Cara Putman didn’t plan on her new book, Shadowed by Grace: A Story of Monuments Men (B&H Publishing, Jan.), sharing Amazon and Twitter space with George Clooney, but she and her publisher aren’t saying no.
Putman’s book came out about a month before The Monuments Men, the film starring Clooney and an all-star ensemble cast. The book and film focus on the Monuments Men of World War II, whose job was to save art that had been appropriated by the Nazis. Putman adds romance to her historically accurate tale.
Said Dave Schroeder, director of communications for B&H, “We focused on promoting the content of the book in January, and as the movie released, we really worked to tie them together.” B&H is doing a blogger outreach campaign, offering bloggers free tickets to see the film if they read and review Shadowed by Grace. They’re also using social media such as Twitter and Pinterest to tap into interest raised by the movie.
“This is a nice experiment for us,” said Schroeder. “It’s an exploration of what to do if you have a subject that ties into something in pop culture. We’re saying, ‘You just saw The Monuments Men? Here’s a way to dig a little more into the history.’”
Putman, who got the idea for the book in 2010, started seeing press about the movie months after getting a contract in July 2012. “I was pretty excited because if George Clooney is talking about the subject, there will be more awareness and curiosity from people wanting to know more,” she said.
She’s seen a sales uptick, and more media have wanted interviews. Amazon paired the book and movie quickly, with B&H offering a $4.99 e-book deal. “Impulse buys of the ebook after people see the movie have been great,” said Schroeder. “We sold better during the movie release week than during the first week the book released.”
Schroeder plans another big push when The Monuments Men DVD comes out. “We have to go after new groups of readers who like this topic, and go after them in interesting ways,” he said.
For Putman, the timing is perfect. “Now I can say the book was worth the wait because George Clooney has done a lot of my advertising for me.”