Before Publication

The publicity campaign for Inferno breaks new ground in using social media and network television. Facebook, Twitter, Dan Brown’s homepage and NBC The Today Show all highlighted the major outreach to potential readers. What has been missing is the traditional bookstore poster, banner and shelf campaign. The novel will be readily available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble among others. A Kindle edition can be expected to set new records for first night and day downloads.

Examine the photos to see the original title unveiled on Facebook and NBC Today Show on January 15, 2013. Brown’s newly redesigned webpage contains a link to cover with the title and date of publication as 5/14/13. This has been deciphered as the decimal value in reverse of the number PI = 22/7 = 3.14.15.

You can and should examine the extensive pre-publication campaign of Dan Brown’s Facebook page that provided a number of clues to the coming novel, but also spread a net of clues far beyond what the novel eventually delivered.

On twitter where the novel was also unfolding you can follow Dan Brown, in what continues to be an active site.  The first entries are quotes from Brown’s previous novels; after publication the net expanded to offer an outlet for authorial comments and to document Brown’s travels. Brown continues to give life to his fictional hero Robert Langdon by quoting him as an authority on Symbology, although the professor’s homepage is woefully out of date.

A word to the wise: there are dozens of references, photos and ciphers and puzzles. Not all of them would ultimately be in the novel. Brown is at heart at teacher, and as such delights in arousing curiosity on the part of his readers, hoping to stimulate them to further inquiry and research. The joy is in the intellectual journey itself.

“Nothing is hidden that will not be made known; nothing is secret that will not come to light.” (Oct. 8, 2012) This quote appears in Brown’s The Lost Symbol but has its origin in the New Testament Gospel of Luke, 8:17.

“Wide acceptance of an idea is not proof of its validity.” (Nov. 28, 2012).

Nine circles of Dan Brown just days before the novel appeared. An electronic version can be found here.



Leave a Reply