Penguin Michael Joseph (PMJ) has revealed the campaign for Marian Keyes’ long-awaited Again, Rachel which revisits one of the author’s most loved characters almost 25 years on.
Published on 17th February, her publishers from PMJ and the Penguin teams in Ireland and across international offices have announced a “landmark campaign” .
PMJ said: “With a week to go, Marian is already dominating the Amazon chart with Again, Rachel riding high on pre-orders and Grown Ups and Rachel’s Holiday back in the chart. All retailers have committed to top-level promotional space including Waterstones which is going all out with eye-catching window decals and display materials, branded security barriers, table displays, FSDUs [free standing display units]branded cushions and blankets to create ‘R&R with Marian’ corners and seating areas, a Rachel Walsh ‘walk of fame’ star on the ground outside selected store entrances to grab attention and a yoga class in Piccadilly on the morning of publication.
“In Ireland, Easons is similarly ambitious with an number of FSDUs across the estate, major in-store theater at O’Connell Street and the only public signing. The indies have their own special edition with sprayed edges and tons of point of sale.”
Publicity and marketing for Again, Rachel kicked off last year in August when the sequel was first announced. “The hugely ambitious event marketing campaign began last summer with a group yoga class at Tower Bridge to announce publication,” PMJ said. “The six-month campaign also supported publication of a 25th celebratory edition of Rachel’s Holiday in December 2021 – which sailed straight back into the Top 10 – and included #MarianMondays and #FirstLookFridays, hosted on the Marian Amazon shop, on social media to engage as many readers as possible with Rachel’s return.”
There is also a major focus across broadcasting. The publisher said: “Launch activity will take in digital media takeovers, television advertising on channels including ITV, E4, Comedy Central and ITVBe as well as catch-up services All4, ITV Hub and Sky, Facebook and Instagram advertising, plus large-scale outdoor sites in London and Manchester. Alongside Alan Yentob’s ‘Imagine’ documentary, which aired on 7th February, and the huge success of Marian’s podcast and BBC Radio 4 series ‘Now You’re Asking’ with Tara Flynn, the UK publicity campaign, led by FMcM, has launched with a stand-out interviews across multiple platforms.”
There will also be interviews in the GuardianITV Lorraine, BBC Radio 4 “Woman’s Hour” with Emma Barnett, BBC Radio 2’s Claudia Winkleman and Channel 4’s “Sunday Brunch”, with reviews across the national newspapers, magazines and further broadcast interviews to come.
This week, Keyes and special guests will be celebrating with an exclusive digital event with the Damian Barr Literary Salon, offering fans early signed copies through Bookshop.org. For every ticket sold, the Reading Agency will offer a free ticket to readers who would otherwise be unable to attend, and free access to libraries across the country. The campaign will continue with key events throughout the year, starting in March with Women of the World Festival chaired by Kit de Waal.
The campaign has also extended internationally. In Ireland top-line media interviews have been confirmed, including the “Late Late Show” on RTE TV, Irish Independent and Irish Times, as well as a huge marketing campaign in both traditional and digital media. “Pre-orders have already surpassed Grown Ups (PMJ), and all retailers have prioritised Again, Rachel through their promotions including bespoke newsletters, stunning pos on display, and an abundance of window displays in many bookshops,” the publisher said. “Internationally, 10 interviews have been secured with the top outlets in Penguin’s Group markets of Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.”
Again, Rachel will also feature next week on the homepage of the International Trade Portal, Penguin Random House’s dedicated trade-facing website for export customers.
There will also be a special edition audiobook read by Keyes and the PRH audio team has co-ordinated extensive activity across a range of podcasts including “How to Fail” and “Table Manners” as well as YouTube adverts.
Rachel’s Holiday was first released in paperback in 1997 and is the story of Rachel Walsh’s spell in rehab in The Cloisters in Dublin.