BEA_Cover_2013-2The Penguin Book Truck was inspired by several things. Back in 2010 when we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Penguin Books, we acquired and designed the Penguin Car, a Mini-Cooper, painted Penguin Orange, with our famous brand all over it. The car was a great hit, visiting some of our most prominent authors in their hometowns across the U.S., and hosting anniversary celebrations at their local bookstores. As I said, everyone loved the car, loved the use of our famous brand, but being that it was a small car, there wasn’t much room to hold books!

After that, we noticed a big increase in the presence of Food Trucks around the office, and throughout New York City. Some are quite big, all are brightly branded and of course they are mobile, eye-catching and visible. We thought, a truck, in the spirit of the prominent Food Trucks, or the idea of the retro Bookmobiles, would be a great way to promote our iconic brand and wonderful books by, as we like to say, “Bringing the writer to the reader”,

The final thing that inspired us was our colleagues in the UK. They had created a wonderfully designed and branded pushcart, to use for promotion and sales in London. We were inspired to do the same thing, but wondered “How would we deliver our U.S. version of the Penguin Pushcart to events?” This brought up the idea of going forward with the Penguin Book Truck, which had been on the back-burner for a while, as literally a vehicle (no pun intended) to store and deliver The Penguin Pushcart, and be a marketing and sales vehicle in itself.

Follow the Penguin Truck around the country, at

John Fagan is the Vice President & Director of Marketing at Penguin Books/Plume/Hudson Street Press and the Executive Director of Academic Marketing & Sales.