I’ve received an email about a book that’s coming out in January: Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson. Ali and Dan didn’t get together, all those years ago, but now they meet again and make each other mix tapes and maybe this time…? I’m sure it’s fantastic but what really caught my eye was the note at the bottom of the email:
And, yes. To accompany the book, there are 23 carefully-chosen tracks by Elvis Costello, Carole King, Nick Drake, David Bowie ‘and many more’. The marketing team at Random House – or Jane Sanderson herself – have had (I hope) a great time putting it together.
It’s a very simple piece of marketing multi-media, but all the more effective for it, and it made me think. I’ve received themed goodies before, and we’re all familiar with tie-ins (such as Ann Cleeves’ book about Shetland to accompany her series of novels). I’ve visited places described in my favourite novels – and have chosen novels because they depict places important to me. I’m aware of the latest trend of a box with a book and curated accompanying food and drink, though I haven’t tried them myself. And of course there is merch ranging from cover art posters to tote bags and beyond. But this, I think, is different. And while in some ways I love the idea, there are risks, just as with a film adaptation. What if the mix tape I have in my head doesn’t fit with the one that’s been provided?
So: a couple of questions for the book community. Do you find in-book experiences fun or could they be intrusive? What in-book experiences have you enjoyed (or not)? Is there anything you’d love for someone to produce?