Friday, July 20, 2012

50 Shades of Marketing - Covers and Chile

CNN recently reported on the effect of the 50 Shades books on romance/erotica covers. The covers are very distinctive, with dark backgrounds and close-up shots of silver objects. The publisher has created a very specific "50 Shades" look.

They have also created a trend. CNN notes that erotica titles are being revamped to feature covers similar to the 50 Shades covers. They refer to the trend as "iconic or object imagery."

The article features an interesting quote by Monique Patterson, executive editor with St. Martin's Press: "Tastes tend to evolve and change over time with any product, not just books. As time goes on you have to refresh and update your way of speaking to your audience."That indicates that the publishing industry views the new covers as a trend and not as a gimmick.

In fact, St. Martin's Press is rereleasing several books with new covers. Dear Author featured one of these new books: Lora Leigh's Wild Card.

I much prefer the "iconic" dog tag design to the manly bulge. What about you?

I also found a post by Sumando Libros on the presentation of the 50 Shades series in Chile. Sometimes books change covers when they hit the overseas markets. The 50 Shades books, however, kept the U.S. covers. In addition, the iconic/object imagery seems to have seeped into other marketing aspects.  For example, the Spanish language publisher organized book parties and asked the customers to dress in gray ties and masks. Costumed participants earned prizes.

Now THAT's creative marketing. Apparently, it was also very successful.

I really like the 50 Shades covers. They are thematic and distinctive, but elegant. They are also a welcome change from the "Grey's Anatomy" covers so common in the romance world. However, if everyone does a 50 Shades cover, they will quickly become bland and indistinguishable. I hope publishers keeps some of the traditional covers. Myself, I'm quite fond of the "tattooed hunk" imagery.

Ties, dogtags, or abs? Mmmmm.
What do you think?

Images belong to Vintage Books, St. Martin's Press, and Pocket Books.