Winky Studmire: Ingenius Marketing for a Fictional Boy Genius

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In a groundbreaking marketing campaign sure to captivate readers around the world, fictional character, Winky Studmire, is live-blogging highlights of a to-be-released book series. The events of the books are unfolding in real time with real pictures at http://www.facebook.com/WinkyStudmire.

Winky Studmire's Snapshot of Dinosaur Tracks

Winky Studmire's Snapshot of Dinosaur Tracks

... not since J.R.R. Tolkien has an author spent thirty years developing an entire series before its release.

In a groundbreaking marketing campaign sure to captivate readers around the world, fictional character, Winky Studmire, is live-blogging highlights of a to-be-released book series. The events of the books are unfolding in real time with real pictures at http://www.facebook.com/WinkyStudmire.

Live-blogging is a modern technique of covering an ongoing event with periodic online posts. The conceit behind this viral marketing campaign is that right now, fictional character, Winky Studmire, is posting comments, photos, and links as his fictional adventure unfolds. Sidekick, Slick Parker, also posts his own humorous comments and reactions to Winky’s coverage.

Instead of typical cartoon drawings, stunning real photographs illustrate the series and take on a life of their own as a live audience reacts, occasionally prompting comments from Winky and Slick. For example, during a time-traveling adventure, Winky uploaded a photo captioned, “Time is flying – that’s the sun AND the moon!” In response, a fan wrote, “That is the most beautiful photograph I have ever seen.” Eleven-year-old Winky politely replied, “Thanks, lady.”

More importantly, this live-blogging approach creates an irresistible sense of verisimilitude. Fans get to inhabit Winky’s world with him in real time. They know the weather, they see what Winky sees when he sees it, and they get to read his present sense impressions of the unfolding plot. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the mystery.

No publisher has ever dared such an ambitious marketing campaign, because not since J.R.R. Tolkien has an author spent thirty years developing an entire series before its release. Author, G.T. Wiley, invested decades developing the stories, the fictional town of Mystic Bay, and its quirky characters. Only this rare and unparalleled level of dedication could sustain eight full-length novels and over eight months of live-blogging. A new book is slated to be released each month, shortly after the events have been live-blogged by Winky.

The e-book and paperback versions of Book 1, Winky Studmire and the Accidental Time Machine, are scheduled for release on May 7, 2013.

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Carrie Byrne
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