First Ever Media Tour, 440 BC?

I wrote on Flack’s Revenge  yesterday about the literary publicity stunt; although the phrase might sound like an oxymoron, it is about the art of publicity and promotion as applied to bookselling.

The post also referred to a media tour circa 440 BC, if you can believe that.  Could that have been the first book tour?

Read on for an excerpt, and visit this link to see the full post:CIThread pixel

…I got a different picture of publicity stunts in reading the New York Times Book Review recently.  Tony Perrottet wrote an essay about litrerary publicity stunts.  It is a great walk through the history of book PR.  I share excerpts below, and encourage you to click the link and read the entire article.

  • The most revered of French novelists recognized the need for P.R. “For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed,” Balzac observed…
  • Hemingway set the modern gold standard for inventive self-branding, burnishing his image with photo ops from safaris, fishing trips and war zones. But he also posed for beer ads.
  • But the tradition of self-promotion predates the camera by millenniums. In 440 B.C. or so, a first-time Greek author named Herodotus paid for his own book tour around the Aegean.
  • Perhaps the most astonishing P.R. stunt… was plotted in Paris in 1927 by Georges Simenon, the Belgian-born author of the Inspector Maigret novels….Simenon agreed to write an entire novel while suspended in a glass cage outside the Moulin Rouge nightclub for 72 hours. … A newspaper advertisement promised the result would be “a record novel: record speed, record endurance and, dare we add, record talent!” It was a marketing coup.
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