Yesterday the literary Internets uncovered a free edition of a Simon Kernick’s thriller with a splashy cover that reads, “DAN BROWN: If you like your thrillers as fast, furious and unputdownable as Dan Brown, then we thought you’d enjoy Simon Kernick”–the blurb copy dwarfed the real author’s name and the top two-thirds of the cover.
The original cover is pictured here, but journalist Sarah Weinman has a photo of the controversial cover. The book is a promotional edition of “Deadline“–if UK readers pre-order Dan Brown’s upcoming “The Lost Symbol,” they can get a free copy of Kernick’s thriller. Reactions were mixed: Pace J. Miller called it “most disgraceful book cover ever,” the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog launched a cover contest, and Kernick himself emailed to remind readers: “The book with the new cover is not, never was, and never will be for sale, and DEADLINE’s still in print with its original cover.”
Finally, novelist Jason Pinter defended the marketing campaign: “The bottom line is that this will sell boatloads of Kernick books and elevate his status and recognition. So from a bottom line marketing standpoint, it’s one of the most effective promotions I’ve ever seen.”