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Campaign Spotlight: Piglet, by Lottie Hazell

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


Piglet is the debut novel by writer and board game designer, Lottie Hazell. Published by Doubleday Books on 25 January 2023, Piglet embarks on a journey of self-discovery and self-reflection in the lead-up to her wedding after an unexpected revelation about her husband-to-be sends her spiralling. With themes of class and toxic relationships, Piglet examines the intersection between femininity and food, and will appeal to fans of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn and Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ Fleabag. 

 

We explore the success of Piglet’s marketing campaign, from social media to events to the enthusiastic uptake from bookshops.


Social media:


The Doubleday marketing team made great use of social media to build excitement for Hazell’s debut. The team marked the arrival of the first proofs in the office on Twitter with a picture of a croquembouche, a key part of the novel as readers will discover! In keeping with the novel’s foodie theme, the first proof packages sent out to Bookstagrammers (book bloggers on Instagram) contained a pink embossed proof copy, as well as ingredients for pasta puttanesca, another dish that plays an integral part in Piglet’s story; sending out proofs is a great way to ensure excitement is built through early reviews and social media buzz. These early reviews are then optimised, with quotes being used in promotional videos, allowing future readers to get a first-hand glimpse into the book; Doubleday kept in line with the food theme yet again, highlighting reviews like “deliciously dark” and “I gobbled it up!”

 

The Doubleday team also kept readers up to date on Hazell’s proof tour on Twitter, which saw her visiting Waterstones Gower Street, Book Bar UK and Mr B’s Emporium to deliver proof copies to booksellers. This is a really effective marketing strategy in that it keeps readers involved with the book’s journey to publication and helps to build excitement as they see it enter the world.


Events


Doubleday had a series of events with different bookshops to celebrate and highlight Piglet around the publication date. They held a big event at Waterstones Trafalgar Square, where author Lottie Hazell talked about the book with award-winning writer Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure, Blue Ticket and Cursed Bread. 


Even though the book is now out, the fun doesn’t stop there, of course. They will have an additional event with Waterstones at Cambridge for pancake day, in theme with the book, which includes a signing. Another bookshop they collaborated with was Mr B’s, a Bath-based shop, named as one of the top ten best bookshops by The Guardian. On the shop’s webpage, guests can purchase books together with their tickets, which is a great way to boost sales prior to the event. 


Piglet is also coming to Daunt Books Hampstead, where the author will be talking to Lara Williams, author of Supper Club and The Odyssey. All the events are very conversational, which fits in perfectly with the marketing that calls the book “relatable” and “book club material.” In addition, it is great that the publicity and marketing teams are working together with other contemporary fiction writers like Mackintosh and Williams, as their social media posts also boost the visibility of the novel.


Booksellers


As we have seen, the marketing team at Doubleday have crafted a dynamic social media campaign and an engaging line-up of in-person events. To complement these elements of the campaign, in-store marketing in the form of bookshop displays has been utilised to great effect. 


Bookshop displays serve as crucial components in a successful marketing campaign. A well-designed display can both capture the attention of potential readers and allow a new release to stand out from the vast sea of other titles. The marketing team for Piglet certainly understands the importance of in-store marketing, with a myriad of striking displays appearing in bookshops across the country. 


The majority of these displays take inspiration from the novel's baby pink cover design as well as its overarching themes. For example, the displays in numerous Waterstones locations include hardback copies of the novel and pink posters, alongside fine-china plates topped with delectable pastries. These thoughtfully curated displays not only spotlight Piglet but also add some visual interest to the bookshop. Each display prominently features copies of the novel, allowing customers to easily pick up a copy of this much-anticipated release.

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