Hachette backs bookshops' online sales of Rowling's Ickabog

Hachette backs bookshops' online sales of Rowling's Ickabog

Hachette Children's Books has said the publisher will be "pivoting" promotional plans for J K Rowling's The Ickabog to support closed bookshops in light of the publication's release date on 10th November.

A spokesperson said: "This is a global publication date and we will be working with all our UK and international retailer partners to maximise their sales of this title in the lead up to Christmas and beyond.

"We have an extensive print and digital campaign planned for The Ickabog, which is set to create mass awareness and sales of the book. We will of course pivot our promotional plans to support those retailers who have had to close shops, to drive their online orders and we will work with them on activities to celebrate The Ickabog, in store, when they are able to open to the public again."

A funny fairytale of a fearsome monster, the story was originally written by Rowling as a bedtime story for her own children. Royalties from the book are going to the Volant Charitable Trust, supporting vulnerable groups affected by Covid-19.

The UK edition of the book is slated for release in hardback and e-book in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India. The English language audio edition will be available exclusively from Audible with international editions to follow. 

Commenting more broadly on Hachette UK's approach in the face of a second lockdown, Rob Manser, the company's group sales director, said: "Our distribution centre has had a rush of orders since the government’s announcement of the latest lockdown. We’ve been busy delivering stock to booksellers who’ve seen heavy trading this week and want to maximise sales before the lockdown. We’re also replenishing all of our titles, particularly Christmas books, which have been selling incredibly well. 

“We never really returned to ‘normal’ after the first lockdown, so a second lockdown will simply be a continuation of the special measures we started taking in the spring, which have now become business as usual. We haven’t moved any embargoes yet, and both our events and the way we stay in touch with our retail partners have already gone digital.”

Penguin General is also sticking to its pre-planned global release date for A Promised Land (Viking) by former US president Barack Obama, the campaign for which is set to be its "biggest ever" including prime TV advertising. In contrast HarperCollins told booksellers they can sell the new David Walliams title Code Name Bananas early (from 2nd November), three days ahead of its official publication date, in view of the new restrictions.