Midas secures Times Book of the Month for Lydia Syson’s Mr Peacock’s Possessions
Published by Bonnier Zaffre, Mr Peacock’s Possessions is the first adult historical title from Lydia Syson who had previously received critical acclaim for her first three YA novels. Lydia based the novel on the incredible true story of her ancestor Tom Bell. In 1878 Tom Bell took his wife and children, and settled an uninhabited pacific island in the Kermadecs and lived there for 30 years, six hundred miles north of New Zealand, in the middle of the pacific, where he brought up ten children with his wife, until they were evacuated during the First World War
Midas were asked to launch Mr Peacock’s Possessions, Lydia Syson’s debut historical fiction title, and ensure coverage in key media including broadsheet newspapers consumer magazines and BBC radio. Our objectives included building Lydia’s a profile as a potentially bestselling historical fiction author; to generate publicity across print, broadcast and online media; and to support Bonnier Zaffre’s sales and marketing strategies. Midas kept in regular contact with both the team at Bonnier Zaffre and the author.
ARC’s had already been sent out when Midas came on board three months prior to publication, so we started off the campaign emailing all press who had received advance copies of the book and pushed for book reviews, features and interviews. As the review space for fiction titles is incredibly competitive, Midas positioned the book as the story of the “real life Swiss Family Robinson” to secure interest from press. As well as targeting national newspapers, magazines and broadcast, Midas focused on both travel media and history media. Lydia had travelled to Raoul Island, one of the most remote islands in the world, and we use the story of her trip to secure further feature coverage with magazines and newspapers. With the literary editors on the national newspapers, Midas were in regular contact over phone and email, reminding reviewers about the publication date and ensuring they had enough review copies. Finished copies of the book were also sent out six weeks ahead of publication as a reminder to press that the book was coming out.
Over the course of 3 months, Midas secured more than 40 pieces of coverage, including coverage in 7 national newspapers, 14 magazines, 2 national BBC radio interviews, 8 regional outlets, and 11 pieces of digital coverage including a dedicated blog tour.
Coverage highlights included Mr Peacock’s Possessions being selected as The Times Book of the Month in historical fiction, as well as book reviews in The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph and features on Lydia’s research for the book running in the i newspaper, Financial Times, Daily Express and Mail Online. Lydia had interviews with BBC Radio 2: Arts Show with Anneka Rice and BBC Radio 4: Open Book for a special on Island fiction. Reviews also ran in Woman & Home who called the novel “electrifying” and “Lushly written, with immaculate historical detail” Saga who said “this book will wring your heart but leave you smiling” as well as BBC History Magazine, The Bookseller, The People’s Friend and Historical Novel Review, with features running in Geographical, Traces, BBC History Extra, My Family Tree, The Lady and Writers News.