A soundtrack for . . . a book?

Yes. That's the wrinkle Penguin came up with for the launch of Will Ferguson's latest.

Once again thinking outside the book, Toronto-based Penguin Group is planning a corker of a launch for Spanish Fly, a new novel by Will Ferguson.

The author of bestsellers Why I Hate Canadians, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw and Happiness wrote the lyrics for Con Men and Call Girls, a ditty related to Spanish Fly‘s plot. Ferguson then collaborated with popular Canadian composer and vocalist Tom Phillips, leader of the Men of Constant Sorrow country band. The results were so promising that Penguin decided to produce a CD as a complement to a book.

All of which is why both Spanish Fly the novel and Spanish Fly: The Soundtrack to the Novel (on the indy Tunzen Music label) are both about to be released. The official launch will be at Calgary’s Ironwood Bar and Grill during the annual Wordfest event next month, with both the author and the musician appearing. Later on, Ferguson will be featured at both the Vancouver International Writers Festival and the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.

And Penguin has an ambitious marketing campaign in the works. It will kick off with an announcement ad in the Globe and Mail on Sept. 22, just as a six-city author tour begins. Freelance publicists in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal will blitz the news media along the way. There will also be cross-merchandising with key retailers and co-op advertising with key booksellers.

Penguin is handling all creative work and media buys in-house.