Books-A-Million, the nation’s second largest bookstore chain, is no stranger to exclusives. Last fall it offered The Hamilton Collector’s Bundle which, among other items, paired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s bestselling book, Hamilton: The Revolution, with the 2-CD soundtrack from the show.
But when BAM was casting about for a special holiday promotion that it could get behind in all of its 260-plus stores, it decided to look closer to home and its Birmingham, Ala., headquarters. From now through the end of the year, both Books-A-Million and 2nd and Charles stores will be the exclusive retailer of Foodimentary, the debut cookbook by local food blogger John-Bryan Hopkins.
The book, which is being released in January 2018 by the Quarto imprint Wellfleet Press, is by an author with an extensive social media following. (Hopkins has one of the top food accounts on Twitter, with upwards of 850,000 followers.) He also happens to be married to BAM CEO and president Terry Finley.
Speaking about Hopkins, who has become something of an expert on food holidays—Google used his food calendar to create theirs—Finley said it was "exciting" to see his book finally hitting stores. "He’s been working on it for years,” Finley told PW.
Finley was quick to point out that Hopkins has a notable platform. Hopkins has been featured in national media, including Time, Inc., the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. And in 2009 he won Twitter’s first Shorty Award for Best in Food for his Foodimentary Twitter feed, which ranked among the top 100 destinations on Twitter. It continues to be a leading destination.
Hopkins’s cookbook and Twitter feed take their names from the Foodimentary blog that he launched in 2006. Like the blog, the cookbook features a food holiday for each day of the year, along with fun culinary facts, and recipes. The "holidays" the book expounds on include Taco Day, Apple Betty Day and Noodle Day. He began the blog with 200 "food days," and continues to build more.
“We consider [Foodimentary] one of the year’s ultimate gift items,” said Scott Kappler, chief marketing officer at BAM. “Those who love to revel in food holidays will experience a new way to celebrate all things culinary.”
To support the book, each BAM will feature a Foodimentary display that holds an open copy of the book for customers to flip through. BAM is also touting its exclusive sales arrangement on its website and in its physical stores. Ultimately, though, much of BAM’s promotion, Finley explained, taps into Hopkins’s social media presence.
In January Foodimentary will be available worldwide. According to Kristine Anderson, U.S. adult marketing director for Quarto, Wellfleet is planning a “full court publicity campaign” on Hopkins’s popular Foodimentary website, which currently links to BAM.