Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ask Stephen: the virtual booktour

Only Stephen Fry could get away with this, yet he may be starting a trend: launching a book via Twitter, cinema, webcasts and, later, YouTube, no doubt. And The Fry Chronicles is available in five formats simultaneously: book, eBook, iBook, audiobook and iPhone app.

Mr Fry is launching the tome by appearing at the various UK theatres to do augmented book readings on successive evenings: the add-on part comes from interaction with audiences in the venue and at 60 cinemas with some of his 1.8 million Twitter followers.

Real-time Q and A, and the Twittersphere will send #recommendation tags to their exponential readers. Already the Chronicles has toppled Tony Blair's Journey from the top of Amazon's UK book chart. Very smart.

All this commercial success without stepping into a television or radio studio, chatting to features journalists (although Mr Fry is doing his bit the old-fashioned way, too), going 'on the road' past the Oxford-Cambridge-London triangle, or getting your hair wet.

Where Stephen leads, other writers will follow, especially if they have a Twitter fan base.

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