Stephen King 'Under The Dome' novel snippets invade the Internet

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 21 October 2009

I've been quite intrigued by the promotional campaign for the new Stephen King novel, "Under the dome". The book has been broken into 5,196 pieces, and a game is running to try to piece them together.

Stephen King 'Under The Dome' homepage

What I like about it is that the audience can either play as 'hiders' or 'seekers'. If you sign up to 'hide' a piece you get sent a chunk of text, and then need to leave clues on Twitter, Facebook or a map as to where it is hidden. The game suggests that pieces can be placed: 'in the sand on a beach, the frost of a car windscreen, in the code of a blog or hidden in a photo on Flickr or Facebook'.

'Under the dome' clue map

I think it is a really interesting idea. My initial misgiving was that 5,196 pieces is a huge number, which I'd suggest renders it virtually impossible for anyone to actually assemble the whole novel in time. However, once a piece is found by somebody, it is found for everybody, so it isn't like you have to find 5,000+ snippets yourself.

'Seekers' race to be the first to upload each individual snippet they've found, and the person who finds the most chunks of text wins a night in a hotel with the opportunity to read a proof of King's new novel prior to publication.

Stephen King snippets


This is awesome! I love Stephen King, especially his book the Tommy Knockers. This sort of marketing works well with his genre and target demographic, now his readers have a chance to get a little bit of the real life thrill that he allows his characters in his stories.

It's odd but I can never get more than half-way through a Stephen King novel. I like his writing but he tends to lose me in the middle for some reason.

I like the game aspect of marketing the novel. I'm a gamer also and stuff like that can really get people excited.

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