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Campaign Spotlight: A Tempest of Tea

By Amy Greensmith, Emily Lavin, Leah Murphy, Georgia Rees, Annamária Rátki


One of 2024’s hotly anticipated young adult and fantasy books, A Tempest of Tea, was published on 22 February after a vigorous marketing campaign. From Hafsah Faizal, who also wrote We Hunt the Flame, A Tempest of Tea is an intoxicating mashup of dark fantasy and crime as a group of outcasts conducts a heist to save a tearoom which is being used as a front for a community of blood thirsty vampires. With bookstores keenly promoting it and an exciting events tour, as well as Hafsah Faizal’s own strong involvement with the social media campaign, A Tempest of Tea is set to be one of the biggest publications of the year. 


TikTok


Hafsah Faizal has a strong following of 108,000 on TikTok, with a total of 2.2 million likes on her content. She started her account in 2020 and has been actively posting about being a fantasy writer and her books since then.  For the past year, her content focuses mainly on her latest book, A Tempest of Tea, sharing the journey of publication and hyping up the book. In her videos, Hafsah has been describing the book as “Peaky Blinders meets a dash of King Arthur with vampires and a heist and tea,” hooking many potential readers. 

In recent years it has become an unofficial requirement for fantasy authors to have a social media presence, and Faizal has done a great job of producing engaging content that keep the book on the FYP (for you page). However, it’s not just the author herself talking about the book on TikTok. Many BookTok creators are sharing the novel, comparing it to Six of Crows  “but with vampires.”


Hafsah’s biggest supporter, is her husband, who has a TikTok account of his own. He has recently gone viral for making a writing nook for her, and he uses his content to promote the book by making funny and adorable videos about it.  All the hype on BookTok has earned the book a place on Waterstones “BookTok Reads” feature and tables across the UK.  


Events


The Pan Macmillan marketing team put on an immersive event at Bird and Blend on Portobello Road to celebrate the launch of A Tempest of Tea.  At the event, fans were treated to a discussion of the novel from Faizal herself. 

An interesting way that marketing teams are levelling up book events, is by playing into the themes of the book, and this event did just that. Guests were able to learn about and sample the teas brewed at Bird and Blend, before having the chance to blend their own teas, one of which was inspired by the book! Pan Macmillan created a truly memorable experience, providing keepsakes in the form of a signed exclusive copy of A Tempest of Tea and other goodies complete with a handwritten note from Faizal. 

Waterstones Bath are also set to host an event dedicated to Faizal’s latest release, spotlighting the book for their March YA Book Club, with book lovers promised tea and snacks while they discuss the novel. An event like this is a great way to encourage readers of all ages to spread their enthusiasm for A Tempest of Tea.


Booksellers


To accompany the book tour and author events, bookshops – both in America and the UK – have been making the book’s presence known. The displays in American bookstores feature signed hardback copies, whilst Waterstones in the UK are offering an exclusive sprayed edges edition. 

Main Street Books in North Carolina, sign-posted their display with a large A3 poster of the captivating cover presiding over a table display. The Barnes and Noble bookshop in Maple Grove, Minnesota also created a dedicated book table, with a sign in the middle promoting the upcoming author event. 

In the UK, Waterstones stores have put A Tempest of Tea front and centre in their stores, creating an understated window display. Copies of the book are accompanied by sets of China teacups – some having “spilled” over the top. The display is also decorated with “tea stains,” adoring reviews and illustrations from the book itself. 


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