A Morgan Spurlock approach - in an ebook

Morgan Spurlock is getting a lot of attention for his new movie, The Greatest Story Ever Sold. [Fun fact - I once spoke to Morgan Spurlock while he drank coffee in the lobby of Portland's Cinema 21 after a screening of a movie he did on the commercialization of Christmas.

Now the Wall Street Journal takes a look at a self-published ebook that features both product placement and advertisements. "New York author Harry Hurt III's upcoming account of his cross-country road trip is populated with an elite cast of characters, including former President George H.W. Bush and Mr. Hurt's late friend, George Plimpton. But first, a reader has to elbow past an army of other names: energy-drink company PureSport, Maine cruise line Captain Jack Lobster Boat Tours and Hollywood Stunts NYC, a stunt training center, to name just a few."

Read more about his approach here.

Something similar has been done before. In 2001, Faye Weldon wrote "The Bulgari Connection," which was sponsored by the Italian jewellery firm Bulgari - with a requirement in her contract for at least a dozen mentions of its products. Read more about the Bulgari book here.

Judging by the other books Mr. Hurt has produced, I'm not sure you could call this a trend, but rather clever marketing of a self-published ebook that accidentally echoes a movie that's getting a lot of buzz. In fact, even though the book is supposedly launching today, there's no link on Amazon, and a search for "Harry Hits the Road" turns up nothing. In this case, the cart (buzz) may have gotten ahead of the horse (book).




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