Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Thomson / Headline partnership brings top-selling authors to the beach

Thomson Gold customers can bypass the airport bookshop this summer and buy signed copies of beach books from top-selling authors in person, at the hotel poolside.

The tour operator's 'Audience With' events, running from May through to September at selected Mediterranean hotels, give holidaymakers the chance to meet high profile authors signed to the publishing house Headline. Following a successful trial event with the award-winning Victoria Hislop in September 2009 at The Sensatori hotel in Crete, the arrangement between tour operator and publisher was expanded to feature six authors at six hotels this summer.

Hislop, author of The Return, a novel set against the backdrop of Granada’s cobbled streets and the events of the Spanish Civil War, met with Thomson's guests once again, on May 15th, at the Hotel Yaramar in Fuengirola on Spain's Costa del Sol.

"The first event was extremely well received. Those that attended had an afternoon that left them with a memory they would never forget. Everyone that came had a wonderful time and commented on the intimacy and personal connection they all felt with Victoria. After the event, everyone bought a book and took even more away as presents for family and friends," said Thomson.

Also visiting the Hotel Yaramar, Fuengirola, is Sheila O’Flanagan, the ultimate holiday-read novelist with 15 titles to her name. Sheila is expected there on June 26th.

Meanwhile, across the water on the Balearic island of Majorca, chick-lit favourite Jill Mansell will tour three hotels in mid-September (Hotel Picafort Park on 14th; Hotel Levante Park on 15th; Grupotel Playa Camp de Mar on 16th). No doubt Jill who writes her books "by hand on the sofa in our living room" watching daytime TV is looking forward to meeting her readers outdoors in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Romantic fiction heavyweight Penny Vincenzi and the historical fiction writer Simon Scarrow will visit guests at the Grand Hotel President in Sorrento, Italy, on June 6th and September 4th respectively.An 'Insight Talk' from Scarrow on Pompeii, Herculaneum and Roman life is planned for September 5th.

Martina Cole, whose novels are set in London's gangland, brings her Hard Girls to the softly padded sun loungers of the Atlantic Golden Beach in Cyprus on July 13th.

As expected during what could be considered an extension of Headline's usual book signing tours, copies of the authors' latest titles will be on sale to hotel guests. In some cases, older titles may also be available.

Ed Sumner, General Manager of Lifestyle Product Development for Thomson, added,
“We are really excited to be giving our Thomson Gold customers the opportunity to meet top-selling authors in this way while on their holiday. It’s a fantastic chance for them to get up close and personal to these novelists, and is yet another example of Thomson offering unique holiday experiences for customers.”

Thomson have not confirmed if the 'Audience With' programme will be extended to any more of its 20 'Gold' hotels or if the arrangement will continue beyond summer 2010.

(Image © Tamlyn Rhodes via SXC)