Vía un reciente artículo publicado en el NYT, me entero de la campaña publicitaria que ha armado la editorial Doubleday para promocionar "The Traveler" la primera novela de CF de un autor igualmente novel: John Twelve Hawks.

The tactics Doubleday has adopted to promote Mr. Twelve Hawks's first novel include the use of street teams - groups of young people armed with posters dispatched to talk up the book at events like concerts - and a Web campaign to start discussions of the book in forums like the Alternate Reality Gaming Network. The publisher is hoping to convince readers that the novel is "The Matrix crossed with Alias," said Alison Rich, the Doubleday publicity director. However, the company would be happy to settle for simply convincing elusive young male readers to pick up the book, which goes on sale tomorrow.

Doubleday worked out a low seven-figure deal for the worldwide rights to "The Traveler" and its two planned sequels, according to Publishers Weekly. The book is being published in 18 countries, and has been optioned by Universal for a film. All that hype does not mean the book will succeed. Publishers and booksellers often have few hard clues about which book will become popular and which will languish on shelves. Interest in "The Traveler" can be traced partly to its editor, Jason Kaufman, who edited "The Da Vinci Code". Doubleday is hoping he might duplicate that success, though Mr. Kaufman is understandably eager to lower expectations. "It's unrealistic to think you can come back with something like that," he said.

Tactics have ranged from the gimmicky - sending models who look like Maya, the book's protagonist, to walk the floors of BookExpo America, an industry convention - to the otherworldly such as mailing out to booksellers a DVD featuring Mr. Twelve Hawks, his voice filtered through a machine that transforms it into a computerized baritone, reading excerpts of the book over minimalist animation. And there is the Internet campaign, which is being run by Lauren Chinn, who worked for the movie studio Miramax before coming to Doubleday.

Como informan los de NYT, ¡vaya que han diseñado una campaña!, y el uso de internet es casi la espina dorsal de la misma. Aparte del sitio dedicado desde la misma web de la editorial y al que se accesa vía el banner puesto, hay un blog de un personaje de la novela, la web de una de las empresas del libro y varios sitios más. Pero ¿Y qué del libro? Las reseñas que de The Traveler aparecen en los medios y librerías son bastante favorables en conjunto, hasta donde he podido ver. La trama es algo así como sigue:

The time is roughly the present, and the U.S. is part of the Vast Machine, a society overseen by the Tabula, a secret organization bent on establishing a perfectly controlled populace. Allied against the Tabula are the Travelers and their sword-carrying protectors, the Harlequins. The Travelers, now almost extinct, can project their spirit into other worlds where they receive wisdom to bring back to earth—wisdom that threatens the Tabula's power. Maya, a reluctant Harlequin, finds herself compelled to protect two naïve Travelers, Michael and Gabriel Corrigan. Michael dabbles in shady real estate deals, while Gabriel prefers to live "off the Grid," eschewing any documentation—credit cards, bank accounts—that the Vast Machine could use to track him. Because the Tabula has engineered a way to use the Travelers for its own purposes, Maya must not only keep the brothers alive, but out of the hands of these evil puppet-masters. She succeeds, but she also fails, and therein lies the tale.

La novela es la primera parte de una trilogía llamada: "The Fourth Realm". Así que tendremos de esto para rato. Y como dicen que los derechos del libro han sido vendidos ya para 18 paises, supongo lo veremos pronto en castellano. Para poner una opinión que no sea de ninguna editorial o librería, va la apreciación de Gabe Chouinard y la crítica de Rob Bedford. También un comentario sobre la campaña previa al libro. Todo en inglés, no me ha sido posible encontrar nada acerca del libro en nuestro idioma.

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Anónimo dijo...