Penguin Random House has embarked on an extensive marketing and publicity campaign for John le Carré’s first memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, which sees its worldwide release this week after decades in the making.
The memoir, which publishes in the UK on Thursday (8th September), priced £20, promises to "open up [le Carré's] extraordinary writing life for the first time”, with the audiobook to be read by by the author (real name David Cornwell) himself.
PRH promises that the campaign will be "one of the largest multimedia PR and marketing campaigns of the year".
Tomorrow (6th September) will see with author Tony Parsons and director of "The Night Manager" Susanne Bier making appearances on Radio 4’s Today programme tomorrow (6th September) to discuss the enduring legacy and continuing influence of le Carré and his novels.
Radio ads read by le Carré will air on Classic FM from 8th-12th September, and ads for the audiobook will also be running across the Acast podcast network.
The Reading Agency also is celebrating the release of The Pigeon Tunnel by running a campaign inviting visitors to "Read the 20th Century through le Carré". Libraries are being supplied with posters, bookmarks, reading group bundles of copies of le Carré’s backlist, and ideas for displays. The best displays will then be entered into a competition to win the le Carré backlist library.
The campaign kicked off over the weekend with a multimedia serial in the Guardian, the biggest since last year's for Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman (William Heinemann). Saturday's edition contained a 16-page commemorative pull-out in Weekend magazine, featuring extracts from The Pigeon Tunnel alongside new photos and materials from le Carré’s personal archive. An interactive website featuring audio extracts read by le Carré, plus exclusive videos of famous le Carré fans reading sections from his books, including Tom Hiddleston, Damien Lewis, and Rachel Weisz, also went live at guardian.co.uk.
John le Carré is currently enjoying his most successful year since Bookscan records began, thanks to the success of the BBC's adaptation of The Night Manager that sent sales soaring in March. According to Penguin Random House, 167,000 copies of his books have been bought in 2016, up 450% year-on-year, with an average rate of one copy sold every 110 seconds (or 33 copies every hour).