Campaign boosts Cdn. books

The Canadian Booksellers' Association has launched its most ambitious marketing campaign to generate and enhance awareness of Canadian books and writers.Called 'Open Up to Canadian Authors,' the campaign is using print, p-o-s material, instant win tickets, and a monthly sweepstakes to...

The Canadian Booksellers’ Association has launched its most ambitious marketing campaign to generate and enhance awareness of Canadian books and writers.

Called ‘Open Up to Canadian Authors,’ the campaign is using print, p-o-s material, instant win tickets, and a monthly sweepstakes to get Canadians reading Canadian books.

Pam Robinson, project manager for Open Up, says so far, at mid-term in the campaign, response from booksellers has been positive.

The campaign began in October, and runs to the end of the year.

The campaign’s ad agency is Johnson Adams Nicholson in Brantford, Ont.

Robinson says Open Up used Chatelaine, Maclean’s and Canadian Living for its national print buy, and Books in Canada, Canadian Forum, Atlantic Books Today and Western Living for its regional print requirements.

As well as the magazine advertising, Robinson says Open Up’s p-o-s material contained bookmarks, header cards, T-shirts, and more.

Sweepstakes ballots and a ballot box were also included in these kits.

The Open Up and Win contest gives the buyer of any Canadian-authored title an instant win ticket offering a first-class Via Rail trip across Canada for two.

The contest offers nine trips altogether.

Robinson says the first trip has already been won by a reader in Windsor, Ont.

There is also a monthly sweepstakes draw for $25 gift certificates. At the end of the promotion there will be a draw of all ballots entered in the sweepstakes for one more Via Rail holiday.

This month, and in mid-October, the Canadian Booksellers Association inserted a digest-sized, full-color catalogue in 2.4 million copies of Chatelaine, Maclean’s and Canadian Living.

The 48-title catalogue is also available in bookstores.

Robinson says the campaign was worth $1.2 million. A federal Heritage Canada grant was worth $850,000. Publishers buying ad space and booksellers buying the p-o-s kits made up the rest of the money.

Authors featured in Open Up include such well-known names as Timothy Findley, George Woodcock, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro and Mordecai Richler, as well as other writers such as astronaut-turned-author Roberta Bondar and children’s favorite Robert Munsch.