Can Unified Global Book Marketing Campaigns Work?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

When considering the world as one big market, e-books change the game — but by how much?

By Edward Nawotka

hand in hand around the world

Today’s feature story by Ginger Clark argues against the idea of publishing a book in exactly the same way and with the same covers, in particular, in every market. As publishers become more global and e-books have broken down barriers to distribution, the temptation is for publishers to snap up World Rights whenever possible and then orchestrate global marketing campaigns — often using the same covers and promotion materials across the world. There is a perception that this type of campaign is efficient and allows the publisher to “control the message” better.

It’s a concept can work in principle, but perhaps not in practice. Anyone who has spent time working in advertising, for example, knows that global brands tailor their messages to wildly different individual markets (Guinness, for example, is popular in both Ireland and Nigeria and is marketed very differently in each country). Why should it be different for books?

Well, it isn’t. So long as you’re talking about print. When it comes to e-books, covers matter far less than they do in print. It’s the “discovery tools” that become paramount, whether that’s getting the right distribution, building buzz via social networks or even having the right name. Still, there is a reason why even titles change in different markets. After all, there’s a reason why Marvel decided to rename the movie Captain America — which comes out next month — to The First Avenger in many countries across the globe…

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.