Getting On Boards with modern marketing and publicity: A case study on creating a bestselling author

Date created: 
Appetite by Random House
Book publicity
Social media
BookNet Canada

This project report is an in-depth case study into how Appetite by Random House acquired a first-time author with small social media following and collaborated with her to create one of 2019’s top 10 bestselling cookbooks in Canada. This report provides an extensive look into the editorial process, creative direction, and marketing campaign for On Boards by Lisa Dawn Bolton. It also refers to articles published by industry experts, with a goal of providing statistical research that describes industry standards and perspectives, especially in the cookbook industry. The opening chapter provides information on Appetite, the cooking and lifestyle imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, documents my internship experience there, and introduces standard modern requirements for acquisitions. Chapter 2 provides background information on cookbooks as a genre in publishing. Chapter 3 explores how Appetite met Bolton and her non-traditional method of pitching her proposal, while also giving content on the movement of eating food on boards. Chapter 4 discusses the editorial and design process used in the creation of On Boards. Chapter 5 outlines the marketing and publicity plan for On Boards, including conversations I had with On Boards’ publicist and ad campaign data from three major social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Chapter 6 discusses the media coverage that On Boards achieved and analyzes sales, including data from BookNet Canada, SalesData, MyHouse (the proprietary internal data management and reporting platform of Penguin Random House), and The Canadian Book Market 2019 report. In the seventh and final chapter, I conclude with my reflections on additional marketing techniques Appetite could consider for publishing future cookbooks.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
John Maxwell
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.