Authors have been known to pull wild publicity stunts to promote their books, but James Patterson's new gimmick may be a game changer. One author dropped $10,000 out of a plane over Indonesia; another persuaded a London college student to glue himself to a billboard. But nobody has called in a bomb squad before.
Enter Patterson. Known for churning out thrillers at superhuman speeds, Patterson has built a literary empire over 30 years, selling more than 300 million books. He published 15 new titles in 2014 alone. Of course, the not-so-secret secret is that he isn't writing these books himself. He works with a crack team of co-writers whose names also appear on the covers, just in a noticeably smaller font. Readers don't seem to care; Patterson raked in $94 million last year.
But back to the bomb squad. Patterson announced that for the very precise price of $294,038, you can take a wild ride inspired by his newest book, "Private Vegas." The trip includes first-class tickets to a secret location, two nights at a luxury hotel, 14-karat gold-plated binoculars engraved with Patterson's initials, a five-course dinner with Patterson, autographed copies of the entire Alex Cross series, and the exploding cherry on top: an opportunity to watch Patterson's book be blown up by a bomb squad at an unknown location.
It's unclear who, if anyone, is going to spring for this trip, but it could be someone close to Patterson. Susan Holden, who works at the advertising agency Mother New York and is managing the promotion, told The New York Times: "He said to me that he wouldn't be surprised if one in his circle of friends might be interested. He's a super down-to-earth guy, but he runs with a billion-dollar crowd, so for some person that's a huge Patterson fan, this could be chump change and could be funny."
For those without an extra $294,038 lying around, you can get your own version of "Private Vegas" beginning today at selfdestructingbook.com. The first 1,000 readers can get the book for free, but you'll have to read it in a hurry: It will self-destruct in 24 hours. (That's Patterson-speak for "delete itself off your device." No Kindles will be harmed in the reading of this book.)
Join the conversation: What do you think of James Patterson's stunt?
Watch the video announcing the promotion:
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