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Penguin Random House immerses fans in bestselling beach reads.

Written by 
Aletta Hiemstra

For their much anticipated virtual book tour event, co-hosted by Penguin Random House and Nashville-based bookstore Parnassus Books, authors Emily Henry and Beck Dorey-Stein wanted to immerse readers in their bestselling beach reads — without having to travel to a physical bookstore.

“Between the tiki drink reactions, flamingo floaties, and crashing waves, ohyay enabled us to transport readers to the fictional seaside towns of our novels," said Beck. 
The event welcome page for the beach-themed book tour Q&A.
Emily Henry and Beck Dorey-Stein field questions from the audience, with the sound of waves crashing in the background.

Penguin Random House built a sunshine-infused virtual space complete with jigsaw puzzles, book cover photo booths, and a beach cabana room where the authors could meaningfully connect with readers. Emily and Henry bantered about everything from their beach bag essentials to definitions of literary success, before inviting the audience to ask questions. “It felt so natural to sit on the virtual couch and have insightful conversations with readers,” said Beck.

Guests gathering in a tiki bar setting after the Q&A.
The instantly recognizable "People We Meet on Vacation" book cover, transformed into an ohyay photo booth.
Photo booth with a draggable flamingo floatie and pineapple sunglasses.

The virtual book tour event was a win-win-win for the publishing company, independent bookstore, and authors — who left feeling closer than ever to their fans.

“Based on the number of books sold during the event, it was clear that the setting and conversation resonated with the audience,” said Carrie Neill, Associate Director of Publicity at Penguin Random House. “When you host a book tour event on ohyay, you can bring readers into any story imaginable.”

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Aletta Hiemstra

Community & Communications at ohyay