14.08.09 Benedicte Page in The Bookseller
A “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” convention will take place in October to mark the 30th anniversary of the famous Douglas Adams series (12th October) and publication of the authorised sequel from Eoin Colfer, And Another Thing . . .
“Hitchcon 2009” is a highlight in a co-ordinated campaign being jointly organised by Adams’ publisher Pan Macmillan and Colfer’s publisher Penguin. Pan Macmillan is to reissue the Adams backlist on 1st September, 42 days before the anniversary date—as Adams fans know, the number 42 is “the answer to life, the universe and everything”.
The special editions, which include a “DIY” jacket for The Hitchhiker’s Guide that readers can customise with a sheet of stickers, will be available only for one year. They include new introductions from the likes of Russell T Davies, Neil Gaiman and Terry Jones, and previously unseen material from Pan Macmillan’s Adams archive.
This includes the original press release for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and synopses of the novels written by Adams.
Macmillan senior commissioning editor Julie Crisp said: “We have such a history with him, and we wanted to focus on material that hadn’t been seen.”
Macmillan’s marketing includes a promotion with the magazine SciFi Now, and material for bookshops includes dumpbins, window stickers, posters and bookmarks. Meanwhile, Marvin the Paranoid Android will be Tweeting.Hitchcon will take place at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank on Sunday 11th October, with appearances from Simon Jones, the actor who first played Arthur Dent, and other members of the original cast. Colfer will also do the first reading from his book at the event.
Meanwhile, Penguin is collaborating with Universal Music label Island Records for the release of a tune inspired by And Another Thing . . . with Irish band The Blizzards. The song is to be released as the “official” single for the book in October.
Penguin is also to launch a website, www.6of3.com, offering competitions, games and ringtone downloads, in September. “Large-scale announcement advertising” is also planned, while a range of videos with Colfer will be seeded across the internet, and material also fed across TV and radio stations.
Colfer will do events from 11th to 17th October, including bookshop appearances in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester, Forbidden Planet in London and Easons in Dublin, and the Cheltenham and Manchester literary festivals.
Benedicte Page Penguin Pan Macmillan Eoin Colfer douglas Adams