January 17, 2006

Stephen King Tries To Ring Up Book Sales

0743292332.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg Stephen King's marketing team plans to send text messages on his behalf -- to 100,000 cellphone users, reports the WSJ.

"On Jan. 24, the Scribner imprint is publishing Mr. King's new novel, "Cell," about apocalyptic havoc wreaked by cellphones. To promote the dark tale, Scribner has devised an elaborate Web- and cellphone-based marketing campaign.

Scribner will give Mr. King's fans the opportunity to buy ring tones of his voice.

Selling ring tones is a popular avenue for making money in the music industry. It hasn't previously been tried in the book business because the idea of a novelist's voice droning from your mobile wouldn't seem to have much mainstream appeal. Mr. King, however, is one of the few writers with enough of a following to give him a shot at making it a viable enterprise.

The text-ad that thousands of cellphone subscribers will receive reads: "The next call you take may be your last....Join the Stephen King VIP Club at www.cellthebook.com." Each of the recipients agreed to receive such promotional messages. A marketing firm helped Scribner target the messages to a specific demographic group -- 18 to 54 years old, 55% male -- that is seen as likely buyers of the book.

The "VIP Club" features trivia contests, polls and sweepstakes, and members will also receive an audio message via cellphone from Mr. King on Jan. 24th in which he says: "Hear the back story on my novel 'Cell.' Visit www.cellthebook.com to play my exclusive audio clip."

Related:

-- Woman bids $ 25'000 to name King character "CELL" - King fans around the world spent much of last week (Sept 19, 205) on eBay, outbidding each other in an online auction organised by authors selling the rights to name characters in their new novels.

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