Okay, it’s no big deal anymore to make yourself the protagonist of your novel and surround yourself with fictional characters; Philip Roth could probably do it in his sleep. But how many authors have taken the conceit as far as Bret Easton Ellis? The Ellis who is the protagonist of Lunar Park has an actress wife named Jayne Dennis and a son named Robby. Turns out Jayne Dennis has her own official website and a fan site, while Robby has a page on MySpace.com. There’s also an online FBI file for the fictional Ellis.
This sort of fake-supplemental online campaign is familiar to moviegoers, but it’s rare for a novel to advertise itself using such Blair Witch tactics. Or at least it used to be; according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s becoming increasingly common, especially for self-published authors who can’t afford massive publicity campaigns. But do such campaigns actually help sell books? Check out the above sites and tell us if they whet your appetite to read Lunar Park — or, if you’ve already read the book, if they add to your appreciation of the novel.