Friday, May 29, 2009

Publishing Opportunity or Marketing Technique?

“Do something. If it doesn’t work, do something else. No idea is too crazy.” – Jim Hightower

Move over hardbacks, paperbacks, soft covers, Kindles, and e-books! Clear the shelves! We need room for toilet paper books. Yes, you read that right—toilet paper. Sorry to be a bit indelicate here, but if the new literary experience being launched in Japan succeeds, carrying reading material into the bathroom may no longer be necessary.

According to a recent article on news.yahoo.com, “Horror Story Printed on Toilet Paper in Japan,” a Japanese company is now selling a nine-chapter novella printed on bathroom tissue. Click here to see a photo of the packaging.

The novella, Drop, is written by Koji Suzuki. He’s a best-selling author and has been described as Japan’s answer to Stephen King. Being promoted as “a horror experience in the toilet,” the roll sells for about $2.20. The story takes up about three feet of a roll and requires only a few minutes to read. Appropriately, the setting is a public restroom.

I’d like to know if Suzuki’s royalties are paid by the sheet, roll, or Costco size bundle. Read more about Koji Suzuki here.

Will the trend catch on here? If so, perhaps we’ll soon see an American version with Stephen King’s A Very Tight Place, which for the most part, takes place in a portable bathroom. Personally, I find visiting public restrooms scary enough. I don’t really want to read more horror stories about them.

What do you think of this idea? Are toilet tissue books a new avenue in the publishing world or are they an ‘outside the box’ marketing idea?

Thanks for stopping by.


Tags: Jim Hightower, Koji Suzuki, Stephen King, novella on bathroom tissue, A Very Tight Place, Drop,

17 comments:

Marvin D. Wilson said...

My, my, my ... well I guess if you live long enough you'll see just about everything!

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The Japanese certainly aren't afraid to try new things! Toilet paper... Well, apply that train of thought, I guess we can look for mini-novels on the backs of cereal boxes next.

L. Diane Wolfe
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
www.spunkonastick.net
www.thecircleoffriends.net

Helen Ginger said...

Ahh, Diane, the old serial/cereal books, huh? Will there be kitchen mysteries on paper towels? Mini golf romances on golf towels? Oh, the possibilities!

Helen
Straight From Hel

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I know what you mean, Marvin! Diane and Helen, I think you've come up with some terrific ideas, hmmm.

Karen Walker said...

What will people think of next? Boggles the mind.
Karen
http://www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com

Chester Campbell said...

Read a charming book on Charmin. How about short stories on Kleenex? Read before you blow. Ah, the ingenuity of Homo sapiens.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Ha- this was a fun little note. Doesn't the author feel bad about what happens to the "pages" of his work? Hmmm.

Cheers!

Alexis Grant said...

What??? Crazy! I'd never heard of this... Certainly outside the box, but hey, if it works, it works!

Jim Sutton said...

Funny story. Thanks for sharing.
this is a new way of thinking....

"The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them."-Sir William Bragg

I wonder just how much they did not know in this case:)

"It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem."-Malcolm

Holly Jahangiri said...

I think it's a Charminly novel idea. ;)

Galen Kindley said...

Well, since much of the stuff I write should, by definition and as the result of any reasonable evaluation, end up in the toilet, I foresee a new publisher in my future.

Best Regards, Galen.
GalenKindley.com

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

This was fun. Thank you all for your comments - your clever responses kept me laughing all day.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Isn't this crazy? Well, as long as people are reading...

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Kerrie said...

Even if I was guaranteed to sell a million rolls, I am not sure I want my writing associated with toilet papers, bathrooms...

Cat Connor said...

I guess it was bound to happen - about twenty years ago I saw crossword toilet paper!

Krista said...

All I can imagine is the frustration of the pen bleeding through to the second layer (assuming it was even 2-ply!) and tearing and trying to keep the pages in order.
Even Chicken Soup for the Soul would have turned out to be a horror story if the authors had to write it on toilet paper!

Krista said...

All I can imagine is the frustration of the pen bleeding through to the second layer (assuming it was even 2-ply!) and tearing and trying to keep the pages in order.
Even Chicken Soup for the Soul would have turned out to be a horror story if the authors had to write it on toilet paper!

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world