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What Would Your Friends Do to Promote Your Book?

It’s not too surprising that Brad Meltzer was able to rope Joss Whedon, Damon Lindelof, and Brian K. Vaughn into appearing in the “book trailer” for his new novel, The Book of Lies, raising unsettling questions about Cain and Abel and the shooting death of the father of Superman’s co-creator. (Yeah, I know; it makes a little more sense when you watch the film.) After all, Meltzer knows all those guys through the comic book world—I’m pretty sure I’ve even seen him doing panel discussions with some of them.

But Christopher Hitchens? A.J. Jacobs?

It turns out that Meltzer and Hitchens are both represented by Kneerim & Williams. And Jacobs? I couldn’t piece together the connection through Google, so I shot Jacobs an email and asked him. He called back and said they’ve known each other for years—introduced early in their respective careers by their then-mutual editor, Rob Weisbach. After I confessed that the trailer had compelled me to pull my galley of The Book of Lies from a stack of other BookExpo giveaways, Jacobs confessed that he doesn’t usually read thrillers, but he started this one to “get a taste” before shooting his scenes… “and I’ll admit it: He got me hooked!”

(Update: Meltzer discusses the trailer’s conception with Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker: “I had seen so many book trailers which were exactly like every other book commercial you see: scary-voice-guy tells you what it says on the back of the book jacket.” Man, I wish. A lot of times, you don’t even get scary-voice guy, just a bunch of title cards…)

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