I’ve read this book. It’s about a girl who’s different, but not in a way that’s obvious. I enjoyed the book, but I can tell you this: objectively, there isn’t much about Red Queen that is different from any other book about a girl who’s different, but not in a way that’s obvious.

That might seem harsh, but it’s true. The real thing that makes this book different is its marketing. Look at that video. It’s simple, but effective in piquing curiosity. It speaks of gods. It shows a crown. It shows blood. Very little, from the video, makes any sense whatsoever.

If I hadn’t already read the book, I would be googling it right now. Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat; it made publishers lots of money.

The fact that a book gets a trailer–like a movie–says a lot about how the publishing industry–and its audience–has changed. There’s constantly a new thing, so to make any one thing stand out, publishers (and authors) have to get creative… So there’s this video. There are social media posts. There is blood.

While I’d rather trust the opinion of my friends than The New York Times Best Seller List, I’m forced to admit that, at some point, people hear about books from somewhere, and–in this increasingly digital age–it’s not always their local librarian or the girl they sit next to in history. (This book was on the NYTBS List.) The publishing industry is at least part of the root; after all, commercials exist because they work.

It’s frustrating for many people, the fact that a book can be okay–not good, not bad, but okay–and still get a following. But, as this video shows, that’s the game. 

Blood in the book, blood in the market, and a little less blood in the ledgers.

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