News for Authors

Jan 14, 2021

Penguin Random House Publishing Highlights: 2020

Despite the countless challenges we all faced in 2020, Penguin Random House continues to celebrate honors and accolades for our books and authors. Let’s take a moment to look back on the many successes our talented authors achieved. (more…)

Jan 14, 2021

Looking Back on the State of Retail in 2020

It’s safe to say that 2020 was a challenging year for retail. With unprecedented circumstances to navigate, specialty stores, department stores, and local shops have all faced severe challenges in this new reality. Read on for a closer look at the state of retail as we close out 2020 and look to the year ahead. (more…)

Jan 14, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Cover Reveals

Your book’s cover reveal is one of your first chances to build buzz for your upcoming project. In this article, we go over the ins and outs of what makes a successful cover reveal. (more…)

Dec 9, 2020

Looking Ahead at Consumer Insights for Early 2021

At Penguin Random House, direct communication and relationships with readers are key to marketplace success, and strong consumer marketing and outreach begin with understanding our audience. For a look at the quarter ahead (Q1 2021), read on! If you’d like to review the changes the team has been tracking over the course of the pandemic, check out the newsletter article from July here.

 

For the past couple of years, the Penguin Random House Consumer Insights team has produced a report called Moments, which aims to predict consumer sentiment and behaviors that we can expect during the following quarter (i.e., to capture a consumer mindset at a moment in time). To compile this report, we look at signals through various lenses, including cultural, commercial, category, and consumer, and we use multiple data sources including sales data, keyword search trends, and social media listening, as well as trade and consumer media. Here are the consumer mindsets that we think will be relevant in Q1 2021.

Seeking Empathy in a Post-Truth World: We struggle to find unity and compromise in a world where we face “truth decay.” This elucidates the tension that political polarization is on the rise—as more Americans use words like “different,” “dislikable,” and “immoral” to describe those of the opposite party (Vox)—while at the same time, seven in ten Americans believe they have “more in common with one another than many think” (Politico). As folks flock to “uncensored” sites like Parler and MeWe, how do we help Americans look past “their side” and find common ground in the truth and in respecting human rights? Books are uniquely positioned to help build empathy and see the world from someone else’s point of view—whether that’s through fiction or nonfiction, for kids or adults.

Spirituality Rising: After years of decreases in the percentage of Americans engaging with formalized religion, many are turning to faith and other spiritual avenues for hope, clarity, and community during this uncertain time. In fact, 24 percent of U.S. adults said their faith had become stronger as a result of the pandemic, while just 2 percent said their faith had weakened (Pew). The uptick also applies to nondenominational spirituality. For example, Google searches for “psychic predictions coronavirus” surged 250 percent globally from March to June” (Grazia).

Raising for Resilience: Parents are playing a multitude of roles, as they seek to ensure their kids are getting everything they need to thrive in today’s world. We see them championing education apps like Up or classes cultivating financial literacy, culinary knowledge, and job-seeking savvy. Smart educational institutions are teaching coding to toddlers and furnishing students with the crucial skill sets they need to thrive in emerging industries such as e-sports. Parents are also looking for advice in places like Nurture, which provides neuroscience-backed parenting tips and products.

The New Community: As consumers grapple with grief and anxiety about the pandemic, they seek connection more than ever. In addition to the devastating health impact of the COVID-19 crisis, people are struggling with “a loss of connection and identity while isolated” (Fast Company). Whether through virtual events (like Zoom’s new Zapps, games like Among Us, or simply virtual book clubs) or passion for fandoms (from Billie Eilish to Sesame Street), brands are poised to help fill the void.

 

Moments Q1 2021 also highlights anticipated consumer sentiment around key occasions:

  • New Year’s Day: Consumers are seeking inclusive wellness, activism as self-care, and journaling to process their emotions.
  • Valentine’s Day: In addition to romance, consumers want to celebrate their friends, their kids, and their pets.
  • Black History Month: Consumers are asking brands to go deeper than the usual Black History Month messaging such as MLK and Rosa Parks. While those figures are incredibly important, this year, consumers are looking for brands to walk the walk when it comes to supporting racial justice, and to go beyond February and integrate Black voices, stories, and consumers into everyday action.
  • Easter: While Easter is technically not until Q2 (April 4), consumers will be prepping ten to twelve weeks in advance. Those who celebrate tend to be younger, Millennial-parent families in the South and Midwest.

 

If you have content in your book that aligns with any of these themes or moments, contact your marketing team to discuss ways to activate your audience with relevant messaging, offers, and discussion opportunities!

 

 

Grant Griglak is Director, Consumer & Marketplace Insights at Penguin Random House.

Dec 9, 2020

Out of Print’s Year in Review, Plus a Holiday Discount for Authors

Since debuting in 2010, Out of Print, a division of Penguin Random House, has celebrated literature by creating fashionable gifts and merchandise while promoting literacy in underserved communities. (more…)

Dec 9, 2020

What’s New on Instagram and Twitter

If you haven’t been on social media in a while, you might be surprised to see some big changes from a couple of the major sites. From Fleets to Reels, here’s everything you need to know about what’s new on Instagram and Twitter. (more…)

Nov 10, 2020

A Letter from Our U.S. CEO: Launching Our Holiday Campaign

With the holiday season upon us, Penguin Random House is launching a campaign that celebrates what makes books so meaningful this time of year. Read on for a letter from our U.S. CEO, Madeline McIntosh, who shares details about the Books Give More campaign! (more…)

Nov 10, 2020

A Recap of Virtual Events at Penguin Random House

From Instagram Live to Crowdcast to Zoom and everywhere in between, Penguin Random House has been putting on a broad selection of virtual events. Read on for a recap of some of these events, plus an introduction to Books Connect Us Live. (more…)

Nov 10, 2020

How to Hone Your Virtual Speaking Skills

Now that virtual events are the norm, you might be wondering how to prepare for and take the fullest advantage of your virtual speaking engagements. Read on to set yourself up for speaking success on virtual platforms. (more…)

Oct 9, 2020

Help Us Foster Greater Diversity and Inclusion at Penguin Random House

Calling all PRH authors and creators with books published from 2019 to 2021! Please participate in our author survey, which is a key step in helping us to conduct an audit of our publishing programs. Your participation is invaluable to us as we work toward our goal of publishing books that more comprehensively reflect our society and the diverse communities of readers we serve. (more…)

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