Have you ever read a book so engaging that you just couldn’t put it down, fearing that it might explode if you did? Well, bestselling author James Patterson decided to turn that fear into a reality with a self-destructing book that literally explodes 24 hours after it’s been opened.
The self-destructing book is actually a marketing scheme to promote Patterson’s newly released novel, Private Vegas. The unique book comes with a hefty price tag of $294,038, but includes a first-class ticket to an undisclosed location, two nights’ stay in a luxury hotel, 14-karat gold-plated binoculars and a five-course dinner with the author.
The promotional video for this one-of-a-kind book is really quite hilarious. “Welcome to an experience that will blow your mind,” its protagonist says. “Hopefully not literally.” It describes the feeling of reading the book as ‘the most thrilling experience money can buy, created by James Patterson’. Although it doesn’t clarify exactly how the book will explode once the time is up, the experience will involve a bomb squad for safety purposes.
If you don’t have $294,038 to spare, don’t despair. You can settle for one of the 1,000 free downloads of the Private Vegas app. These digitally self-destructing e-books will delete themselves within 24 hours of opening the file. Panicked e-readers will be able to track each other’s progress and ‘steal time’ from others. According to the publishers, the app is designed to ‘bring the thrill of James Patterson’s book to unprecedented heights’.
“The brilliant ad agency, Mother, came up with the outrageous idea of the self-destructing book,” Patterson said. “I don’t know if my books qualify as treasures, but they are very fast, exciting reads. They are meant to be read in 24 hours, or less.”
Patterson, whose books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, is one of the highest paid authors today. It has been speculated that his attention-grabbing promotion might be an indicator of dwindling sales, but Mother managing director Susan Holden disagreed. “He likes to market,” she explained. “He’s an ex ad guy. He believes in advertising and he believes that’s a significant reason why his books have been so successful.”
Who would burn a small fortune on a self-destructing book, you ask? “He said to me that he wouldn’t be surprised if one in his circle of friends might be interested,” Susan Holden told the press. “He’s a super down-to-earth guy, but he runs with a billion-dollar crowd, so for some person that’s a huge Patterson fan, this could be chump change and could be funny.”