Cross-Media Traveler

A new sci-fi book has been given the multi-channel marketing treatment by Random House. The book, The Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks, came to my attention a few weeks ago through the ARG that was created. Although it was noticed late last year, it wasn’t until recently the game came into effect. The ARG (alternate reality game) has, of course, a few websites. There is a game website, in which you undertake survellience-type tests (a la Spooks interactive — I love sleuth games); Judith Strand site; Judith Strand Blog; auto-parts company; Everygreen Foundation; Hollis Martial Arts and their blog. There is a forum at Unfiction for players of the ARG.

As described in the NYTime’s article by Brian Montopoli on June 27th, Doubleday Borrows a Page From Hollywood, DoubleDay have undertaken a multi-channel, indeed multi-arts-type campaign to market the book. In the theatrical/RL corner they have women dressed as the protagonist in the novel, Maya, attending BookExpo America. This aspect is interesting because the marketing is targeting the marketers, not the readership. I hadn’t included such behind-the-door campaigns in my cross-media model so far. (Although I’ve considered test-screenings and pre-production publication.) They are targeting the booksellers again with a “DVD featuring Mr. Twelve Hawks [the author], his voice filtered through a machine that transforms it into a computerized baritone, reading excerpts of the book over minimalist animation”.

What is also interesting is the author is ‘in-character’ as well: claiming he lives “off-the-grid” just like his characters in his novel.

To top it off, the book is available in a spectrum of multi-channel forms:

an abridged audio cassette, unabridged audio cassette, abridged audio CD, unabridged audio CD, an abridged downloadable audiobook, an unabridged downloadable audiobook, eBook and in large print 

You can read some reviews of the book and an excerpt at ReviewsofBooks.com.

I’m pleased to see such efforts being put into books. But I’m keen to also see multi-channel works that run concurrently with the reading of the book.

Thanks Jeremy, for the article link.