Publishers are readying Boxing Day price promotions on digital books following an anticipated surge in tablet sales, with children’s books a particular target.
Many publishers plan to release "digital first" e-books and bundles of e-books to readers over the Christmas period.
Sara Lloyd, digital and communications director at Pan Macmillan, said: “We expect this Christmas that devices will be a particularly popular present for children and teens as they have lowered in price and parents tire of constantly lending their own tablets to their kids. So we have focused particularly on developing plans targeting parents, children and young adults, aiming to get digital versions of Macmillan Children’s Books front and centre when those new devices are unwrapped and powered up for the first time.”
She added: “This Christmas we have also focused some of our marketing efforts on promoting our range of titles for all the family over the season, including a national gifting advertising campaign, paid social media communications plan supporting our gift recommendation web pages and a Facebook initiative targeting women with ideas for Christmas.”
The publisher has launched staggered pricing with low-entry-price-points for YA authors such as Meg Cabot and Jana Oliver and are targeting the 11+ and nine-11 age-range, with Young Sherlock, Enid Blyton and Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Chitty Chitty Bang series.
E-book bundles will be offered on entire trilogies or series.
Digital only titles include Lucy Diamond’s Christmas at the Beach Café, Malcolm Mackay’s Anatomy of a Hit and Peter James’ Short Shockers Volume 2.
Lloyd said: “The pre-Christmas season is obviously a key period for us to strategise our e-book content packages and promotions, anticipating the gifting of devices, especially tablets. We have plenty of experience behind us of what works well at this time of year, and we have a well-honed creative planning process in place for capitalising on the Boxing Day surge.”
Bloomsbury is also targeting children with offers on digital books over the Christmas period. Katie Bond, Bloomsbury’s marketing and publicity director, said: “To support the e-book surge on e-readers and tablets over Christmas we’re doing lots of exciting things at Bloomsbury Children’s Books. We have nearly all our ever-expanding picture book list in a £1.99 or less promotion with Apple, along with a great selection of our kids fiction.”
The publisher is planning to promote Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk through its social media channels after the book was voted the best children’s book of 2013 by Apple. For adult titles, Bloomsbury has dropped the first crime titles in a series to £1.99, including Anne Zouroudi, Thomas Mogford, Malcolm Pryce and Conor Fitzgerald. “For our bestselling fiction titles, we are offering paperback prices in e on hardbacks including Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things, Booker-shortlisted The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and Samantha Shannon’s acclaimed debut The Bone Season,” Bond said.
Clare Harrington, group communications director at Hachette, also said the publisher expected a “surge” on digital book title downloads on Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year. “Our World Atlas of Wine iBooks Author e-book has been performing extremely well and has been nominated for a number of awards,” she said. “We expect a further sales uplift come January when we run a special £9.99 price promotion for 2 weeks.
And to counteract any overindulgence in wine and food, we have our bestselling 5:2 Diet app – it has continued to sell well even outside of the traditional diet period so sales should really surge come the New Year.”
The History Press plans to run promotion from Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve,offering 50% off selected titles and in January it will be offering 70% off a further range. “This will be supported with social media activity, specifically Twitter Facebook and PinInterest,” Tim Davies, m.d said.
Several publishers will also have titles in Amazon’s 12 Day of Christmas e-book promotion, including OneWorld and Arcadia Books. Juliet Maybey, publisher at OneWorld, said: “We focus on e-book promotions immediately after Chirstmas, so will be sending out an email a day through the holidays, starting with an email on Christmas Day promoting a varied discounted e-book selection, for people who have just been given tablets and e-readers.” Meanwhile Karen Sullivan of Arcadia said 17 of the publisher’s titles would be in the Kindle 12 Days of Christmas promotion and the company planned to be “tweeting madly” over the Christmas period to draw attention to them, with authors doing the same.