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8-Track Audiobook Strategy

When was the last time you listened to an 8-track tape?

To promote his time travel book The Man from Primrose Lane, debut novelist James Renner mailed 8-track players and a homemade 8-track audiobook to readers around the country (including this GalleyCat editor).

On the Morning Media Menu today, the journalist and novelist shared how he built this unique publicity campaign for his book, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s Sarah Crichton Books imprint.

Renner explained: “I wanted to do something different to get people’s attention. I’m a debut author, and they don’t know me from Adam or why they should read my book. So I’m thinking about how I have this book about time travel that spans decades–it begins in the 1970s and goes on through the future … I thought it would be a goof to put the audiobook on 8-track and have the first 8-track audiobook in decades. So we made a whole bunch of them and sent them out to a lot of people.”

Renner concluded with some advice for aspiring true crime writers: “Everybody is interested in a mystery. Whatever they are reading or watching on TV, generally it’s some sort of mystery. They want an answer; they want to know where the characters are going and what is going to happen. So what I do when I hear about these crimes, I look for something that is almost unanswerable because of its weirdness … you look for a good mystery and you look for a good location.”

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