The anti-trailer

So here’s the thing: I think the notion of book trailers is a little silly.
I mean, you read books, you don’t watch them, right? But there’s this notion out there that a book should have a book trailer, that readers somehow expect it. So you you get two flavors – some ultra-expensive number with real actors and CGI and all the fancy-pantsery and jiggery-pokery, or you get folks cobbling together something on their home PC, trying to compete with trailers made with a 10k production budget.
And the thing is? Most of the time, you don’t learn anything about the book you didn’t already know from reading the jacket copy either way. But it’s all Very Serious Business™
So we made a trailer for STORMDANCER. We had some fun. We hope you do too. You can find it on YouTube here.
And now, for the sweet, sweet bribery…
Here’s the thing – I had a bunch of bookmarks printed up. I’ve got hundreds of the things, and I’m fucked if I know what to do with them all. SO, I figure I’ll give away a bunch of them to folks willing to pimp this trailer thing. I hope to give away a hundred of them, signed. So if a hundred people pimp the trailer, you all get signed bookmarks. Oo-rah. If more than a hundred people pimp it, I’ll figure out some equitable way to divide the spoils. Or maybe I’ll just give away more than a hundred. Seriously. I have no idea what to do with these things.
If you pimp it on Twitter, make sure you hit up my handle and include the #stormdancer hashtag so I know you did it. Something like:
The #stormdancer book trailer from @misterkristoff is possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life:
(you may want to be less hyperbolic, but maybe hyperbole is your thing)
If you link it on FB, make sure you tag my author page so I know you did it.
This giveaway is international. We’ll run it until the US launch of STORMDANCER, which is September 18 (holyyy shiiiiiiit)
Righto, that’s it. As you were.

65 Responses to “The anti-trailer”

  1. Luna says:

    Love it!
    I got an email saying Stormdancer had been shipped… my poor postman is being stalked 😉

  2. marnij says:

    I’m also not big on book trailers and love how this was done. Unfortunately a good friend of mine just did one and I don’t think she’d see the humor that I did.
    Bravo Mr. Kristoff! Bravo!

  3. sarahbotbonkers says:

    I thought the trailer would be bloody…you know. But the music worked. OK, WHO AM I KIDDING. Anything you put out Jay will be loved and devoured by me. So there you go.
    PS. Sorry about the girlfriend. 😉

  4. Daphne says:

    SO funny. I laughed so hard I spewed tea all over my desk (you probably didn’t need to know that).
    Thank you for the entertainment during a dull day at the office!

  5. Lynn K. says:

    The trailer made me laugh so much I kept typing my name in the email tab and vice versa. (also had to dump away half a mug of coffee because it made me spit it back and now its kinda gross)
    The funny aside, I think it’s great! I love how the different watermarks show up and the falling petals especially.

  6. neyska says:

    Fantastic! I actually find most book trailers really annoying and superfluous. This might still be superfluous, but it was funny as hell and has been pimped all over my social media. 😉

  7. Nader Abdel-Jaber says:

    Not bad sir, not bad at all…never knew books had trailers, glad this is the first one I watched…it sets the standards for future book trailers, and yes, it is a pretty high standard. Your book, cannot wait to read it. It shall be mine the first day it comes out in the US.

  8. Best trailer EVER!! It truly made my day. I’m so excited for this book. I think we need to be best friends…

  9. Kat says:

    And congratulations! You’re a father! 😀

  10. ElizaTilton says:

    ROFL. When I need a book trailer, I’m coming to your crew.

  11. William Wall says:

    Win 😀

  12. Deb Marshall says:

    Awesome book trailer. And even awsomer-er you may well be a Literary God now. Immaculate -ish conception. And I totally did not have to look up TBH 😛
    All best and looking forward to your book!

  13. I was looking forward to some epic fight things, but this is just as awesome. I’ll leave the epic fight things to the book. I guess technology isn’t at the stage where they can do your book justice 😉

  14. Ashley says:

    LMAO!!!!!!! This was so not what I expected!! LOL! Thank you!!
    I’m honestly not a huge book trailer fan. Sometimes they can be awesome like in this case, or when there’s some great filming going on. But I hate the book trailers that are just slideshows of Google images that might relate to the book with jacket cover quotes pasted on.
    But this… I laughed my pants off.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. Problem is, there all this pressure on authors to make their own now. It’s an expectation in the minds of readers. Even if the publishers don’t throw any financial or production help.
      So, i’m doing my little bit to quash that expectation. STUPID EXPECTATIONS

  15. hrose2931 says:

    Well, I wasn’t expecting the girlfriend thing, congrats despite your feelings, but the trailer is so you! Loved it! Off to tweet and whatever else I can manage.

  16. sam says:

    Just tweeted the book trailer, (books31) that was probably one of the best book trailers I’ve seen, also I completely agree with you about the ridiculousness of book trailer existence.

