Little, Brown is running an international marketing and publicity campaign for the latest Robert Galbraith novel Lethal White, published today (18th September), which the Sunday Times in an early review lauded as a “blistering piece of crime writing”.
The publicity campaign for the novel, the fourth in the Cormoran Strike series by J K Rowling writing under the pen name of Robert Galbraith, spans the UK, Australia, New Zealand and India.
In the UK, L,B imprint Sphere has used Robert Galbraith social channels and worked with retailers over the summer to drive pre-orders across the hardback, e-book and audio edition. It is now running one of its biggest ever national outdoor campaigns and running social media advertising, with quotes, reviews and competitions, which will run until until Christmas.
There will be just one broadcast interview with the author, on the radio, which the publisher is still keeping under wraps. Sphere is also collaborating with Waterstones Tottenham Court Road to run a guided walking tour on 21st September around some of the key locations used in the TV adaptation of the Cormoran Strike TV series. Tickets cost £20 and include a copy of Lethal White.
PR and marketing plans for New Zealand and Australia include social media, magazine, outdoor and online advertising, as well as point-of-sale retail packs, and India is organising signed copy competitions, press advertising and is working with bloggers.
Lethal White is about a troubled young man called Billy, who comes to private detective Strike’s office to ask for help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child. Strike is left deeply unsettled by the experience but before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
Set during 2012, the story also involves a character called Jasper Chiswell, a cabinet minister responsible for the Olympics opening ceremony. Chiswell, whose family consists of a horse-mad third wife and a son who has just come out of prison, hires Strike to see off some blackmailers but refuses to explain what he has done.“The family’s crumbling country house is as threadbare as their values, but the blackmailers’ politics are just as dreadful, offering Galbraith the opportunity to write comic scenes in which Marxism, feminism and sex collide,” said Joan Smith in the Sunday Times.
The Guardian review votes the novel "highly inventive storytelling" but says that at 650 pages, the book could have been "a little more rigorously edited". It observes: "One element of realism is that Strike, having solved many high-profile murders (not something actual private investigators do much in real life), has now become famous and compromised in his operations. His cover is blown and this predicament seems heartfelt to the author."
Lethal White has a r.r.p. of £20 but Amazon and Waterstones are selling the book for £10, and W H Smith for £14.