Doing it right: Effective marketing by Orbit Books

Up until last year I had never read a fantasy novel. I firmly believed all of the stereotypes that go along with avid readers of this genre. That was until I haphazardly fell into reading a fantasy novel and got sucked in before I new what had hit me.

Assassin’s Creed is a video game that was released on the Xbox and Playstation 3 platforms at the end 2007. The plot centers around an assassin in the middle ages. It was a wildly popular game that I played through in late 2008, and afterwards had the thought that it would be interesting to read a novel around the games overall setting. Middle ages, assassin, etc.

A few months later I was walking through my local Barnes and Noble and a book caught my eye. On the cover of The Way of Shadows was a figure dressed very similar to the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed.

Exactly what I was looking for.

I purchased and read the novel, along with the subsequent two books released by the author, which launched me into purchasing several other fantasy novels, many by the same publisher.

The reason I tell you this story is because I always assumed this was a pretty random set of events that played out. Playing a video game which stuck in my head long enough for me to happen upon a book with a similar cover which caught my attention enough to buy.

I recently met a publishing director from Orbit Books, the publisher behind The Way of Shadows. I told him about this story and how I have now purchased seven of their titles.

Here’s what he told me…

“It was all planned.”

When Orbit was designing the cover for the trilogy, they thought the title would be something fans of Assassin’s Creed might be interested in. As a result, the cover was designed specifically to catch the eye of fans of the video game.

And thus, a story of effective book marketing is born.

Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl is the author of Your First 1000 Copies and the founder of He has worked with authors for a decade to help them build their platform, connect with readers, and sell more books. He has worked 1-on-1 with over a hundred authors including Daniel Pink, Hugh Howey, Barbara Corcoran, Chip and Dan Heath, Sally Hogshead and many others. He has also launched dozens of New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestsellers.
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