As ALA approaches in San Francisco, Macmillan is rolling out a unique marketing campaign to draw attention to a new galley. Author Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s debut middle grade novel Book Scavenger (Holt/Ottaviano, June) has earned early praise from booksellers, and was selected as an ABA Indies Introduce pick at Winter Institute. The novel follows 12-year-old Emily who moves to San Francisco, which happens to be the home of her favorite literary idol and creator of an online community called the Book Scavenger that offers clues and puzzles that leads readers to find books hidden across the country.
In an imitation of the novel’s premise, Macmillan and the author have worked in conjunction with independent bookstores in San Francisco to create a real-live scavenger hunt. Bookstores and ALA attendees will receive maps offering clues to find galleys of Book Scavenger all over the city. This promotion comes off the heals of Bertman’s “50 Books to 50 States” campaign, in which the author sent galleys to a person in each state, along with instructions on how to play the Book Scavenger game. Participants can connect on the book’s website and “list clues as to where they’ve hidden copies and log that they found books,” according to Macmillan publicist Nicole Banholzer. “We were able to get bloggers involved as well, and many participated in the game in their hometowns.”
Early reviews have been favorable, and Macmillan hopes to keep the momentum going with the new campaign, while also playing with the premise of the book itself. “Since the story centers around a scavenger hunt, these promotions are, in reality, the book come to life,” Banholzer said.