Random House Children’s Books (U.S.), in coordination with Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books in the U.K., announces plans surrounding the launch campaign for the landmark publication of Philip Pullman’s long-awaited THE BOOK OF DUST: La Belle Sauvage (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers). THE BOOK OF DUST is a work in three parts, like the acclaimed author’s His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass).
Anticipation and excitement for THE BOOK OF DUST skyrocketed instantly upon the book’s announcement in February of this year, when the Associated Press exclusively broke the news and hailed: “For readers and booksellers, this is news to rival the discovery of a new Harry Potter story.” Coverage spanned the U.S. across major pop culture and entertainment outlets, including NPR, BuzzFeed, Slate, Hypable, ABC, The Verge, and more. Celebrities including Lin-Manuel Miranda spread the news on Twitter.
Readers will delight on 10/19 when the full book will be available for the first time—up to this point only one excerpt from the highly anticipated novel has been released. Two decades after The Golden Compass—the first book of Pullman’s world-famous His Dark Materials trilogy, which has sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages—The Book of Dust(#BookofDust) will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old. La Belle Sauvage is set ten years before The Golden Compass and centers on the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, dæmons, and the Magisterium all return to play a part.
The publication of the book on Thursday, October 19, marks a major global publishing event, supported by an extensive marketing and PR campaign and a unique launch extravaganza.
Oxford, a key setting in the new novel and Pullman’s home city, will become a hub of activity around launch. Oxford’s historic Bodleian Libraries will host much of the activity on the eve of publication, Wednesday, October 18, with the Weston Library as the venue for an international press conference with the author, and the Divinity School and Convocation House & Chancellor’s Court transformed into Jordan College—home of Lyra Belacqua in His Dark Materials—for a magical launch evening. Fans in the U.S. will be able to take part in the action, as the event will be live-streamed across the globe.
A major publicity campaign will kick off, timed with the launch in the U.S., U.K., and internationally. Fans will get to hear Pullman speak for the first time about the full book in interviews with major outlets around the world.
Since early in the summer, a multichannel marketing campaign has been unfolding, reaching the throngs of Pullman fans across the United States, and drawing in new readers to Pullman’s extraordinary world. The Golden Compass Summer Worldwide Read-Along and “Crack the Compass” digital campaign encouraged readers to rediscover Pullman’s original His Dark Materials trilogy, starting from the very beginning. The campaign garnered over 2.5 million impressions.
Special outreach at consumer festivals included stops at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Extensive prepublication merchandising was created for retailers, and all across the country stores are preparing excitedly for the book’s release. At publication, the U.S. will execute a special activation for the top ten library systems in the country, celebrating the first patrons to check out the book. Additionally, in NYC, all branches of the public library will be provided with signage and an opportunity for patrons to enter a contest to meet Philip Pullman’s U.S. editor and receive a themed prize package.
Internationally, foreign publishers will be joining in the celebrations. Rights have sold in over 33 languages, and late-night openings are planned across the globe, including at Waterstones Brussels, Waterstones Amsterdam, and WHSmith Paris.
The group companies of Penguin Random House Children’s U.K. will also mark the occasion. In Ireland, bookshops are planning special events, including Hodges Figgis Booksellers in Dublin, which is holding a special early-morning opening for launch day. South Africa will celebrate with window displays and hand-delivery of books on publication to Exclusive Books and a major launch event planned at Skoobs. In Australia, a major preorder campaign has run with Dymocks, and there are plans for Pullman Parties in six states across the country. Philip Pullman will also participate in a Skype event at the Wheeler Centre to mark publication. In India, radio advertising across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore will reach more than 10 million listeners. Each campaign will be supported by blanket PR coverage with major pieces of international press coverage running in each location.
THE BOOK OF DUST: LA BELLE SAUVAGE (BOOK OF DUST, VOLUME 1)
By Philip Pullman
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers | On-sale October 19, 2017 | Ages 14 and up
HC ISBN: 978-0-375-81530-0
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-553-51073-7
Audio CD ISBN: 978-0-525-52298-0 / Audio Download ISBN: 978-0-80721-685-9
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books,
the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher.
Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.