Skip to Content

Books Alive

8 September 2003

The success of a recent industry-wide promotional campaign for books in Australia has sparked interest elsewhere in the idea of generic book promotions. Described by the chair Sandra Yates as achieving 'an outstanding result in its first year', the six titles in the Books Alive campaign dominated the bestseller lists during the promotion. The books were carefully chosen to offer a wide range to the book-buyer. The campaign stimulated an increase in total book sales during the period of 23%, considerably higher than the 15% target set for the promotion. Total retail book sales on other titles increased by 13.7%, suggesting that the promotion had also had an encouraging knock-on effect on sales of other books.

A key part of the campaign's success seems to have been the massive publicity generated by the promotion, which was mentioned on Channel 7 and ABC News, as well as the fact that each writer featured on the Today Show on every day of the first week.

In the UK the BBC's Big Read programme has already stimulated great public interest and increased sales of the 100 favourite titles on the initial list. With the major part of the promotion still to come, the considerable success already achieved suggests that books can be promoted generically to a wide audience.