Winner: Tan France Live: Naturally Tan, Penguin Random House/Penguin Live
Tan France, known for being part of the "fab five" on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, wrote a memoir, Naturally Tan. His publisher wanted to launch him as a standalone figure by creating a unique, inspiring event at the Hackney Empire in London, which showcased his story as an individual and as an important and relevant voice in today’s society.
BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Greg James was the chair for the evening, ensuring the event appealed to a younger audience. The stage had a TV-set feel with brown leather chairs and a small coffee table. There was also a giant logo for publisher Penguin on one side and a giant 3-D cut-out of Tan’s book on the other – all of which made it photogenic for those fans who wanted to post images on Instagram.
Importantly, accessible ticket prices were available to ensure young, diverse individuals and groups did not feel alienated and could afford to attend. The publisher also deftly overcame a minor setback when France had a filming commitment and the event, for which some tickets had already been sold, had to be rescheduled.
Penguin Random House had only a £500 marketing budget but was able to use its social-media channels to drive awareness. James, meanwhile, also posted on his social-media accounts.
In addition, there was an exclusive book signing for 250 fans, at which1,250 copies of the book were sold. This helped to propel Naturally Tan from outside the top 50 to number six in The Sunday Times’ bestseller list. The evening made a profit of more than £5,800 – with half the money going to the author – and video content was used after the event to continue to generate further interest.
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