Ever since Hearst Corp. sold William Morrow to News Corp. in 1999, its book publishing activities have focused on partnering with different houses to publish books based on content from its magazines. That strategy will change January 2 when Hearst releases 7 Years Younger: The Revolutionary 7-Week Anti-Aging Plan under the new 7YY/Hearst Magazines imprint. Now in a third printing with 72,000 copies before publication, the book is the cornerstone of a new franchise devoted to helping baby boomers and others look and feel younger.
The 7YY program originated when Good Housekeeping, responding to the hundreds of anti-aging creams and lotions being introduced, began a 7 Years Younger column in 2010. The column proved so popular that other Hearst magazines began carrying their own 7 Years Younger page, and, according to Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief Rosemary Ellis, it quickly became apparent that the company had an asset that could be developed into a variety of different formats. While the book, priced at $25.99, carries the 7YY brand, it features all new content developed at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. The institute created what amounts to a best practices guide in seven areas: skin care, cosmetics, hair care, nutrition and diet, exercise, and emotional health.
To promote the book, Hearst is using its subscriber database to directly market the title through a variety of online and digital initiatives, the first time it has backed a book with a direct digital sales approach. Jacqueline Deval, v-p, publisher, Hearst Books (she oversaw the development of the book as well as the launch of the direct marketing sales channel), said both the creation of 7 Years Younger and the marketing program have been “deeply collaborative efforts” involving various Hearst properties. January and February issues of Good Housekeeping will feature anti-aging tips from the book, and advice from the book will also appear in Woman’s Day, Redbook, and Country Living with a footer pointing to the availability of the book. Editors’ letters will also appear in the February edition of Good Housekeeping and the January Redbook. Ads are also set for those magazines as well as for digital editions of those publications that will tout the availability of 7 Years Younger as an e-book, which will be available on all platforms for $14.99.
The 7yearsyounger.com Web site was launched November 15; in addition to content from the book, it includes a sales splash page with links to about 50 retailers that sell the print book and e-book. Minisites are also being created on the sites of Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Redbook, and Country Living that refer to the 7YY splash page.
The social media component includes promoting the book on the already established 7YY Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest sites. To get bloggers and others interested in the project, Hearst is also giving away books and providing them with anti-aging content.
Five or six additional books are planned for the 7YY imprint, which will be distributed by the Hachette Book Group. The next two books, The 7 Years Younger Diet along with a companion 7 Years Younger Diet Workbook, are set for fall 2013. Mark Gompertz, who joined Hearst as creative director, content extensions, for Hearst Magazines after leaving Simon & Schuster, is overseeing the trade launch for the book, and he and Deval are working on the marketing strategy for the additional titles. Those marketing plans will likely include a direct channel since, Deval said, Hearst sees the direct channel “as an important growing component of our business sales mix, complementing trade sales, digital sales, and sales to specialty markets.”
As for what other 7 Years Younger products may be forthcoming, Hearst officials said they are in discussions with a number of partners but have nothing to announce at the moment.