Alex Michaelides is the author of The Silent Patient which was originally published simultaneously in hardback in the UK by Orion in February 2019 and Celadon Books in the US. It went straight in at no 1 in the New York Times bestsellers lists and also into the Sunday Times bestseller lists in the UK. A year later, on 5 February 2020, it was still in New York Times Top 10 bestseller list in hardback at No.6, and the paperback was in The Sunday Times top 10 bestseller lists in the UK for 10 weeks. The novel was Alex’s debut. Published in 48 languages to date it was the highest selling debut novel worldwide for 2019 and resulted in being in the New York Times bestseller lists for 52 weeks. The rights for the film of ‘The Silent Patient’ have been bought by Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B and it is currently in production.
Alex hired Midas to work in tandem with Orion for a short lead campaign from October to January for the paperback of The Silent Patient’which was due to be published on 12 December 2019. He was keen to have coverage that would take him up the bestseller charts and also develop his profile in the literary fiction sector.
Midas put together a strategic, target-driven PR campaign which focused on securing coverage on national broadcast, social media and in national press for The Silent Patient. We identified the strongest angles in the book and took into account the international element to Alex’s success so far (at the time of publication he was published in 44 countries) before approaching broadcast, media, and book bloggers. Midas worked closely with Alex to put together a good media pitch. We also worked closely with his publishers Orion and his agent Sam Copeland, a director of the literary agency, RCW.
I feel really happy with my team at Midas. They did a great job promoting my book, The Silent Patient, and were a real pleasure to work with.
What We Achieved
Having had a good spread in the nationals for the publication of the hardback of The Silent Patient, our aim was to supplement that by getting Alex prime slots across the board on key national and digital radio spearheaded by Radio 4. The broadcast was led by an interview on Front Row which Alex did down the line from LA. We aimed for the BBC World Service to cover the international popularity of the book with an hour’s interview on BBC World Service: Arts Hour. Further to the interview they asked if Alex would be happy to become an advocate of the BBC World Service – so he gave a quote which was streamed on all the BBC digital and online channels. We also wanted some good commercial and digital radio and achieved that with Simon Mayo’s Book Club on Scala Radio, Monocle 24’s ‘Meet the Writers’ and Talk Radio. Sky TV was also keen, as was London Live TV.
For press we got Alex an interview in The Week and The Silent Patient was chosen by a number of reviewers in the nationals as their ‘Book of the Year’ or ‘Debut of the Year’ – including Christena Appleyard’s pick. All this was supplemented with a strong blog tour of 20 specialist thriller bloggers. The result of the campaign was that The Silent Patient went straight into The Sunday Times top 10 bestseller list after 3 days of sales, rising to No. 4 in a week, and stayed in the charts for 7 consecutive weeks and went in for a further 3 weeks in May/June when it was chosen for the shortlist for the Crime Thrillers for the British Book Awards. It also went in at No. 1 in the digital bestseller lists in January and again in June. All of this resulted in The Silent Patient being the bestselling debut novel worldwide in 2019 – in part boosted by its incredible popularity in the US where it has remained in the bestseller lists for 12 months so far in hardback.