New Zealand Book Month, March 2011, showed a 12.6% positive YOY sales swing versus the first two months of this year. “Figures we’ve had from Nielsen Bookdata show that these sales have bucked the poor year-on-year trend seen through January and February,” says Book Month project director Nikki Crowther.
As 5% of sales for the first three months of 2010 came from blockbuster authors Stephenie Meyer, Stieg Larsson and Lee Child, sales for these three authors were taken out of both years. This shows underlying sales in the market are up 6.6% on March 2010, versus January and February sales which were down 6% on 2010.
With over 80% of booksellers reporting their voucher redemptions, New Zealand Book Month estimates that voucher redemptions are likely to exceed 85,000. Says Nikki Crowther: “This is a tremendous result for the first year of the promotion, with over 2% of the 4,000,000 vouchers redeemed. The usual expectation for results with such promotions is a 1% redemption rate so we’ve achieved double that and driven March sales in a difficult market.”
The NZ Book Month $5 voucher campaign was supported by 130 publishers and 296 booksellers. New Zealand Book Month attracted over $500,000 worth of sponsorship from outside of the book trade, thanks to Printlink, Blue Star Group, TVNZ 7, BNZ, Caltex, MediaWorks Radio, the Sunday Star-Times, The National Library and Rapport Advertising & Marketing. This enabled the design, print and distribution of 4,000,000 vouchers. The sponsorship also enabled the charity trust to produce a TV advert, which appeared 62 times over the month on TVOne and TV2; a radio advert, played over 5000 times nationally on More FM and Solid Gold; and ten press adverts in the Sunday Star-Times.
New Zealand Book Month also received sponsorship from Creative New Zealand and the ASB Community Trust, enabling over 50 “activists” to be recruited to organise 300 author and book events in libraries, cafes and schools in their local communities, many of which also involved booksellers.
Adrian Keane, chairperson of PANZ comments “This is a tremendous result for the trade, particularly in the light of the current trading environment and the Christchurch earthquake – which directly impacted 10% of the booksellers who had committed to being involved in New Zealand Book Month. It is great to see that the publishers and booksellers who engaged with the campaign have reaped the rewards.”