Reading groups help The Help
We had an astonishing 250 reading groups review The Help when Penguin ran the promotion this summer. They turned some of the reading group comments into this lovely poster. And two reading groups like the book so much that they had their pictures taken with the title. Thank you Bakewell and Bury library reading groups!
The Help and reading groups
Almost uniquely, The Help reached No.1 in the New York Times bestseller list a year after it was first published. One factor in its 'slow-burn' triumph was the word of mouth recommendations from reading groups who had enjoyed it. So for its UK launch, Penguin wanted to reach reading groups via libraries nationwide. Penguin are a founding member of The Reading Agency project to bring libraries and publishers together, so they turned to the Reading Partners project for help.
"We wanted reading groups to 'discover' The Help before anybody else did, read and discuss it, and get conversations going," says Penguin marketing director Jane Rose. She and colleagues produced reading guide questions to prompt discussion, along with A3 colour posters for promotional use by libraries. And 500 advance, pre-paperback books were available for reading groups to use.
Read the case study to see how they got on.
Background to The Help
The Help was the American publishing success story of 2009 and remained on best-seller lists well into 2010. The debut novel of writer Kathryn Stockett, The Help, published by Penguin, tells the story of a group of black domestic maids in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, who get together to tell stories about their lives working for upper class Southern white families.