Rumours of the book store’s demise have been greatly exaggerated if sales of Lauren Kate’s new book Passion are anything to go by. With one copy selling every 23 seconds, Passion is flying off shelves.
Bookscan reports that more than 16,000 copies have been sold through Australian stores in the first full week of sales alone, making Passion the #1 selling book and proving that teenagers are still buying books in massive numbers. And it is social media and innovative marketing that has propelled fans through the book store doors.
The third book in the Fallen series, Passion is an intensely addictive story of fallen angels and forbidden love. With its biggest readers being teenage girls, the publisher Random House Australia has tapped into social networks to get teenagers into stores – the book trailers for the series have garnered over half a million views on YouTube and the Facebook page has 55,000 fans and counting, more than a lot of major companies. ‘We use Facebook and YouTube to build anticipation, feed information and let fans share their excitement,’ says Sales and Marketing Manager Justin Ractliffe.
The success of the Australian Fallen Books Facebook page has recently been bolstered by the launch of an innovative new app. Designed and developed by Sydney digital agency Webling Interactive in conjunction with the Random House marketing team, the app lets fans immerse themselves in the world of Fallen.
‘Fans can create their own Fallen book video trailer,’ says Ractliffe. ‘They can choose their favourite cover, storyline, soundtrack and most importantly, friends to feature in the video. Although the app is customisable and interactive, the branding is also deeply integrated with the content – so fans are always engaging with and sharing the Fallen brand and at the same time writing themselves and their friends into the narrative.’
Webling Interactive Managing Director Deniz Nalbantoglu adds, ‘The trailers on YouTube were wildly successful, so allowing users to customise their own and share via their social networks was the next logical step. The Fallen series is a match made in heaven – pardon the pun – for social media, given the connected nature of their Gen Z core audience.’
And it’s not just trailers that the fans are creating. ‘Anything we post that is related to Fallen they comment on and share – they have also already created masses of user generated content from illustrations and photographs uploaded to the Facebook page to their own trailers on YouTube using our collateral,’ says Ractliffe.
YouTube is another tool Random House has used. ‘We now have the top views of any book trailer produced by a publisher in Australia. The Fallen trailers account for around 60 per cent of the total views on our YouTube page,’ says Ractliffe. Fallen, the first book in the series, has had over 200,000 views and Passion has organically grown to have over 20,000 views in the space of a few weeks.
With Lauren Kate touring the eastern states of Australia from 30 July to 6 August, Ractliffe expects that the strong sales figures will continue. ‘The fans cannot wait to meet her and we are building the anticipation to a fever pitch.’