Disappearing ink gives readers 2 months to finish books
'The Book That Can't Wait,' from publisher Eterna Cadencia uses disappearing ink to encourage consumers to read new writers. Aug. 25, 2012.
Constance Droganes, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, August 25, 2012 11:20AM EDT
Unless you’re a celebrity, getting a first-time novel published and read is no small feat for aspiring writers. But one independent publisher in Argentina has come up with a novel strategy to help new authors get the attention they deserve.
The secret, according publisher Eterna Cadencia, is in ink that disappears.
Though the idea might sound like something out of a “Harry Potter” novel, Eterna Cadencia has developed a special ink that disappears once it comes into contact with sunlight and air.
The publisher has used this unusual ink to create “The Book That Can’t Wait,” its newest anthology of Latin American writers. But be forewarned readers.
Once this book is opened, consumers will have just two months to complete this read before the ink fades and the words disappear from its pages forever.
“Books are very patient objects,” Eterna Cadencia said recently in a video to promote its new concept.
“We buy them, and then they wait for us to read them. That’s okay for books, not for new authors,” the publisher added.
“If people don’t read their first book, they’ll never make it to a second,” the company said.
Eterna Cadencia partnered with advertising agency Draftfcb Buenos Aires to promote this unusual publishing model. According to the video, Eterna Cadencia has received hundreds of requests for this new book.
This campaign created by Draftfcb, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, won three Gold awards at the 59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June of 2012.
The award-winning video featured quotes from the Latin American media, some of which compared “The Book That Can’t Wait” to a “treasured object” and one that “creates more awareness about reading.”
However, it remains to be seen how readers or the book industry will respond to this novelty elsewhere in the world.
“I don’t want to call it a marketing gimmick, but that’s how people may perceive this,” said Jim Milliot, the editorial director for Publishers Weekly in New York.
“I don’t think a book written with ink that fades into oblivion is going to rival the power of e-Books,” Milliot told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday.
Earlier in June, the digital media company Aptara, in conjunction with Publishers Weekly, released its fourth annual e-Book survey for publishers. Among the stats released, the survey revealed that four out of five publishers are now producing e-Books.
As well, most publishing houses are producing and releasing print and digital copies of new titles simultaneously.
With these models in place, Milliot is doubtful that books using disappearing ink will dramatically change the way the publishing industry does business.
“I doubt, very much, that publishers will want to print their next big bestseller in this way,” Milliot said.
Eterna Cadencia remains undaunted, however.
According to its video, the publishers will use their disappearing ink strategy on future titles from new authors.
Eterna Cadencia also said that they can now feel “guaranteed that new authors will be read.”