ABC and Hyperion Hatch "Convoluted Cross-promotion" Plan

If you are looking for further signs that marketing, instead of content, drives the book world this is surely one: “Lost” plane passenger to pen novel. Of course we could try to put a positive spin on the whole thing. Who says television undermines reading? Here we have a TV show encouraging people to read a book!

The ABC television network and sister publishing label Hyperion Books are taking the concept of product placement into a new direction — by turning an imaginary product into a real one.

Producers of ABC’s mega-hit castaway thriller “Lost” plan to introduce a new storyline centering on the discovery of a fictitious manuscript that will become the basis for a real-life novel that Hyperion will publish this spring.

Of course, the whole point is simply to market a book to a known audience rather than to publish a quality book and then make sure people know about it. But one can’t be picky these days.

As part of the plan, Hyperion said it has commissioned a “well-known” mystery writer to anonymously adapt the fictitious manuscript into an actual, printed book it hopes will automatically appeal to the show’s large and loyal following.

“Fans of the show are obsessive. We think a lot of them will be buying the book just to look for clues” to the series, Hyperion President Bob Miller told Variety.

The “Lost” novel, titled “Bad Twin,” is described as a private eye mystery about a wealthy heir’s search for his evil sibling.

Yep, quality all around.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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