Usborne has launched an extensive social media campaign to promote debut novel A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson, which will be published in March.
Usborne has sent bloggers special proof copies and appointed "hope operatives" to read the book, then leave it in a public place for someone to find. This generated a variety of shareable content, including a photo of a copy of the book in Venice.
The campaign, which has the hashtag of #ABoyCalledHope on Twitter, has seen coverage on social media, YouTube and blogs.
Usborne hopes the campaign will make sure A Boy Called Hope is one of the most talked about debuts of 2014. “A Boy Called Hope is a beautiful book and we wanted to share it with as many people as possible, as early as possible,” said marketing and publicity manager Anna Howorth. “This has created a community of advocates, including booksellers who we know will go on to hand-sell this novel with passion and conviction.”
A Boy Called Hope focuses on 11-year-old Dan Hope whose life turns upside down when his father runs off with the lady from the chip shop. Dan tries to make things right, starting with getting his dad back. However, when his plan goes pear-shaped, it's his Mum's new boyfriend who is there to support him, and Dan begins to realise you don't have to share a surname with someone for them to be part of your family.
The follow-up, The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean on An Armchair, is scheduled for spring 2015.
The social media push is similar to the online campaign Usborne created for L.A. Weatherly’s Angel Trilogy, its bestselling YA series. That campaign involved engaging with fans on twitter on Facebook, offering exclusives and information about events.