Peter May: Sunday Times Bestseller

The Brief

Midas was employed by Quercus’ literary fiction imprint Riverrun to run a PR campaign for bestselling author Peter May for his 2020 hardback A Silent Death, the 7th book by Peter May that Midas handled PR for.

The brief for this PR campaign was to continue to enhance Peter’s brand profile and maintain his position in the top 5 of The Sunday Times top 10 bestseller charts. As with the previous 7 books, the campaign would include an author tour of the UK focusing in particular on Scotland.

The Work

A Silent Death was a departure for Peter, as it was set in Spain on the ‘Costa del Crime’ instead of Scotland. He did, however, use a Scottish detective which kept the Scottish link to the book alive. In order to make the most of this opportunity of a Spanish-based crime novel, we aimed to position Peter as an expert in Scottish and international crime here in the UK.

To achieve this, we used Peter’s meticulous research and his knowledge of Spain where he lives part of the year to gain widespread media interest, organising him to write pieces in advance of the launch. When it came to the launch in January, we used a combination of high-profile broadcast, national press, trade, podcast and online coverage, including some key Spanish UK press alongside a journalist lunch for 10 journalists and an author tour with the aim to increase Peter’s profile across the media and in the book-buying world. Peter is a good speaker and we have always done an author tour but this one was going to be shorter, so we targeted the key regions of Scotland where he has large audiences (Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, and Aberdeen). We did two events in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and added a key venue in London. In the main we used big external venues – and theatres in Glasgow, Inverness, and Perth – ensuring that they had a capacity to hold over 250 people at each venue.

When working with an author annually it is important to keep each new campaign as fresh as possible and look at different media platforms. To add to the blog tour we incorporated more social media content via Instagram and added podcast interviews including ‘The Bestseller Experiment’ and ‘We’d Like A Word’ with Radio 4’s Paul Waters.

What We Achieved

Midas PR’s campaign led to A Silent Death charting at No.5 in the Sunday Times Bestseller lists and staying in the top 10 for 4 weeks.

We achieved good coverage across the national press, with a combination of reviews and slot interviews including:

  • The Times
  • The Daily Mail
  • The Express
  • The Sunday Express
  • The Sunday Mirror
  • Literary Review
  • The Spectator
  • Heat

Added to this, we secured blanket Scottish press coverage with lead reviews and features in:

  • The Herald
  • The Scotsman
  • The Sunday Mail
  • The Daily Record

We achieved a wide range of broadcast including:

  • Radio 5 Live
  • Simon Mayo’s Book Club on Scala Radio
  • Talk Radio Book Club with Penny Smith

For Peter’s 2020 Scottish book tour we upped Peter’s appearances on tour over the 5 days he was available, resulting in him speaking to over 1,400 people in 5 days. We combined this with a blog tour, social media content on Instagram, and podcast interviews.