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Oxford goes to The Bookseller Retail Awards 2008

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Publicity is hard work, you know. Occasionally, though, an event so glitzy and exciting comes along that it makes all those late nights more than worthwhile. Following our recent highly successful relaunch of the Oxford World’s Classics series we were shortlisted along with Blackwell Bookshops and marketing consultancy The One Off in the Nielsen Book Scan Marketing Campaign of the Year Award at the annual Bookseller Retail Awards. OWC Publicity Manager Coleen Hatrick donned her most glamorous clothes and went along. Here’s her report on the event, which was held at the Natural History Museum in London last week.


Outside, the fashionistas, vendors, designers, and models were packing up after six days’ worth of London Fashion Week shows. Inside at the annual Bookseller Retail Awards, the night stars shimmered and a dinosaur glowed blue and gold over our heads as we tucked into our three tasty courses and waited to hear the judging panel’s decision. We were there to hear whether Blackwell, OUP, and marketing design company The One Off had triumphed in the category for Marketing Campaign of the Year for the relaunch of the Oxford World’s Classics series.

Blackwell’s exclusive campaign with Oxford University Press for the relaunch of the series was different than most publisher/retailer promotions, and we were up against some stiff competition from Foyles, WH Smith, Waterstones, and Amazon.co.uk. Blackwell had worked with OUP from the start of its rebrand of the OWCs, with the two companies using the Blackwell Design Agency TOO to develop the new, fresh jacket designs. The collaboration eventually developed into the “More Than Words” campaign, which was a great success, and because of which we were now sitting in the magnificent Victorian Central Gallery of London’s Natural History Museum with bated breath.

We had a few distractions to keep our minds off the judging…

No panic though – it’s a plant eater. The Diplodocus lived 150 million years ago and, at 26 metres, was one of the longest land animals ever to live. This replica skeleton was presented to the Museum in 1905.

The room was heating up. A designer from The One Off agency leaned over and said ‘the classics campaign with OUP is one of my all time favourites’. The crowd of gregarious booksellers, and publishers roared, wine flowed throughout the announcements – 12 categories all with mini acceptance speeches. Our champagne glasses were at the ready. Finally at number 8, it was our category:

”And the award for The 2008 Nielsen Book Marketing Campaign of the Year goes to… Waterstones”.

We smiled meekly around the table. Our Sales Director grinned and said “Well – obviously… they… just did not understand!” And so, we drank a toast to book buyers of the world, and departed.

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2 Responses to “Oxford goes to The Bookseller Retail Awards 2008”
  1. Regina says:

    Great Blog. & yeah publicity is hard work — I know, and you’re just the girl for the job. Lovely surroundings and you all are good sports & took it on the chin.

    Will send Kate the pic of the Diplodocus (what a fabulous name for a vegetarian).

    Be good to yourself girlfriend…….can’t wait for the next posting.

    Much love — Regine

  2. I really like these kinds of events. It is a great excuse to get a professional pass and enjoy yourself for a bit. Drink some coffee, talk to other book people, look at books.

    I am going to the New York Anime Festival on Friday, I get in with a professional pass for free as a librarian. I am going to wander around, schmooze, and talk to people about anime dvds. It should be fun. I might even come up with some titles to order.

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