Authors always have recognized the opportunity to make a lot of money and sell a lot of books when it comes to Christmas, but not only new books are being marketed. Literary classics are printed in new editions and advertised as special recommendation or “must-haves” for this season.
In this essay I will have a look at the ways the different books are marketed. In my analysis I will focus on three books that are being marketed during the festive season 2008. My focus will lie on a classic, which is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, a new work of literary fiction by J.K. Rowling, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” and a celebrity biography by comedian Dawn French, called “Dear Fatty”. The paper will close with a conclusion on the role of the author and the publisher and the changes of it during the time.
2. Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is not only the most read of his books, but also one of the most popular Christmas stories of all time. The popularity caused that the name of Dickens has become synonymous with Christmas. Written in a time of a decline in old Christmas traditions, the story has redefined the importance of the season and brought a new joy for Christmas to Britain and America. After about 165 years the book is still known all around the world and a popular basis for many movies that are produced every year.
2.1. Background of the book
“A Christmas Carol” was published the first time on December 19, 1843 with illustrations by John Leech and was the first out of five Christmas stories. Dickens wrote the short novella in only six weeks under financial pressure. Not only short of money, but also wanting to write a Christmas story, Dickens’ started working after he was inspired at a trip to Manchester.
By the time he had finished the story, Dickens was at odds with his publishers which made him pay for the production costs himself. He set the price for the book at 5 shilling, so almost everyone was able to buy a copy. The book was an instant success and over 6,000 copies were sold only in the first week.
Dickens insisted on a lavish design for his books and therefore the production costs were higher than the actually earning from them. In addition to that, many pirate editions were made and Dickens spent more money in fighting against these editions than he earned from publishing the story.
Ever since the book was published, it was adapted into many other forms like radio renditions, various stage plays, two operas and most of all for the cinema and TV. About a hundred different actors have played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge so far.
When Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol” he was already a famous writer. The need for money made him publish the book in the week before Christmas, because he knew it would then make the most profit. A famous author and a Christmas story, published in the best time for it and also a generous time, made the story successful within a few days. Christmas traditions weren’t very common in these days and the story made people go back to the real sense of this holiday.
When Dickens’ started his public readings “A Christmas Carol” was not only the first story he read, but also the most popular one. His first reading in Birmingham Town Hall in 1852 featured the Christmas story and was so successful that another reading took place three days later.
In modern days the story is still one of the most famous and successful Christmas stories of the world. Every year at Christmas, hundreds of people buy the books for their children. Especially to Christmas, most bookstores do a lot of advertising for the story and bookstores often have special offers like half price sells. In most bookstores the story by Charles Dickens is advertised as recommendation of booksellers and various newspapers like the Time feature articles about the story and the author.
- Quote paper
- Kathl Morgenstern (Author), 2009, Analysing the marketing in christmas time, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/148314