On October 23, National Geographic Books published Almanac 2019, a 400-page trade paperback aimed at adults that is modeled after its successful children’s almanac and features an entertaining compilation of statistical data, photographs, and profiles focused on science and exploration. The $19.99 book had an initial printing of 100,000 copies and will be the focus of a cross-platform, nationally coordinated marketing campaign with a series of ads on TV, in print, and on social media platforms.
Almanac 2019 offers a lively mix of all the things that National Geographic does best. The well-researched book features information from around the globe on everything from the environment to planetary science and space exploration, culture, and history. It’s organized around six core subjects, among them “Exploration and Adventure,” “Life on Earth,” and “The Science of Us.”
National Geographic Books senior editor Susan Hitchcock said the kids’ almanac, now 10 years old, has been “tremendously successful,” with more than five million copies in print since it launched in 2009. That success, she said, inspired the adult version, and National Geographic now offers materials geared for readers “12 years old to 112.”
And, of course, the book also features great graphics and interviews with scientists and researchers—along with the National Geographic’s specialty: vivid and engaging color photographs. The result is a cheerfully designed book that includes curated timelines, science trivia, quizzes, maps, and funny factoids.
National Geographic organized a chunk of its marketing campaign for Almanac 2019 around the presence and skills of Cara Santa Maria, a popular science communicator and NatGeo correspondent, host of the Talk Nerdy to Me podcast, and a former doctoral student in neuropsychology. In partnership with Geeks Who Drink, a Denver-based organization that organizes trivia quizzes at bars around the country, NatGeo will sponsor a series of Nerd Nights—science trivia contests—in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., with Santa Maria hosting the event in L.A., where she lives, on November 8.
On November 1, Almanac 2019 was a special category on Jeopardy!, the gold standard for brainy TV trivia fun, and Santa Maria was featured in a video segment.
A British version of Almanac 2019 (with about 25 spreads from the U.S. edition replaced with more U.K.-pertinent information) was also published on October 23. The next volume is slated for August 2020, and both editions will be published annually.