Avant Card book campaigns

October 20th, 2016 by Avant Card

Avant Card’s first book campaign was in 1992, promoting Aaron Maree’s A Slice of Heaven. In the ensuing 24 years, we have handled over 162 book, publishing house and bookstore campaigns.
Our current publishing house clients include Allen & Unwin, Penguin Random House, Bloomsbury Publishing, Harpercollins Publishers, Bonnier Publishing and Hachette. Bookstore clients include Books Kinokuniya and Readings Books and Music. The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne’s hub for books, writing and ideas, is also a client.

Avant Card managing director and founder Pat Mackle reflects on what makes a successful book campaign.

“Definitely the chapter samplers are popular, what a great interactive way of people interacting with the brand, by reading the first chapter, getting hooked to continue the story and looking for the book! Also the postcard format allows the same dimensions for the front of a book cover, it’s great recognition when you walk into a book shop and see the cover matching the postcard.”

A chapter sampler campaign that has just hit our display stands is the striking Ranger’s Apprentice – The Battle of Hackham Heath sneak peek. Suzannah Katris from Penguin Random House provides behind-the-scenes insight.

“As this campaign was for the latest book in an already established series, we really wanted to evoke a feeling of nostalgia with the already established fan base. We did this by having the original book cover of the series on one side of the postcard to grab the attention of fans – make them intrigued as to why the first book cover was being advertised. On the other side we had the latest book cover – this sparks interest in new readers, too. Including a chapter teaser on the postcard was important for us as we wanted to hook in readers, give them a small taste of what’s to come and hopefully entice them to grab a copy and see for themselves what happens in the latest Ranger’s Apprentice book.”

“We used Avant Card for this particular campaign because of the incredible reach they have with consumers. The diverse range of venues and consumer groups that Avant Card targets tied-in perfectly with our Ranger’s Apprentice postcard campaign. The production quality of the postcards were absolutely beautiful and really captured the feeling we wanted for this campaign, and the Avant Card service was exceptional.” 

NSW and WA Campaign Manager Laura Baker is the Avant Card books and publishing go-to. “I work with a range of publishing clients, from book stores such as Books Kinokuinya, to publishers such as Penguin Random House, to organisations such as The Australian Publishers Association and Copyright Agency. Each client is different and I love hearing about so many sides of the publishing industry.” 

 “I am a huge reader, which I get from my Dad. I’ve just finished reading Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes and am on the look for my next crime/thriller novel!”

Books Kinokuniya has been an Avant Card client since 2010. Marketing Manager Valerie Wong shares why they choose to work with us. “It’s a great way to reach our key markets in café, arts & culture and educational venues.” Their campaigns are also promoted via “social media, eDMs, and in store point of sale display solutions. Our budgets aren’t very big, so we choose our paid advertising campaigns carefully!” The latest Books Kinokuniya campaign in our display stands were their Art Month: Art Books Live Here postcard (designed by Mira Yuna) and the Kino Eats postcard. “Kino Eats was our campaign promoting cookbooks and Art Month promoted Art & Design books. We had sales with 20% off those respective categories during October and September. Avant Card offered us a way to reach potential new customers in the right demographics and introduce them to Books Kinokuniya through the offer of our sales and events.”   

Has the appetite for and sale of books been affected by the ‘digital age’? Valerie Wong believes so. Sure, as has anything else in our world. There’s a lot more competition out there in terms of entertainment, media and lifestyle consumption. While the advent of the digital age must and has affected the sale of books, there still is a definite appetite for books – this appetite is an evolving one, but it’s still there.” Laura Baker’s personal opinion supports this. “I’ll always continue to buy physical books and have a book case in my apartment. My dream house would have a library like the one from Beauty & The Beast.” 

Avant Card is proud to work with nearly every major Australian arts and culture organization. On whether books fall under the arts and culture umbrella, Pat Mackle says, “Yes definitely. Books enable us to enhance and enrich our lives by providing information about a range of interesting topics. Much like music, there is never ending inspiration for books.” Valerie Wong goes further. Books can be considered cultural products as they reflect the world that we live in and the way we view, interpret as well as intellectually and emotionally process that world. The art is the mode of expression through which this happens.” And campaign manager Laura Baker sums it up simply. “To me, books are a work of art. They inspire, they are treasured, they are imaginative and creative.” 

Read our latest book campaign case study 


“Avant Card’s unrivalled network of national establishments meant that we could target the right audience for our photographic books, Westography and Men and their Sheds, while offering a brilliant opportunity to build our authors’ brands as well as our own.” Kirstin Corcoran, Bonnier Publishing.

For your chance to WIN a copy of Westography OR Men and their Sheds from Bonnier Publishing, email media@avantcard.com.au with your full name and address and why you’d love to receive one of these particular books.