Viking is giving away 1,000 free copies of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club to NHS workers to celebrate its release in paperback and thank them for their "extraordinary" work during the pandemic.
The NHS giveaway, which was Osman's idea, is a first for Viking and Penguin General. The publisher said it was "delighted" to make it happen.
"Richard thanks NHS workers beautifully in his acknowledgements and the book is set in a retirement village, so the care home community has been much in his thoughts," a spokesperson said.
Osman, who was crowned Author of the Year at the British Book Awards this week, added: “Nothing can really express the gratitude and respect we all feel for the job the NHS has done over the past year, and continues to do. But this is my small gesture of thanks. I hope you can put your feet up, have a nice cup of tea and enjoy the book. Thank you from us all.”
The Thursday Murder Club has been a phenomenon, selling 651,388 UK print copies, excluding sales in weeks Nielsen BookScan was unable to report sales data due to lockdowns.
Its paperback edition was released this week and the campaign has seen Osman take part in a live TV advert on "Good Morning Britain". He will also be appearing on "This Morning" on 17th May. He has been interviewed in Good Housekeeping and the Observer, and will be appearing in an upcoming piece on BBC Radio 4’s "Fortunately with Fi & Jane" as well as interviews on BBC Radio 2, Times Radio, ITV's "Loose Women", and the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast. He will also take part in events with Bath Festival, as well as appearing at Hay Festival and in events with with producer FANE.
Viking has embarked on a year-long, high-spend social advertising campaign across Facebook and Instagram to support the paperback of The Thursday Murder Club and the hardback of Osman's forthcoming sequel, with high bursts of spend on strategic campaign moments such as Father’s Day, paperback publication and summer reading. Bookmarks, posters, a "standee" and shelf talkers are being used at point of sale in bookshops.
Paperback copies have also been sent to blogger champions to read and review, as well as marketing colleagues across the industry in an effort to cement Osman as a key brand.
NHS workers can claim their copy of the book by entering their details in an online form. They will need their NHS email address to sign up by the deadline of 31st May. No purchase is necessary. The books will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis, and the first 1,000 to sign up will receive a follow-up email with a form to collect their postal address for distribution.
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