Penguin Random House UK is partnering with Waterstones, Gatwick Express and The Reading Agency as it ramps up publicity for the paperback of Go Set a Watchman, publishing tomorrow (16th June) with PRH commercial paperback imprint Arrow.
The campaign, masterminded by senior marketing manager at Cornerstone Celeste Ward-Best, involves a partnership with Waterstones to recreate character Atticus Finch's living room in an "experiential pop-up" on the first floor of Waterstones Piccadilly. The display will include the opportunity to sit in Finch’s rocking chair and listen to the opening chapter of Go Set a Watchman, read by Reese Witherspoon.
Display materials have been provided to key Waterstones shops nationwide, as well as to independent bookshops and reading groups. These include posters and bookmarks and large scale mounted illustrations of Finch’s pocket watch and Jean Louise’s rail ticket. A custom illustrated map of Maycomb by Stuart Hill has also been provided, embedded with quotes and audio extracts, that will run on Waterstones’ blog.
PRH has also entered into a partnership with The Gatwick Express. Between 16th June and 31st July, Gatwick Express customers will be offered an audiobook extract to listen to during their journey and a sample chapter to read. The campaign will feature on advertising posters at Victoria Station and Gatwick, a full splash on the Gatwick Express website and wifi homepage, banners in all booking confirmation emails, and with three Gatwick Express customer emails. Gatwick Express customers will also be able to buy both the audiobook and paperback of the book at discount from Audible and WH Smith Travel respectively.
Its partnership with The Reading Agency will meanwhile see Go Set A Watchman packs sent to libraries, which include a reading guide, to coincide with National Reading Group Day on 18th June.
Advertising has also been rolled out across National Rail, which is using two versions of a Go Set a Watchman advert, while in London airports digital-6 high definition screens will display adverts for the book. A social media advertising campaign, anticipated to reach over 2m people, is underway, too, including a YouTube in-stream advertising campaign using a bespoke trailer.
Harper Lee's "surprise second novel", discovered decades after To Kill a Mockingbird, experienced "exceptional" sales in the UK when it first published in hardback in July 2015, selling over 105,000 copies across print and digital editions on the day of release, according to PRH UK. It was also the fastest selling book in HarperCollins US history. The book's late author, Harper Lee, died aged 89 in February of this year.