Vintage has revealed its extensive publicity and marketing campaign for Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by début novelist Deepa Anappara featuring partnerships with restaurants Dishoom.
Snapped up in a high-level auction on the eve of the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair, the début will be published on 30th January as Vintage’s lead début novel for the year with endorsements from Ian McEwan and Anne Enright. Within days of the deal, Djinn Patrol had already sold in 14 territories.
The novel follows nine-year-old narrator Jai who is searching for missing children in his Indian slum. The novel has been eagerly awaited since Anappara, then a creative writing PhD student, won the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers (DRF) prize for unpublished writers in May 2018, as well as taking the Lucy Cavendish Award and the Bridport Novel Award in the same year.
"The ambitious campaign for Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line started in May 2019 with an exclusive and limited proof run in May," Vintage said. A second "eyecatching" proof followed with Anappara visiting more than 45 bookshops across London, Bath, Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow, armed with Indian Patisa treats. In October, Vintage held a Diwali influencer dinner at the Cinnamon Bazaar in Covent Garden.
Anappara's first event of 2020 is with Five Dials (15th January) followed by Red Lion Bookshop in Colchester with journalist and former Bookseller journalist Sarah Shaffi interviewing the author (23rd January). There will be a launch party at Daunt Bookshop Marylebone later this month as well as a début panel event at Waterstones Gower Street. Next month there will be an event at Spike Island Art Centre in Bristol with independent bookshop Storysmith as well as events at Foyles Charing Cross Road, Waterstones Nottingham, Forum Books in Corbridge, and Portobello Books in Edinburgh, with a number of slots in literary festivals to follow later this year.
The ambitious media campaign across radio and print continues with Djinn Patrol the first book of 2020 to be selected and discussed on the on the Radio 2 “Bookclub” with a number of other BBC interviews scheduled. There are also numerous articles planned including a feature written by Anappara (pictured below) in the Sunday Times Culture section on 19th January, exploring how poverty is portrayed in literature, as well as an upcoming Observer interview.
Vintage said: "The publicity and influencer activity will be amplified by a strategic mix of digital and outdoor marketing. Pre-order social media advertising began over Christmas, with a dynamic digital experience featuring an animation, extract and reviews, and continues through to publication. Publication will then see the launch of a wide-spread and engaging campaign using a mixture of creatives, from animation to stunning commissioned photography, to engage over 300,000 readers across social media."
The publisher added: "The Djinn eye will be watching down on book buyers across the country as part of unmissable, vibrant window and in-store displays on the high street. These will also feature re-creations of the novel’s bazaar, with a centrepiece café takeover at Waterstones Piccadilly offering customers a free chai with a copy of the book. Partnership activity with [restaurants] Dishoom will take Djinn Patrol to a nationwide audience interested in Indian culture and cuisine and a Books on the Underground campaign will also reach readers across the UK. There will be a particular focus on the UK’s own [purple] Metropolitan Line on publication, with activity at libraries at key stations along the route."
The novel will also be highlighted across audio. Anappara will also feature in The Bookseller’s podcast and "Sunday Salon". Podcast advertising will run throughout February, "targeting literary podcast listeners to showcase the high production values of the audiobook".
Penguin Random House Audio has created a multi-voice production of the novel starring Himesh Patel, who appeared in the films "Yesterday" and "The Aeronauts", alongside "Game of Thrones" star Indira Varma and Antonio Aakeel of "Tomb Raider".
Clara Farmer, publishing director of Chatto & Windus, said: "From the moment we acquired Deepa’s novel 18 months ago we knew we wanted to convey the energy and delight of her writing, but also, importantly, to share the truths of her characters, whose stories spring from events Deepa observed as a journalist working in India. We’ve been working closely with Deepa on editing, packaging and promotion for many months — and it’s amazing to think we’re finally on the brink of publication and able to share this stunning book with everyone, thanks to all Deepa’s hard work and a simply stellar publicity campaign from the Vintage publicity and marketing team."
Anappara grew up in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in cities including Mumbai and Delhi. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and is currently studying for a PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship.