Whatever • 2 October 2007 • The SnowBlog



Orion's pants?

So the Bookseller reports on a piece of marketing that Orion are doing for their famous author Lisa Gardner. Sadly the piece is subscription only so I will judiciously choose extracts here to illustrate the point I may get round to making soon. The publisher has produced a video featuring "Orion staff members". They are placing it on YouTube! And Facebook! Ooooh. [They will also pay a gazillion pounds for tube advertising and a national poster campaign.] All the marketing will point to a website they've built *especially*, called www.twistsandturns.co.uk Don't bother clicking on the link - the site either doesn't exist or isn't live yet. Why would it be - after all, the press release has only gone to The Bookseller. The website will, apparently, feature the video trailer, and samples from the book. Imagine. //update, later. It's live now. It has a 'skip intro' page and non-clickable links - fancy. It has so little content, my eye searches out every last bit, and falls on the link to their legal T&C page - nice. Double bonus - it's not a link, it's a flash image. The video. You have to watch the video. And not because of how chilling it is.// Sorry for the heavy sarcasm here, but honestly. A website that doesn't work and hardly sounds groundbreaking. Putting stuff on 'social networking sites' - well aren't you modern? It just bugs me that these people have, I am assuming, many many thousands more pounds and man-hours than us to promote their books, and they do such a, well, *grey* job. And the book will sell because of the traditional ad campaign and the retail sell in, not because of their online activities. You want some cutting edge stuff? Visit cookingwithbooze.org, written by James. The text is tagged and adheres to standards so the recipes can be easily displayed and read. It will also ensure that the book will be available to read for decades to come - you try playing betamax videos nowadays. James has shot his own promotional videos. He updates its blog properly. You can get the recipes on your mobile phone. He invites feedback from the web. It is licensed under Creative Commons. The website text comes straight from an XML file outputted from Indesign where James typeset the book using paragraph and character styles, for efficiency and accuracy. He has invented his own microformat for recipes. Find out all this and more here. This campaign - done for barely any money, is stuffed full of brand new initiatives. Orion's online campaign, dull as it is, probably cost thousands. I don't know why I'm cross: if tiny publishers can do cool things much better than the big publishers, then that's a good thing for us. But it depresses me to see such mediocrity in our industry, especially when they clearly think it's something innovative.


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