Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Clues In Plain Sight

A different kind of book came out this past weekend. It’s called The Clock Without a Face. I haven’t seen it, but it’s described as “a house-shaped board book chock full of mystery, humor and stunning artwork.” That sounds good. But what will probably have people snatching it up is that, according to SFGate, “there are also clues that point to 12 emerald-encrusted numbers buried across the country.”
As readers follow the adventure, they'll pick up clues leading them to the real-life location of the numbers.
"We wanted to have all these different entry points to the book," Horowitz said. "You can read it just as a whodunit. You can read it as this weird art book. You can read it as this interior design book or as this puzzle book or as this buried-treasure book."
What do you think? Useless gimmick? Or an incentive to buy?
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36 comments:

  1. All they need is a World Wide Wickets Treasure Girl.

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  2. I think it's fun, but then I love a treasure hunt. :)

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  3. Too gimmicky for me, but still sounds like many would find it fun. There's a reason gimmicky sells!

    Call me boring, but I like my reads a little more straightforward.

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  4. Always someone who comes up with new products. To me it appears like a mix of a game and a kid's book. Think I will stay with Penguin Classics >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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  5. I've written a choose your own adventure story. Pretty good fun.

    Really Angelic

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  6. I can see how it would entice some readers. Probably not me. I don't have the time (or money) to zip around the country looking for treasure. But if I did, it might be an adventure.

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  7. Sounds gimmicky to me but I can see where it would appeal to some.

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  8. Perhaps too gimicky... and, are they selling the house-board book as a separate entity, and an actual book as a separate thing? If so, you risk dividing your audience and dividing your energy.

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  9. I cast my vote with gimmicky, and it sounds like it would be a children's book, in a way. Nothing beats a solid, well written story.

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  10. I think it's an all-in-one package, Jill.

    Does sound like a kids' book, but I'm pretty sure it's aimed at adults.

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  11. Sounds like a Scavenger Hunt. I hated scavenger hunts. I doubt this will make my Bucket List. lol
    Mary
    Giggles and Guns

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  12. Oh I can see where it would be an incentive to buy the book. The reader not only gets to read about an adventure but participate in it.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  13. It sounds like an interesting concept. I’d probably at least pick it up and look at it at a bookstore, but I’m not sure it’s the type of book I’d buy. I guess time will tell if it’s a useless gimmick or a marketing success.

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  14. If it works at all - it will be because there isn't an adult out there that doesn't remember treasure hunting as a kid. It's amazing how adults tend to want to relive those childhood memories; a saner comforting time for most.
    (Hugs)Indigo

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  15. Surprisingly, I don't remember too many childhood scavenger hunts.

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  16. I wouldn't buy it, but it sounds like fun, even if it is a bit gimmicky.
    Karen

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  17. Sounds fun and maybe a bit gimmicky. I think the fun will be spoiled soon though because people will post answers on the Internet.

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  18. Sounds like a lot of work with countless people competing for the same item. Not for me. But its fun reading a synopsis of what happend.

    Stephen Tremp

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  19. Once the prize is claimed, will people still buy the book? I don't know. I haven't seen it to know if the illustrations are worth the price.

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  20. Sounds fun. Something especially I might purchase as a gift. Something I'd love to receive as a gift :)

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  21. they have a web site with a few examples:
    gustwintig.com. It actually looks pretty fun - and from reading about it elsewhere, I'm guessing it is aimed at kids primarily to promote some kind of family participation. I've never heard of the publisher though - McSweeney's?

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  22. Hi Helen!

    I hope all is well.

    This sounds like a very interesting book. I do love a good mystery/treasure hunt. I'm not a fan of gimmicks (or hype) but I may have to at least check this one out :)

    Jen

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  23. A lot of whether I'd be interested depends on how far you have to travel to find the clues. Maybe if it involved places all over the States or the world, you could get friends to go in with you as a team.

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  24. Er... for me, gimmick. But I can see how it would appeal to some readers.

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  25. I can see it being a fun hunt for families or people who like that sort of thing. But the tresure hunt aspect of it will have limited appeal, despite sounding like a fun, cool family adventure opportunity.

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  26. A real-life National Treasure story, huh?

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  27. I remember a book with this type gimmick a few years back, but can't think of the title. We'll see if it pays out for this one.

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  28. McSweeny's is awesome. I looked on their page (McSweeny's) and it looks like a kids book - something along the lines of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

    I think it's an awesome idea in theory. As a consumer, though, I wouldn't want to buy a book if I lived in a small town, because I doubt any numbers would be close.

    Regardless of whether the book is a flop or a best seller, this idea is worth it's weight in gold as far as promo goes as long as the publisher can back it up with other good books.

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  29. Interesting - I haven't heard of this before. Kind of like the 39 Clues series for kids - although that doesn't have the real life treasure.

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  30. I all for anything that draws more people to books. I am wondering how much such a book cost.

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  31. Schmidt, William5/05/2010 9:07 PM

    I bought it and love it. Its very well written (Mac Barnett who has a few books published by Simon and Schuster). I have no intention on hunting for the treasure - it's just a fun read and I could (and have) look at the illustrations for hours. The great thing is that it works on three levels:
    1) the whodunnit story line for kids is very clever and fun
    2) there is a treasure hunt aspect WITHIN THE DRAWINGS - you are supposed to discover missing items within the incredibly detailed illustrations. Can't remember the illustrator's name but I think I read he's a fine artist - not an illustrator)
    and
    3) the real buried treasures.
    The book retails for $20 but I ordered it from Amazon for under $14.
    It's on my coffee table because to me, it also functions as

    4) an art book.

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  32. I'm glad that Bill gave an overview of the book. I was not sure if I would even check it out until I read his comment. My initial reaction was that it was a gimmick and would appeal to people who enjoy searching for treasure, but not to readers just for the literary aspect of the book. Sounds like it has something to offer o a lot of levels. Clever idea.

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  33. I'm puzzled by the comments about this book. The concept is not new. Over thirty years ago Kit Williams published Masquerade which contained clues in both text and artwork. YA—and adult—interest in the book was great, even among those who would never travel to Britain to do the actual treasure hunting. More recently, Michael Stadther's Secrets of the Alchemist Dar and A Treasure's Trove led to actual treasures worth $1M and $ 2M respectively. All of these books have done well, eagerly read by active seekers as well as armchair adventurers who read solely for the joy of solving a puzzle.

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  34. I think what one poster was thinking about is A Treasure's Trove by Michael Stadther. Stadther stashed a bunch of jeweled pendants or whatever around the country and then wrote and illustrated a book describing where they were.

    It created quite a stir then, and several people worked out the clues to find them. (I tried to figure them out, but it was too advanced for me. :-( )

    A second book he wrote, however, didn't fare so well. He had to declare bankruptcy or something, I think, and abandoned the quest before anyone found any of the new hidden treasures.

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