Random House brews up Blair Witch books
Random House Children’s Books is hoping that there’s plenty more spooks to come out of the Blair Witch franchise. The pubco has inked a deal with property owner Artisan Entertainment to publish a series of books that extends the mystery surrounding a group of 20-somethings who go into the woods, scream a lot and then vanish, never to be heard from again. The Blair Witch Files follow the plight of Cade Merril, cousin to one of the amateur filmmakers who was captured in the movie, as he tries to track down the Blair Witch. Random is launching the series this month with the first two titles, and will follow thereafter with bi-monthly releases through to summer 2001. The Witch’s Daughter and The Dark Room (US$4.99, each) will be published under Random’s Bantam Books For Young Readers imprint and will no doubt whet the appetite of fans for the October theatrical release of Blair Witch 2, the follow-up to last year’s little-indie-that could, which went on to gross US$250 million worldwide. As with the original movie, the Internet will figure prominently in the marketing campaign for the books. Random House is launching a Blair Witch section on its site that will include exclusive video clips and editorial that provides the backstory to Merril’s quest. Random is also running a sweepstakes, which kicks off on August 8 and offers fans the grand prize of an all-expenses-paid trip to the set of Blair Witch 3, which is scheduled to go into production later this year. Contestants will be able to enter the sweeps via mail-in entry cards found in the books. RHC is supporting the titles with print and TV ads, including spots that will air on MTV’s Total Request Live during the week of August 21.
Intervisual-off to see the Wizard
Intervisual Books has signed on with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to develop a pop-up book based on classic film The Wizard of Oz. The book, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the publishing of Frank L. Baum’s classic tale, features 50 photos of scenes from the film and comes with a CD containing songs from the original soundtrack. Intervisual will ship Oz (US$24.95) this November to specialty, mass and bookstore accounts.