Campaign Spotlight: Girl, Goddess, Queen by Bea Fitzgerald
By Amy Greensmith, Danielle Hernandez, Emily Lavin and Georgia Rees
In this issue, we will be exploring the marketing campaign that’s got everybody talking about Girl, Goddess, Queen from the superb social media campaign to Fitzgerald’s jam-packed book tour. The marketing team for Girl, Goddess, Queen have ticked all the boxes when it comes to thoughtfully crafting a successful book tour.
Described by Penguin as a “feminist, fierce and fresh YA fantasy” Bea Fitzgerald’s debut novel, Girl, Goddess, Queen has taken social media by storm with a huge marketing campaign, making it a lead title for Penguin this summer. The buzz behind Fitzgerald won’t stop here, as we can expect two more titles from her partnership with Penguin which was won in a competitive five-way auction.
Girl, Goddess, Queen is a witty romcom retelling of the well-known story of Hades and Persephone, which repositions Persephone as a feisty feminist heroine with agency over her own narrative. In a very saturated Greek retellings market, Girl, Goddess, Queen made its mark months prior to publication on 20 July 2023, no doubt helped by Fitzgerald’s own experience within the publishing industry and keen eye for social media marketing with more than 100,000 followers on TikTok.
A launch event took place 21 July at Maldon Books in Essex. This exciting event saw Bea Fitzgerald in conversation with Faith Young. Between them, this dynamic duo have a TikTok following of over 200,000, so it is no surprise that their conversation created buzz for the novel on BookTok. Maldon Books is Fitzgerald’s local bookshop, meaning the launch had a uniquely personal touch. The publication day hype for Girl, Goddess, Queen didn’t stop there; a second launch event was held at Mr Fogg's House of Botanicals, where guests were encouraged to dress in pink in honour of the novel’s striking cover design.
The jam-packed book tour for Girl, Goddess, Queen will see Fitzgerald travel to Waterstones locations across England. Given Waterstones’ status as the largest chain of bookstores in the UK, this is a surefire way to ensure that Girl, Goddess, Queen reaches a wide audience. As the debut author traverses the country, she will speak to heavy hitting authors in the myth retelling subgenre. At the Waterstones St. Neots event, Fitzgerald will sit down with Katharine Corr and Sarah Underwood to discuss and celebrate Greek mythology in young adult fiction.
Collaborating with other YA and fantasy authors adds variety and interest to the tour. What's more, it creates a sense of community and encourages fans of these other authors to discover Fitzgerald’s writing. The book signing at the end of each event provides an opportunity for readers to personally connect with the author, create lasting memories and get excited about discovering the epic story within the book’s pages.
There are lots of different ways a marketing team can use social media marketing to create buzz around a new release. One of the first to consider is organic and paid content across their own channels. Penguin’s Instagram account @penguinplatform has become a hub for young readers with over 32,000 followers, making it the perfect place to start when getting the word out about their latest YA fantasy: Girl, Goddess, Queen.
Not only have the team created scroll-stopping content teasing the book’s premise, but Penguin also hosted a giveaway competition in December 2022. Limited edition early copies of Girl, Goddess, Queen were gifted to two lucky readers, randomly selected from the hundreds of people who commented on the post with the best book they’ve read that year. 225 overwhelmingly positive comments from readers exclaiming that they “can’t wait for this book!” and engaging in conversations about their favourite reads make this one of the accounts most popular posts driving traffic and attention to the new release.
Known for her funny videos laying popular TikTok audios over storylines from Greek mythology on her account @chaosonolympus, Bea Fitzgerald also utilised their huge social media following to rally readers around her debut novel. Posts that take viewers behind the scenes on publication day, celebrate positive reviews from other authors, or announce the Waterstones hot pink special edition with sprayed edges, have been regularly appearing on her feed in the build-up to publication day, giving readers an insight into the charismatic and witty author behind the creation of this modern re-telling.
And of course, other influencers are always a crucial part of a digital marketing campaign. When it comes to sending advanced reader copies, getting the right books into the right hands is essential. While the largest influencers on Bookstagram and BookTok might be a tempting draw, making advanced copies available to a wide variety of accounts from micro-influencers to larger channels seems to have really worked for this release. Accounts that are really engaged in a particular genre and have cultivated a niche following can often bring quality engagement and spark lively discussion, as the YA fantasy accounts have clearly done for this new BookTok sensation.