The newsletters will include a range of content, from game apps to animated e-books. Marketing and PR director Hermione Ireland said: "That's important, because we think that during December consumers want to be entertained—as well as informed—about gifts."
Hachette digital head George Walkley said of the new busy season: "It's an interesting change. A lot of our colleagues are saying Christmas is getting later and later, and for us Christmas starts on Christmas morning, with people unwrapping their shiny new devices." He cited new content coming from Hachette in the build-up to Christmas, including the first e-book editions of Robert Muchamore's Cherub series.
Hodder non-fiction head of marketing Vickie Boff said sending out marketing on Christmas Day was "tricky [both] timing wise and with the resource issue", but said social media promotion of Chris Ryan's Extreme series would begin on Boxing Day, and continuing as people begin to go back to work. She added: "People are online a lot more on Christmas Day, and we need to think about how to handle that period a lot more as publishers."
At Random House Hannah Telfer, director, digital marketing and new product development, said they had campaigns planned for "all ages and tastes, and over the whole festive period we are combining direct-to-consumer marketing with traditional campaigns and retailer promotions to make sure that we grab people's attention from the moment the wrapping paper is ripped off their must-have new device". She said the company had a "really special Christmas promotion planned—but for now we’re keeping that under wraps as we don’t want to spoil the surprise”.
Simon & Schuster digital sales and marketing manager Ally Glynn said they are also planning newsletters alongside "a big social media push from Christmas Day onwards", as well as finalising promotions slots.
She added: "On Christmas Day it's likely to be me with a turkey dinner on my lap and my iPad in the other hand, manically Facebooking."
E-bookseller Kobo is also expecting a "huge" post-Christmas sales surge, following its partnership deal with W H Smith. Lindsey Mooney, Kobo's vendor manager UK, said: "We find that new customers like to experiment with cheaper purchases initially, so we're focusing on a number of publisher-driven price promotions. This will include an extensive list of big-name authors with marked down titles coming from all of the big six publishers as well as a number of smaller publishers.
"We'll also be highlighting our best of 2011 list as a way of introducing new customers to our most popular e-books from the last year for those looking to fill their libraries."