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January 17th, 2010

ABC's Marketing Genius

Since marketing is a part of the duties of an author, I like to keep my eyes open for what other people are doing even in other venues.

This particular marketing tactic of using multi outlets is something ABC has done before. In 2004, when Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital came out, they got with Hyperion books and put out a tie-in book called The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident. It was a great way for fans of the mini series to get a little more juice out of it, to give the experience another level and get more information.

Well, the same type of multi media experience for fans is being repeated again with ABC's new show Castle, staring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, but in some ways it is at a whole new level.

Castle is about a mystery writer named Richard Castle who through his huge stack of contacts gets permission to follow after Lieutenant Kate Beckett as she goes about her work in solving murders in New York City. Castle is an incorrigible free spirit to Beckett's very strict no nonsense personality, but does add a different point of view and knowledge base, so the team dynamic actually works (all to Beckett's chagrin) and more crimes are getting solved than would have without him. Meanwhile, Castle is using Beckett as the inspiration for new set of books.

So comes to life the character of Nikki Heat, who he will be using in his new series, the first of which will be entitled, Heat Wave.

In the show, we see Castle start and finish the book, as well as actually get it published. It has a cover, it has a dedication to Beckett, they talk of passages in the book. And here is where the beautiful part comes in - Hyperion actually printed a 'real' book called Heat Wave written by Richard Castle for viewers to buy!

The front and back cover is the same. The back cover has a picture of Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle for the author. And then, to sweeten the deal, they went a few paces further, which so totally makes the fantasy weave in with the show and bring the audience in.

The dedication of the 'real' book is the same as the one talked about on the show. There are actually passages in the book that are of things Castle learned during several of the cases in the episodes, or even things he brought to the table to help the police. (The discussion on all the varied names for a 'perp' for instance. Castle's acquaintance with an art thief he'd befriended on research for another book. Other little things like this.)

Better yet was the mention on the show (as Beckett is trying to read the new book - as she is a fan of Castle's - though this is something she would like him not to remember and is sneaking around to read the thing) of the 'hot' scene on page 103. Which in the 'real' book, is exactly where the romance heats up.

As a fan of the show, these ins and outs just tickled the heck out of me and shot my enjoyment of the series and the book by multiples. In New York they even did book signings with Nathan Fillion playing his character to sign books!

(As for the book itself, it's pretty good! On a personal level I wished they had not made it so close to the show (a reporter has tacked himself on to Heat's team to get the inside scoop on crime solving), but the mystery itself and all the awesome tie-in bits made it a total treat.)

This is a wonderful example of how to grab and give a treat to your fan base. That's some marketing ABC. Kudos to you!

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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