Head of Zeus has launched its campaign for Dan Jones’ ‘engaging’ first historical novel Essex Dogs with a series of character murals painted on eight bookstore windows.
Temporary paintings by Ash Fields from Our Tiny Windows are already in place at Maldon Books, Waterstones Norwich and Topping & Company in Edinburgh.
Over the next two weeks more murals will appear at Booka Bookshop in Oswestry, Waterstones stores in Canterbury, Chelmsford and Brentwood, and finally at Goldsboro in Covent Garden. When taken together, the murals are part of a larger battle scene.
Essex Dogs is the first book in a new trilogy set during the Hundred Years’ War and follows a tight-knit group of archers fighting in the Crécy countryside of 1346 medieval France. It will be released on September 15.
Laura Palmer, Editor at Head of Zeus, said: “I couldn’t be happier with this innovative and beautiful campaign which centers Dan’s exceptional characters and celebrates the UK’s regional bookstores which are so crucial to the health of our industry. All credit goes to the HoZ sales and marketing team for seeing that when it comes to advertising power, bookstores are the new buses.
The images will also be used more widely in the social media campaign to feature the book’s characters and on specially created bookmarks that will be available in stores nationwide.
Alongside the storefront campaign, there will be an extensive digital marketing campaign on social media and retailer sites using static and moving images. The specialized independent bookseller Broken Binding has created a special limited edition pulverized edges. Jones will set off on a UK-wide book tour from September 5, from Topping & Company in Edinburgh. He is also releasing a book-related documentary series on History Hit and a podcast.
Jones said: “I didn’t think I could have more fun than creating the 10 badass medieval characters that drive the story of Essex Dogs. I was wrong. Working with the talented Ash Fields to bring dogs to life in bookstore windows across the UK has been one of the most exciting creative collaborations of my career.
“This project is exactly why I’ve been publishing books with Head Of Zeus for nearly a decade and why I’m so glad they supported me in my move into historical fiction. Year after year, HoZ opens the way to innovative campaigns that combine copywriting, marketing, advertising and sales and work seamlessly across all media and platforms.
The audiobook of Essex Dogs is also published September 15 by WF Howes, with narration by “The Crown” star Ben Miles. Miles once told Hilary Mantel’s Booker Winner hall of wolves (Fourth Estate) alongside books by Ben Elton, Nick Hornby and Michael Morpurgo.
Habiba Sacranie, Acquisitions Editor at WF Howes, said: “After witnessing Ben’s amazing storytelling abilities unleashed on the Wolf Hall Trilogy, we were very keen to bring him back into the studio. Telling historical fiction requires special skills and Ben’s historical knowledge, character development, conveying emotion and precise delivery make him the ideal partner for Essex Dogs. An audio fan favorite, we’re thrilled to see how listeners react to his narration of this fantastic Dan Jones debut.