Eco-friendly campaign for Swedish shepherd

News - Books Thursday, 27 September 2018

Quercus aims to reflect values celebrated in On Sheep by Axel Linden

Quercus Press Officer Milly Reid organised an "eco-friendly and sustainable" publicity campaign to promote On Sheep, by Swedish literary academic turned novice shepherd Axel Linden.

Quercus sent out review copies in biodegradable packaging, and focused on digital communications. Linden did not fly to London for his author tour, but took a two-day journey by bus, train and boat. On the tour, he and Reid made use of environmentally friendly car company Green Tomato and public transport.

Linden said: "When my book On Sheep came out in the UK [20 September] I was invited over for a publicity tour. It would have been strange to make an exception to my principles [including the avoidance of aeroplanes] just because of the temporary success of my book, especially as success seems to be deeply connected to humankind's environmental impact. As I travelled from London via train and bus, I felt that I was making my way downwards through the layers of social hierarchy, reaching the bottom at the Danish border where a bus driver engaged in a fist-fight with a non-European migrant who failed to display a passport. I guess that experience was worth the extra cost, compared to the insanely cheap flight."

Reid said: "Planning and executing this environmentally-friendly publicity campaign made me think about the everyday impact that our business - and the publicity department in particular - can have on the environment. The publishing industry has already made steps in the right direction by turning to recyclable packaging, but there is still more to be done. Linden is such an inspiring advocate for this kind of sustainable campaign."

Quercus non-fiction publisher Katy Follain said: "We wanted the campaign to reflect the values and ethos that lie at the very heart of Axel's beautiful book. And indeed at the very heart of Axel himself: the importance of being caring, thoughtful and respectful of nature, and of our eco-system. It meant the sheep had to make do without their minder for a slightly longer period of time, and he had to make do without them."

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