Cave, leader of the Bad Seeds, part of Grinderman, and GQ Man of the Year, has recently published his second novel The Death of Bunny Munro with FSG. For anyone who’s read his previous work, or seen The Proposition (he wrote the screenplay), you know this is the opposite of a celebrity vanity project. While Lauren Conrad’s book sits in stacks in Wal-Mart, Nick Cave writes so well you wish he’d give up music for a while.
FSG publishing quality fiction is nothing new. What is new, and what I’m proud to be a part of, is the way the book is being released.
- First, there’s the hardcover. Normal price, handsome design. It’s your typical text object.
- Second, there’s the audiobook. The author reads it himself, over a music bed he’s composed exclusively for the occasion. You also get a DVD of short videos, produced by Canongate in the UK, of Cave reading various parts of the book, paired with atmospheric visuals. You can see a few of the videos now here, and one below.
- Third, there’s the iPhone app: produced by Canongate and distributed in the US with arrangement by FSG, this contains the audiobook and text, as well as a few of the videos from the DVD. While reading, you can even deftly switch between text and audio if you wish. I can see this feature being especially helpful for subway reading.
- Fourth, and most exciting, there’s the limited edition print package. It’s signed and numbered, with its own distinct design from the rest of the offerings. You get a deluxe hardcover, the audiobook, the DVD, all in a slipcase. With the author’s large fan base, we wanted to offer something unique and rare. Once these sell they’ll never be reproduced.
Anyone who knows me also knows I’ve been trumpeting this kind of release structure since January. Pablo Defendini summarizes it perfectly here, and Ami Greko and I have been pushing it to anyone who will listen. Why not offer a book in as many formats as possible*, to every possible audience? The music industry learned this the hard way, but now bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs consider it de rigeur to offer several packaged tiers of media.
Chapter 2 Excerpt at Spinner.com
*I believe the novel will also be offered as an ebook soon, it’s in the pipeline.