A good schoolbook is one that also sells. To promote sales of school textbooks WSOY's Educational Publications unit organizes hundreds of presentations in different parts of Finland.
The marketing of WSOY's educational publishing in Finland has organized presentations of new textbook series since 1970's. The road shows have turned up to be an effective and functional way of marketing. - Usually presentations are made when a new series of textbook has been published. The life cycle of one textbook is 7 to 10 years, says Tuula Snow from WSOY. Yearly some 300 presentations are made for elementary school teachers and some 250 to sixth form teachers.
The new framework curriculum for comprehensive schools has changed all the textbooks at once. Therefore, three bigger presentation tours have been arranged during the last year. Lukio on tour 05 presented the new sixth form textbooks in autumn 2004 and two tours for teachers in comprehensive schools were organized in January-February. - A tour gives teachers an opportunity to familiarise themselves with materials for different subjects at the same time, Snow explains.
What and How - Familiarising Teachers with Novelties
Events and road shows are organized to inform teachers of new schoolbook series, to increase sales, and improve long-term relationship with the customers. New materials for mathematics, native language, foreign languages, and e.g. history are usually presented in some 30 cities, but if necessary, WSOY's sales force packs their bags for a single school also. Depending on the subject and city, some 20-300 teachers participate in the presentations.
The tours are planned in cooperation with the marketing personnel and the publishers of the educational unit. Some of the authors also participate on the presentation together with one of the six marketers of WSOY Educational.
- Typically we go through the content of the book and let the authors tell what they think about making the book. Also the authors get a change to explain how they feel the additional materials could be used in a learning situation, Snow explains.
A Book Is All about Cooperation
A new history book Kauan sitten. Matka Suomen historiaan (Long Time Ago. A Journey to Finnish History) for 11 -12 years old pupils was presented in the Museum of National History. Dozens of interested teachers gathered to learn more of the new book. A new book is always a result of a team work: this title was prepared be a team of seven people.
Each new textbook series is also tested in practice. - When we are planning a new title, we contact a school in order to get a test group for the material. These schools are located around the country. When the materials are ready, they are sent for testing. At this point they look quite dull, just a pile of printed papers. The actual book is then slowly designed and put together according to the feedback received from content, pictures, and the structure of the book, Snow tells.
In addition to the book, educational publishing also includes other products. This history book series for example includes a workbook, web pages, slide sets for teachers, a teachers guide, and a CD.