Encyclopedia of Classical Music’s Marketing Campaign Off on a Good Note
Workman Publishing’s release of “The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music” marks the culmination of author Ted Libbey’s 11-year odyssey. Libbey, known at one time to classical music fans and listeners of National Public Radio (NPR) as the station’s commentator on the popular “Performance Today” program, is one of the country’s most distinguished classical music critics. The book aims to be the classical music fan’s do-it-all resource—from educating readers on different terms, styles and genres to providing Libbey’s musical criticisms. Most notable, however, is the interactive element: Buyers are given a password that gives them access to a special Web site—run by Naxos, a leading classical music label—featuring 600 examples of some of the techniques, works and performers discussed in the book. More than 75 hours’ worth of content is available.
Libbey’s résumé and wide following made a perfect match with Workman, known for its unique titles and unexpected formats. This latest book follows his best-selling “The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection,” with 174,000 copies in print.
So with the ingredients for a successful release in place, what has Workman cooked up to cash in on its new title?
“As with any Workman marketing campaign, the biggest challenge has been how to reach a large yet specialized market,” says Jen Paré, a publicist at Workman. “In this case, the audience is mostly classical music lovers.”
She adds, “We had to figure out how to reach those that love classical music … NPR was a good place to start, especially given Ted’s former position at ‘Performance Today.’ ” So Libbey will embark on a 12-city tour, stopping at cities where NPR stations are particularly strong and where interest in classical music is high. He will also be interviewed by a number of NPR affiliates and classical music stations, highlighted by an appearance on “Performance Today” in early May. In addition, the book will be offered as a premium for NPR member stations during their pledge drives.