A New Way to Hook Readers: Stories in Cigarette Packs

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Last year, Hamburg-based publisher Automatenverlag is hoping that locals won’t be able to kick the habit of buying books on the go once they start. The publisher has refurbished and repurposed old cigarette automats for the purpose of selling books, focusing on the neighborhood surrounding the University of Hamburg.

And what would be even better? How about mini-novels contained in cigarette packs. UK-design mag Tank Books has done just that. The Tank Books Tin — which has been available since 2007 (but is getting a push in this month’s Real Simple magazine) — contains:

  • Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
  • Ernest Hemingway: The Undefeated and The Snows of Kilimanjaro
  • Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis and In the Penal Colony
  • Rudyard Kipling: The Man who would be King, The Phantom ’Rickshawand Black Jack
  • Robert Louis Stevenson: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Leo Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilych and Father Sergius

Can you think of a better way to hook new readers?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.