14 May 2009

Twilight and Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

Aside from the obvious (i.e. thousands of teenage girls whose poor boyfriends will have to live up to some ri-DIC-ulously high expectations) Twilight has been wreaking havoc all over various areas of the world of books, including flooding the YA shelves of any good bookshop with vampire/faerie-tinged romances. Let us mourn the latest victim: marketing. I'm putting it out there: marketing for girls YA titles has gotten L-A-Z-Y. Nowadays, a book comes out and they don't bother promoting the book/author itself, instead they resort to one of two strategies:

1) The Meyer Endorsement
This strategy only works if Stephenie Meyer has in fact read the book in question. It worked for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - the promotional bookmarks for which featured a quote (in the 'Twilight font') from Stephenie Meyer saying how much she loved it. (The actual author's name was only present in teeny writing on the thumbnail of the book jacket). INSTANT BESTSELLER. It looks like the same thing is going to work for Wings by Aprilynne Pike. This book hasn't been released yet, but we were inundated with reading copies (normally you have to bug the reps for proofs) each containing a letter detailing the praise which Stephenie heaped upon the manuscript.

2) The Stylistic Endorsement
This is used for those books which Stephenie hasn't read herself and which often have no connection at all to the Twilight series. The most obvious I've seen is an upcoming series called Poison Study. The promotional material features a glossy black cover with an apple core on it, and the slogan 'After such a feast, what will they devour next?' The books all feature that same 'Twilight font' on a black cover with one central image (normally red). Sound familiar? Probably because it is EVERYWHERE. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which freaked me out so much last month, is another culprit - red flower leaf thing on a black cover.

People: is it so much to ask for a little originality? 
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