NEWS20 May 2010

Research book club to help launch Faber & Faber’s big summer hope

New business UK

UK— Youth research agency The Lounge Group has been picked to work with publisher Faber & Faber on research to inform the launch strategy of one of its major summer releases, the novel Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James.

The qualitative project will take the form of a virtual book club, hosted on Facebook, and involving 30 women aged between 15 and 34. Each has been given a copy of the book to read in the space of a month, after which they will take part in discussions and debates about the novel over a five-day period.

As well as gauging reactions of this target audience, Faber & Faber will also be able to use the club to test-drive its communications strategy and campaign ideas ahead of the book’s release in July.

Joanna Ellis, the publisher’s marketing director, described the research as “a pilot project” – suggesting that, if successful, the approach may be used to help launch future titles.

Beautiful Malice has become something of a publishing sensation. After the manuscript was picked up by Allen & Unwin in Australia and Faber & Faber in the UK, it sparked a bidding war in the US and the Wall Street Journal ran an article asking whether author James was set to become “the next JK Rowling”.