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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Campaign Spotlight: How to Solve Your Own Murder

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


How to Solve Your Own Murder is a chilling detective story by debut author Kristen Perrin, published on 26 March by Quercus Books. The story starts with 16-year-old Frances Adams, who is told by a fortune teller that she will be murdered. Frances spends the next 60 years collecting evidence and trying to solve a crime that hasn’t happened yet. When she is eventually found murdered in her country estate, it falls to her great-niece Annie to solve the mystery and, by doing so, inherit Frances’ millions.


This cosy mystery has received a lot of attention and was named one of the most anticipated reads of 2024 when it came bursting onto our bookshelves with an amazing marketing campaign.


Social Media


The Quercus marketing team have excelled at creating and maintaining excitement for Perrin’s highly anticipated release. Cover reveals are a great way to boost excitement for an upcoming publication. In a promotional video posted to Twitter, Quercus shared the red and yellow cover for How to Solve Your Own Murder, using the book’s thrilling hook well: “Frances always said she’d be murdered. She was right.” Quercus heavily promoted the availability of How to Solve Your Own Murder on NetGalley, which is always a great way to draw in readers and generate early reviews, which Quercus drew from later in the campaign, spotlighting what readers were already loving about Perrin’s book and driving pre-orders. Allowing readers to access NetGalley copies also encourages user-generated content, spreading a book’s online reach even further. 

 

Across social media platforms, Quercus shared profiles for Perrin’s characters, giving readers an exclusive insight into the characters (or suspects?) surrounding Frances before her murder. On Instagram and TikTok, readers were even treated to a trailer showcasing these characters, along with a voiceover of Frances’s will being read out, with this exclusive extract being sure to drive excitement. On Twitter, readers could follow along with Perrin’s proof tour, which saw her visiting bookshops in Frome, Bristol and Bath to deliver proof copies to booksellers, allowing readers to be involved with the book’s journey to publication. For publication day, Quercus updated their Twitter logo to mirror the red and yellow from the cover of How to Solve Your Own Murder, keeping on theme to celebrate Perrin’s release. 


Events


The marketing campaign for How to Solve Your Own Murder focused more on reaching readers through social media, with very few in-person events being held. However, the events that were scheduled were planned with intent and creativity. 


The biggest event was held on 29 November 2023, exclusive to bloggers. Kristen Perrin was joined by Bobby Palmer (author of Isaac and the Egg) for a live interview about the debut novel. Before the event, Quercus posted a competition on their Instagram account, giving bloggers without an invite a chance to win one of twenty tickets to the special event. 


On arrival, attendees were treated to various goodies and activities, including cupcakes with an edible book cover. A game of top trumps featuring characters from the book, as well as their likes, dislikes, occupations and relation to the deceased, was available to play. Fiona and Jen from ‘Litwitchure’ – London’s first (and currently only) literary tarot cabaret and consultancy – were giving tarot and fortune readings, though we hope they were more positive than Frances’ fortune reading in the book! Kristen Perrin also entertained guests with a reading from the book, sharing a sneak peek into when Frances’ ominous fortune is first revealed, followed by a Q&A session. And, of course, attendees received a signed proof copy of the book before they departed. 


Bookshops


To further support the stellar marketing campaign for How to Solve Your Own Murder, displays for Perrin’s novel have been popping up in both independent and high street bookshops across the UK, Ireland and the US. In-store marketing is an excellent way to draw attention to a new release and pique the interest of prospective readers. 


Most recently, in Waterstones locations across the UK, displays for How to Solve Your Own Murder have been given pride of place. The displays usually include hardback copies alongside posters depicting the novel’s cover art. In Waterstones Trafalgar Square, Perrin’s book is featured on the ‘Fiction at its Best’ table. Strategically displaying the novel alongside popular and critically acclaimed titles enhances its visibility by capturing the attention of readers familiar with the other novels featured on the display table. Furthermore, the prime location of the display – directly by the store’s entrance – is sure to catch customers' eyes and drive sales of How to Solve Your Own Murder. Perrin signed a limited number of copies to be sold exclusively at independent bookshops. Many independent booksellers, including Barnsley Book Vault, display the signed copies prominently within their shops. 

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