Video Friday: A Bitter Book Trailer

Simon Spurrier’s novel A Serpent Uncoiled now has a very bitter but very good book trailer. I usually say book trailers don’t sell books—at least, not by themselves—but in this case it’s at least done it once, because after watching this I will definitely be buying a paperback copy…

He also has a related post on his blog, On Success.

Video found via Futurebook.

Have a good weekend! 

3 thoughts on “Video Friday: A Bitter Book Trailer

  1. Tom Gold says:


    He’s certainly nailed the ‘bitter’ thing but I still think people appreciate salesmanship and I see none here. I just see a disappointed writer sitting alone, reading his old reviews out loud to a camera.

    If the book is good please post a review here on your blog. As you know I am a fan of ‘Self Printed’ and would value your opinion but this guy does himself few favours.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      A few months ago I posted about receiving a review copy of a book with a Post-It note attached to it and a padlock on the side. A journal with a Post-It note and a padlock plays a huge part in the book’s plot, and I loved it. I thought it was a fantastic idea, and it really showed how much effort the publisher’s publicity department was putting into promoting the book. It also made a huge change from getting unattractive ARCs with press releases stuck in them, and brightened up my day.

      But a commenter (or commentator?) here said she didn’t see the point at all, and that if she got a review copy like that, she’d be turned off reading it because she’d wonder why they had to go such trouble and why the book couldn’t stand on its own without gimmicks, etc. (The book was brilliant, by the way, and has been #1 on the charts for I think 4 weeks now, Ridley Scott has optioned the film rights, it’s won a Galaxy Award and it’s one of the selections on The TV Book Club.) Your comment about this video reminds me of her comment about the book, because—no offence— I think you both missed the point somewhat.

      The best way to sell books (online, anyway) is to forget everything you know about selling books. We readers are looking for something different, something outside the box, something entertaining. That’s what online content is all about. When I see standard book trailers (scenes from the book, sentences from the book as titles) my eyes glaze over and I don’t pay any attention. Not only did this trailer make me laugh out loud, but because the author played on all our aspiring writer worst nightmares (writing what everyone agrees is a brilliant book, but no one buys it) we felt we could relate.

      I watched it and shared it because it was funny and different, and I’m going to buy the book because a) this trailer, through the reviews, tell me it’s good and b) I feel like I want to support this writer. And after he made me laugh, it’s the least I could do.

      I don’t expect authors to be salesmen; it’s enough for me that they’re writers. But I appreciate it when they find a way to crossover that isn’t “My book is on Amazon, buy it!” tweets on the hour every hour. Sometimes it’s okay for something just to be fun.

  2. Susie Day says:

    I’m with you, Catherine. And I didn’t get bitter from this at all. I got ‘funny clever creative bloke who made me laugh’ which translates pretty directly into ‘person whose novel I’d like to read.’

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