Uncategorized | July 12, 2005

Sure, you’ve heard of standard publicity stunts for book promotion—flashy websites, book signings, trade shows, interviews—but floating down the Mississippi on a man-made raft? Sounds a little out of the ordinary, to say the least. But for Brooklyn author John Wray, successfully promoting a book means making headlines. In a highly competitive industry that often demands hot personalities and celebrity backing to market a book, Wray has managed to stand out amongst a sea of emerging writers by sailing down the Mississippi. Although intended to announce the debut of his new novel, Canaan’s Tongue, Wray’s 600-mile journey down the Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana, has been only moderately successful. In addition to a few hard knocks to the raft, all four of Wray’s scheduled readings were poorly attended. Still, Wray’s venture for further publicity has made waves with the New York Times. Canaan’s Tongue is Wray’s second novel and tells a fictionalized account of the life of a real historical personage, John Murel, a horse thief turned slave-nabber. Wray’s first work, The Right Hand of Sleep, received positive reviews. His voyage has drawn mixed responses and a variety of creative and not-so-creative ideas on book promotion from the literary world. For more information, see bookninja.com’s blogs on the subject.