- From:The Australian
- May 02, 2011
These pressures, which may point the way towards the future of the book, have resulted in the latest work from Harry Hurt III, a prolific New York author, containing adverts for the energy drink PureSport, lobster boat tours and a range of carry-on luggage. These and many other products appear in the pages of Harry Hits the Road: Adventures in Love, Labor, and Modern Manhood. "The publishing industry was in decline, the economy was in a bad place," he says. "I just want to keep writing prose. To do that it has got to pay for itself in some way."
So his travelogue, published as an e-book, opens with a video advertisement for La Gloria Cubana cigars, which Hurt smokes throughout. "The story is about my struggle to reinvent myself . . . and my on-off romance," he says. "Whether or not I smoked Cubana cigars or another brand didn't really affect that."
Michael Norris, a senior publishing analyst at Simba Information, says such practices were bound to become more common. "Everyone is talking about how to bring content to people differently," he says.
This brave new world of publishing has been heralded by the release of a new e-book reader by Amazon, in which adverts are automatically embedded in the text of novels.
Hurt's innovation was to incorporate the adverts within the original text, but even this is not an entirely new departure.
"David Copperfield mocks characters who spend too much time reading Burke's Peerage," says Leah Price, a professor of English literature at Harvard University.
"Beside the text there were adverts for the latest edition."
Descriptions of Miss Mowcher, purveyor of wigs and cosmetics, appeared alongside adverts for "a ventilating head of hair".
Needless to say, it was a far, far better wig than they had ever donned and a far, far less sweaty head that it gave the wearer than he had ever known.