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Shiny hardback marketing ploy for Hurricane Gold helped sales

03-Apr-2008 • Young Bond

Just in case you didn't realise that the gold cover for conveniently titled Young Bond novel - Hurricane Gold - was a marketing scheme to drive sales, Puffin have admitted the move boosted the numbers.

Children's publishing in general continued to be hard work, beset by the same retail difficulties as the adult business. It is similarly susceptible to the influence of TV and cinema. The year's biggest seller apart from Harry Potter was Penguin's Doctor Who annual, based on the TV series of the same name. Parragon did well with its High School Musical series. Anthony Horowitz's Snakehead (Walker) led the children's fiction list - reports Publishers Weekly.

“It's increasingly a paperback market—especially in picture books, but increasingly in fiction as well,” says Puffin managing director Francesca Dowe. “You build an author in paperback, then take them to hardback when you reach a level you know you can sustain.”

Competition is so brisk that books have to look more and more eye-catching, which eats into margins. Puffin's latest Young Bond, Charlie Higson's Hurricane Gold, caused a sensation with an all-gold cover. “It definitely helped sales,” Dowe says.

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