Campaign Spotlight: Good Material by Dolly Alderton
By Leah Murphy, Danielle Hernandez, Georgia Rees, Amy Greensmith and Emily Lavin
From award-winning author, screenwriter and journalist Dolly Alderton, comes the highly anticipated new novel, Good Material, which was published on 9 November. Her previous books have faced major success, with Everything I Know About Love being made into a series for BBC and Dear Dolly becoming a Sunday Times bestseller. Alderton’s wise, witty and insightful observations have firmly cemented her in the contemporary literature scene and fans are sure to be desperate to get their hands on her latest – and maybe even treat themselves to the Waterstones signed edition!
Following the fractured relationship between Andy and Jen, Good Material is set to take readers on an emotional journey analysing love, relationships and heartbreak while Andy tries to figure out why Jen doesn’t love him anymore.
In this issue, we explore how the Fig Tree marketing team at Penguin General has built up excitement for Alderton’s new novel, from exclusive extracts and proofs to an extensive book tour.
Dolly Alderton's online presence is undeniably impressive, boasting a dedicated following of over 370,000 on Instagram. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that social media serves as a cornerstone in the marketing campaign for Good Material.
Right from the outset of this campaign, Alderton has been actively engaging with her followers on social media, keeping them both excited and well-informed about her upcoming release. Earlier this year, Alderton unveiled the exciting news that Good Material would grace bookshelves in November 2023.
Ensuring that excitement for her new release remained high, Alderton later revealed the novel’s striking cover on Instagram, accompanied by glowing endorsements from celebrities like Lena Dunham and Richard E. Grant. As a result, the comment section became a hub of excitement, with readers eagerly awaiting the book's release. The author has also made sure to keep her online fans informed about all things related to her book tour.
Throughout this campaign, Alderton has taken every opportunity to connect with readers online and leverage her following to promote Good Material. By doing so, Alderton has ensured consistent buzz for her next release and contributed to a well-rounded marketing campaign.
The marketing team at Fig Tree has created a collection of point-of-sale materials, allowing booksellers to create an eye-catching display. Not only do booksellers get a chance to be creative, but it is a great way to draw readers to new books. Materials that were available to request included postcards, featuring information about the main characters, posters, tote bags (because who doesn’t have enough tote bags!), and colourful 3D boxes displaying the book title and author.
A lot of highly anticipated books often receive a special edition print run, usually featuring an alternative cover or sprayed edges. With Good Material, bookshops (both independent and chain stores) have been offering signed editions. With the indie bookshops, including The Portobello Bookshop and Books Cumbria, a limited number of signed copies are available, whilst bigger chain stores, such as Waterstones, can offer a larger quantity.
Dolly kicked off her UK theatre tour the first week of November, just in time for publication. “An Audience with Dolly Alderton,” in partnership with Fane Productions, sees Dolly visiting six locations across the UK and Ireland. She was joined on stage by several special guests to celebrate the release of Good Material, equipped with her insight on love, heartbreak and friendship, and anecdotes from her Dear Dolly readers. With an initial four dates in London, Manchester, Exeter and Edinburgh, demand was so high that further dates were added in Dublin and Belfast. With Dolly’s first scheduled appearance at the Barbican Centre selling out in less than an hour, another two dates were added, with the event available to stream via Fane Online for those who missed out.
During November, Dolly also visited local bookshops for a mix of signings and conversations. Both Brighton Waterstones and Max Minerva’s Marvellous Books experienced such high demand for tickets that they both had to source larger venues ahead of the events. The event at Max Minerva’s was held at the St George’s concert hall in Bristol, where Dolly was in conversation with mystery thriller writer Emily Koch, author of books including Keep Him Close, and What July Knew. The shop worked in partnership with local wine bar, Kask, who provided the drinks for the evening.