Friday, May 1, 2009


Sometimes publishers use the tactic of urgency to get them to buy their books. Sometimes they use the power of secrecy, and sometimes they use the bargaining chip of importance. My new favourite is being bandied about by Hachette Australia. Here is an excerpt from their ambitious sell-in sheet for UNTITLED by UNKNOWN, strictly embargoed until its release on May 28:

"Lying inside a high security vault, deep within the heart of one of the world’s leading museums, is an extraordinary specimen that could be the most important scientific discovery of recent times. Fewer than a dozen experts know of its existence; its value to the world is inestimable. This is a discovery that will change textbooks, change science, and change how we understand the human race.

The author of UNTITLED has been given exclusive access to all of the research and the team of
top scientists who have been validating the discovery, the announcement of which will send
shock waves around the world."

Yes, well. This tactic is more often reserved for biographies, such as Simon and Schuster's Untitled on China, or, a few years ago, this little pearler, which you did not get on its release date unless you ordered quantities in boxes. Anyway, expect to be blown away by UNKNOWN's riveting story of UNTITLED, providing Hachette's team of top scientists can keep a lid on the inestimable shockwaves that will reverberate around the world. Honestly, who would get sucked in by this guff?

I ordered 6.

N.B. Hachette's truly excitable marketing team also came up with one of my favourite spriuks ever, when describing this cover. It is, according to the press release: "Packaged beautifully with cult object production values that will make this object as cult as the ipod."

Cult as, bro!


Paul Squires said...

Hahaha. The desperation of publishers in an age when independent publishing is gonna finish them off and every small press is pretending to do more than just pimp their friends and lovers is becoming increasingly amusing. Bring on literature as silly circus tricks I say.

Anonymous said...

so funny