S&S UK unveils biggest ever campaign for Philippa Gregory

S&S UK unveils biggest ever campaign for Philippa Gregory

Simon & Schuster UK is launching its biggest ever campaign for Philippa Gregory for her new novel, Tidelands, which is published next month, with a focus on pre-orders through videos, “statement” proofs and a record number of bespoke point of sale (POS) kits.

Tidelands, the first book in the new Fairmile series from the historical novelist, is set in 1648, and “represents something of a departure as she moves away from the royal court and focuses on the life of a humble everywoman Alinor,” the publisher said.

S&S UK has chosen to focus on pre-order strategy through “high quality video content and statement proofs to help introduce the new series and broaden her market”. The publisher sent out 150 limited edition hardback proofs to key people across the trade and media featuring a bespoke coin and the video demonstrating how the historical-style coin slots into the front cover, has now been watched 25,000 times online, according to the publisher.

S&S UK also created a video filmed in conjunction with the London Library, with Gregory discussing feminism and the role of women historically which has now been watched more than 94,000 times. Additionally there is an animation, with voiceover from the author using historical maps of the book’s various locations to set the scene. There has also been extensive social media animation across Facebook and Instagram.

The publisher has also created the largest number of POS kits it has ever produced for UK and international use, featuring items such as bookmarks, posters, single copy holders, with the kits individually tailored to different booksellers. There will be a motion screen advert at Waterloo train station on publication day (20th August). There will also be window displays at various stores including Foyles in Waterloo train station. Across the country, a run of 250 National Rail adverts are also planned. There will also be a national tour for the week of publication and S&S UK said the campaign will run into December, accompanied by a Christmas gifting campaign.

The new direction and four-book series from the multi-million pound novelist was announced in 2017 and will include three works of fiction and one of non-fiction. The Fairmile Series will depart from fictionalising the Tudor and Plantagenet courts to tell a “richly imagined, multi-generational story spanning three centuries and continents, with one family at its heart”. The series will cover 300 years of history, following the family through the ages as they rise from local tenant farmers in the south of England to travel the world and become dynamic entrepreneurs.

Polly Osborn, marketing and publicity director at S&S UK, said: "Launching a new Philippa Gregory is a real treat from a marketing and publicity perspective, but even more so when introducing a new series and an unforgettable central character in Alinor. The campaign strategy has been informed by in-depth audience analysis and will be continually optimised as we work with the retailers to drive sales from publication all the way to Christmas."