Squires: Marketing Literature

Cover of Squires, Marketing Literature

A set of case studies exploring how marketing strategies and activities affect the production and reception of popular novels. Features insightful case studies on American Psycho, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Cloud Atlas, Harry Potter series, His Dark Materials trilogy, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Ghost Road, The God of Small Things, The Information, Trainspotting and White Teeth.

From the book:

“Perhaps the most telling exhibit in the early publishing history of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is its sales presenter. Produced by marketing departments, sales presenters are largely used for selling books to booksellers and other customers (for example librarians and wholesalers, but not individual readers). While their copy must be read with an awareness that the statements made (e.g. ‘massive press, radio and TB coverage’; ‘set to be one of 1994’s bestsellers’) describe ideal, not actual situations, they do give a strong indication of the level at which the company’s marketing for the book is pitched. Sales presenters, moreover, are only produced for a few of the books a company publishes in a given month, and the one for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was a lavish affair – eight sides of full-colour A4. The wording of the first page immediately contests Pitman’s notion that the book was sold only by unprofessionalised reader recommendation, by directing its question ‘Can YOU recommend a really good book?’ at the bookseller. Over the page, the copy then reads, ‘BOOKSELLERS are recommending it’ (plus an endorsement from a bookseller), and ‘WE’RE recommending it’. The copy is an unequivocal declaration of the book’s appeal, and the proposed method of transmission of that appeal.”

Marketing Literature: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain
Palgrave Macmillan
Hardback, paperback, ebook, 2007
Claire Squires is Director of the Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling.



PART I: Marketing literature: Contexts and theory
1 Publishing contexts and market conditions
2 Literature and marketing
3 Genre in the marketplace
PART II: Publishing histories
4 Icons and phenomenons
5 Marketing stories
6 Crossovers
Conclusion: Writing beyond marketing

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