HarperCollins, Twitter Team Up to Sell Direct
Social selling may be the new frontier for trade publishers. Today HarperCollins announced a partnership with Twitter to promote the film tie-in edition of Insurgent in conjunction with the movie's release. Twitter Commerce allows Insurgent fans to purchase the book with one click, direct from HarperCollins, without leaving the social media site. HarperCollins and Twitter will promote the campaign and send targeted offers to users who are tweeting about the new film.
In December, Hachette joined a similar partnership with Gumroad to sell its books through Twitter. The publisher chose a small selection of titles to test the platform and based that selection on the strength of authors' social media followings. Hachette has not yet shared the results of this experiment or if the margins selling through Gumroad are larger than a more traditional retail partnership.
The fact that two of the Big Five are actively exploring this option, though, point to growing trend and an even larger issue -- can trade publishers effectively sell around traditional retailers? And more importantly, can that strategy produce profit at scale? It's unlikely that these questions will be resolved any time soon but Book Business will be watching these experiments closely.
HarperCollins' press release is below.
HarperCollins Teams with Twitter to Promote Insurgent Movie Tie-in Edition
Hardcover Available for Direct Purchase via Twitter During Special Pilot Offer
New York, NY (March 20, 2015) - HarperCollins Publishers today announced a special Twitter promotion surrounding today's release of "The Divergent Series: Insurgent" movie. Tailored to Divergent fans on Twitter, this time-limited offer will allow users to purchase a hardcover copy of the Insurgent Movie Tie-in Edition, by #1 bestselling author Veronica Roth, for 35% off the list price through Monday at 9:00 a.m.
The Twitter Commerce buying experience is completely seamless and allows users to purchase items with one click, direct from HarperCollins, without leaving the social media site. Both HarperCollins and Twitter will promote the book offer with a series of tweets, as well as a Promoted Tweet campaign focused on reaching people who are talking about "The Divergent Series: Insurgent" film.
"We are excited to be collaborating with Twitter on this unique campaign to introduce the Divergent series to a new consumer base," said Diane Naughton, vice president, integrated marketing for HarperCollins. "This promotion will allow both the Divergent fandom and the Twitter audience to easily and seamlessly purchase the Insurgent book on Twitter."
"At HarperCollins, we're committed to staying ahead of the curve on behalf of our authors," said Angela Tribelli, chief marketing officer for HarperCollins. "By identifying and testing the newest marketing capabilities, we continuously develop innovative ways to reach readers. Thanks to our direct e-commerce platform, we can easily and nimbly pilot Twitter's exciting new buy functionality with a strong brand like the Divergent series, and we look forward to exploring opportunities for additional authors."
"We strive to make our authors' work available to consumers in as many ways as possible," said Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer for HarperCollins.
"Promotions such as this not only benefit our authors, but also our existing retail partners, who are able to take advantage of a sales halo effect that we have observed with other similar e-commerce initiatives."