Harper Collins debuts book soundtrack

Harper Collins has come up with, shall we say, a novel strategy for marketing Vikram Chandra's epic Sacred Games.

Following the success of its ‘book trailers’ last year, Harper Collins Canada continues to borrow marketing tricks from Hollywood with the launch of a ‘book soundtrack’ for Vikram Chandra’s epic novel Sacred Games.

The soundtrack was originally intended to get booksellers revved up about the release. But, says Steve Osgoode, director, digital marketing and business development at Toronto-based Harper Collins Canada, the response was so great they decided to build a consumer promo around it to boot.

HCC opted to go with an online promo for the soundtrack, rather than in-store, because web sales are easier to track. And, says Osgoode, ‘We thought it would be a great way to drive sales online.’ Thus, in an offer that’s rolling out now, a limited number of soundtracks have been sent to online retailers like amazon.ca and indigo.ca to give away as a premium with book purchases.

The book, which is set in India, is a hot property, snagging a million-dollar advance at auction last year. It hit the shelves in January and HCC has been building out marketing initiatives since then. Other components include a book trailer running on BookTelevision and at South Asian cinemas in Toronto and Vancouver, plus print ads in national dailies and traditional online ads. As well, an interview with Chandra kicked off ‘Season 2′ of the publisher’s ‘Prosecast’ podcast series.

Harper Collins worked with music producer Jody Colero, of Toronto-based Audio Joe, on the soundtrack compilation. ‘He read the book and came back to us with ideas for what should be on it,’ explains Osgoode. The result is ten tracks by popular Indian artists, including recently re-discovered songs by Ravi Shankar that were recorded at the Kremlin during the Cold War era.