The Traveler Girls for John Twelve Hawks

Posted on July 22, 2005

The Traveler GirlsNo, you're not seeing quintuplets and you're not at a gaming convention. These are five models attired to look like a character from the uber-hot new novel The Traveler by the mysterious John Twelve Hawks, the pseudonym for the incredibly paranoid author who lives "off the grid."

Off the grid is to exist "invisible to the real-life surveillance networks that monitor people in our modern society." He talks to his editor and agent via scrambled satellite phone (or something like that) and they swear they've never seen him. Presumably his checks go to an offshore account. Or are beamed to Mars. But back to the Traveler Girls: they were part of a promotion for the book. They all look like the character Maya, a fearless warrior pledged to protect Travelers at all costs.

The New York Times reports on the unique marketing campaign for the book.

How does a company market a science fiction-tinged novel that it thinks could be the next "Da Vinci Code" if the author refuses to do publicity? Jason Kaufman, the editor of "The Traveler" and "The Da Vinci Code." To promote "The Traveler," a story set in a futuristic society written by John Twelve Hawks, Doubleday turned to the film and television industries for inspiration.

"If you're going to look to an industry for innovative and aggressive marketing tactics, it's definitely those industries - not the publishing industry," said John Pitts, the marketing director at Doubleday, an imprint of Random House.

Doubleday worked out a low seven-figure deal for the worldwide rights to "The Traveler" and its two planned sequels, according to Publishers Weekly. The book is being published in 18 countries, and has been optioned by Universal for a film. All that hype does not mean the book will succeed. Publishers and booksellers often have few hard clues about which book will become popular and which will languish on shelves.

The buzz on the book is that it's quite good and the editor is Jason Kaufman--the guy that edited The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The Traveler is next on our To Be Read list, and our review will be in the August issue of The IWJ.

We think the cosplay marketing idea is a fun one. Just get some people to dress up as your lead character and have them attend a relevant convention.