Often times a publicist or promotional team won’t put much effort into pushing something unless it’s going to be really big, which means it probably doesn’t need a massive PR campaign to begin with.
For example, everyone on earth knows there’s a new Batman movie coming in two weeks, what fan of Harry Potter doesn’t know that JK Rowling has a new book coming out this September? (September 27 to be exact, but if you’re a Harry Potter fan you obviously knew that already).
As we reported here on TG, the book is called The Casual Vacancy and it’s an adult political novel about the chaos surrounding an election in a small village.
Not much more is known about the book, and as with the Harry Potter books, and these days filmmakers and authors are well aware of the power of secrecy.
So indeed, things are very low-key for the new Rowling book, to the point where Entertainment Weekly asked, “One of the world’s best-known authors will be releasing a new book in less than three months. So why is there so little buzz about it?”
In a situation like this, you know advance copies will probably be very limited, and will probably come out right before the book’s release. Rowling is also press shy, so you won’t be seeing her all over the place promoting the book and herself. As one PR exec told EW, “You want to have the biggest impact possible on opening day, so I think they’re smartly holding things back since she’s already such a big name.”
Plus, it’s smarter to do it low key, so as writer Keith Staskiewicz puts it, the book won’t get crushed “under the weight of post-Potter expectations.” But this is also Rowling writing for a whole new audience, adult adults instead of young adults, even though plenty of Potter fans will be reading it for sure.
Ultimately I’ve learned that no matter how much press and publicity is behind something, if people don’t want to see a movie or read a book, you can hype it to the moon, and they still won’t check it out. So maybe a low key approach is better here, because although Rowling’s name or “brand” may move plenty of copies, the book will stand or fall on its own merits from there.