Monday, August 24, 2009

Castle: King of Marketing

Have you seen CASTLE? Oh, it's brilliant. Of course, I might be a bit biased, considering it starts Nathan Fillion, who I like to look at with indecent thoughts. It stars a thriller-mystery writer, Richard Castle (Nathan Lusteyes Fillion), whose writing life is ludicrously unrealistic. He follows a real-life cop and helps solve crimes as he "researches" his next series.

I highly recommend it. First for the simple fact that Fillion is a gorgeous piece of man who has sexy eyebrows (YES. Eyebrows. Sexy everything else, too, but I'm rather impressed with the eyebrows.)

But there's also the clever writing--there's real wit in the dialog that will absolutely leave you envious as a fellow writer. And there's the fantasy of it--I highly doubt any writer lives the lifestyle of Richard Castle.

But look beyond the television show. This is a show that's marketing to its target audience: writers.

First you have twitter. Richard Castle, fictional writer of the series, has his own Twitter account (@WriteRCastle). While this may sound lame--and let's be honest, with the exception of K. Duey, most Twitters run by people who aren't real people ARE lame--it's actually quite brilliant.

See, there's a story being told on Twitter. In real-time, with an established character. The fictional Richard Castle is completing a mystery on Twitter! And his Twitter followers can contribute (to an extent).

And, y'all--this is elaborate. This is a mystery with as many twists and turns in it as you'd expect from Agatha Christie.

And it's something really new--not only is a story being told, it's being told in an entirely new way (even apart from Duey's Russet book). The Twitter version of Richard Castle is as funny and womanizing and reckless as the one on the show.

And it's incredibly realistic--not just in the voice of the character, but also in the details. There's notes from other characters--just little asides, but they add to the realism. There's pointless tweets that are perfectly inline with the character (i.e. comments about beautiful women nearby). And then there's things like this: "real" photographs from the "actual" mystery the character is currently solving. (PS: You can read the whole mystery--so far--on the Facebook fanpage.)

Now, there's not only these elaborate details just to make a Twitter account for the fans of the show, there's also something else.

Yup. "Richard Castle," fictional author, is writing a real-life book.

One you can buy

The premise of the first season (currently in re-runs on ABC) is that Richard Castle has writer's block, but is inspired by the hot female cop to write a new series ostentatiously based on her. Got your head wrapped around that?

Well, the show's taken this to the next level. Now the book's real--really written, really available from Amazon. The author's credit is "Richard Castle," and the plot is the one the character sketched out during the show's season. (You can read the first two chapters online here.)

From Amazon:
Product Description

A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. PulitzerPrize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.

About the Author

Richard Castle is the author of numerous bestsellers, including the critically acclaimed Derrick Storm series. His first novel, In a Hail of Bullets, published while he was still in college, received the Nom DePlume Society's prestigious Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature. Castle currently lives in Manhattan with his daughter and mother, both of whom infuse his life with humor and inspiration.

So, what do you think? Personally, as a fan of the show, I'm loving this. It's the ultimate--between interacting with the "author" on Twitter and reading the novel, it really immerses the reader in the world of CASTLE. this effective marketing in YOUR opinion? Is this what shows/books/media *should* do...or is it a gimmick that will never succeed?


Jenna said...


I LOVE that show. It's great! And the fact that Castle has a Twitter is hilarious. Been following the mystery, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. :D

I don't think *every* tv show should do something like this, but when there's a writer involved...well, it just makes sense, dunnit? And it's obviously working, at least on me, since I'm feeling very, very hyper right now. Lol!

Thanks for the info, Beth!

ElanaJ said...

Beth, I think we're twins. First GLEE and now CASTLE. I simply adore Castle. I'm going to have to get that book. Characters are characters, on TV or in books. And I love Castle. Now I have to follow him on twitter. Dangit. Twitter is not my favorite thing. Le sigh.

T. Anne said...

I'm really going to make an effort to watch Castle. (of course Nathan has little to do with it ;) It's all research you know......

kat said...

As long as his picture is connected to the Tweets . . .teehee. :-)

I haven't caught the show. I'm not sure if this is something that would appeal to me, but the out-of-the-box "gimmick" is definitely worth exploring.

Trisha Pearson said...

Wow - what a fun idea! I'm going to have to Tivo Castle. As research, of course.

Carrie Harris said...

Honestly, the whole thing confuses me, but that sure is some hot mancandy. So maybe I'll give it a try. ;)

beth said...


Pen Pen said...

OMG!!! I'm gonna watch it tonight!!!! EXCITED!! I've never seen anything like that!!!

Robyn Campbell said...

Couldn't watch it tonight. DANG IT! Hope everyone else enjoyed it, though! *GRIN*

Miriam S.Forster said...

My favorite part is that the author they got to write Heat Wave can WRITE. The book bids fair to be as good as the series and that's an achievement indeed.

beth said...

Miriam--who is actually writing the book? I have no idea! But I do plan on purchasing it ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Oh: What can I say? The author, as always, at height. Respect! I liked everything, especially the beginning. Smiled. Of course, there are critics who say that this does not happen, it's all invented, and so on. But I will gladly honored, and revered by my friends - all excited.