    • Thanks Sam.
      They do seem kinda odd. i’m not sure when or how they started. The first one was probably a good idea. But the whole notion has become… well, it’s fucked up imo. They’re silly. And i think they’re kinda insulting to readers. But hey, that’s just me 🙂

  17. I laughed at your trailer, then I came to the website. You have *no idea* how I suffer, the piles of review books I haven’t yet read… choosing which book to read next is *so hard* #firstworldreviewerproblems. I had decided on reading *eh hem* next because I’m interviewing him very soon, but after seeing the book trailer and seeing that you’re reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone as well, a favourite of mine, Stormdancer just danced its way to the top of the pile/s (shhhh)
    I’m ambivalent about book trailers because, as you so rightly point out, books are not movies and budgets make a real difference. Having said that, I don’t favour book trailers with actors portraying the characters. My preferred book trailer is one that sets the tone of a book: your trailer takes the piss, then you comment on your website that your book is fun (I need moar fun!) so your trailer works. Rowena Cory Daniells’ trailers set a mood: epic fantasy set in pseudo-Russian landscape, also effective. I liked the first trailer for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the one out well before the book; the other trailers didn’t work nearly so well for me. Actors trying to take the book to movieworld don’t work for me. Just food for thought, from someone who is spoilt for books.
    (I just realised: I am living a childhood dream… I don’t get paid but other than that, it’s perfect. Except I need more time to do ALL THE THINGS. )

    • It’s a quandary. Thing is, there’s a real expectation in the minds of some readers now. The “trailer launch’ has become this THING, right alongside the “Cover Reveal”. People launching their trailers up on MTV Crush and whatnot. Even if the trailer is a bunch of lines straight off the synopsis and some dodgy After Effects. I can’t help but wonder if anyone actually gives a fuck – if anyone has watched a trailer and thought “Sweet jesus, I knew nothing about this book before, but I must read it RIGHT NOW”. Somehow I doubt it.
      I guess they could drive traffic to a GR page or author site, but unless the trailer somehow goes viral, nobody is going to see it outside the author’s FB/Twitter circle, and most of those crew are going to read the book ANYWAY (as evidenced by their being part of the author’s circles to begin with)
      STORMDANCER is kinda fun. Kinda grim. Kinda sad. The trailer doesn’t entirely reflect the tone of the book to be honest. But I like taking the piss. I like pointing at silly things and crying “THAT IS SILLY”. Maybe I’m just a troublemaker. Or at least trying to be. 😛
      Regardless, I’m glad it’s next on the pile. I really hope you enjoy it 😀

  18. michelle A says:

    I’m all pimped up:D I’ve sent the girls into a frazzle on FB sharing and liking link:D An author friend of mine just made one for $149 bucks and his literary agent was astounded. I thought he did an awesome job. Yes, some trailers are just pop music and fluff, this one did have that dramatic feel and it did get the message across:
    Airships ..check
    Dramatic Music…check
    Powerful writing…check
    Yup you pretty much covered it:D
    Very Jay style:D hehe!! Funnily enough it REALLY works!

    • Glad you liked it, Mich. 😀
      I think it kinda sucks authors are making their own trailers. That they need to feed the expectation. Like, it’s totally up to them, all good, no skin off me. But I’d wager most of them would rather be writing books than scripts. Not so bad for me because i used to do it for a living, but still.
      You read books. You don’t watch ’em. 😛

  19. Janhvi says:

    The book trailer was fun.I totally don’t get it why you need a trailer when you’re gonna read the book.
    I tweeted for ya!
    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  20. Yvonne Leacy says:

    Oh how I laughed. Both from the trailer and the post. Never was a fan of book trailers but I loved this one. Hats off to you. Can’t wait to read the book. Japanese Steampunk…nuff said

  21. Oh, you troublemaker you! Trailers usually make me want to cancel my pre-order, throw away my review copy, start reading non-fiction… you get the picture. But this one is worth sharing. Good job!

  22. Janhvi says:

    The trailer was fun!
    I tweeted for ya!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Chris Parvin says:

    I always get excited about them then I’m disappointed, until the next one when I’m excited again…. and then disappointed; dog like if you will. Some of them are so abstract they remind me of the (arty) Mr Plow advert from The Simpsons, others have so little to do with the book – but in our heads trailers are meant to have something to do with them – that we convince ourselves that’s actually how the book will be and it’s ultimately off putting. Therefore you mockery is appreciated.

  24. Angelya says:

    Brilliant xD I never really got the book trailer thing.. I mean, there’s plenty of blurbs and pretty cover art, why go to all the trouble of making a video? I like your version waaaaaay more!

  25. Monica says:

    Just pimped on Facebook 😀 Just what a book trailer should be like. And yes, the music was very epic 🙂 Hope it tagged properly so I can get my hands on one of those bookmarks >:P How much do I want one of those bookmarks you ask? Out of ten, eleven!

  26. Luna says:

    The stalky-thing worked because my postman actually knocked to deliver, never happens. ><

  27. Totally tweeted it now. Book trailers suck but yours doesn’t because it’s yours. 🙂

  28. Jenn says:

    WOW, I totally agree with you about book trailers, but yours is awesome!
    I totally tweeted about it.

  29. anary says:

    OMG!! that was my first thought on the first 12 second of the trailer( and yes I did count that :p) ..then the next sentence comes and the next and the next. Final say?…I laugh and had to bite my cheek! (I don’t want my aunt to think I get insane from too much internet radiation lol).. totally tweted it!<3

  30. Snuze says:

    Book trailers are usually meh for me, but this?
    Totally sweet.
    I blogged about it here:

  31. Juliana Bartholomei says:

    That was just so fun! *Tweeting the link*
    Big hug from a brazilian reader :DD
    PS: I swear, I totally read the “The anti-christ trailer”. I may or not have to go check my myopia.

  32. Grace Lo says:

    My. Gosh. The moment I read the words on the image, I was all like, “Aww, carp.” (Typo intended)
    Would you believe I’ve actually been accused of being a prat several times by my besties?

  33. Kelley says:

    I know I”m super late on this but, seriously, this is the best thing ever. Every time I delve a little deeper into the world of Mister Jay Kristoff, I’m more and more enchanted. So, so my style. <3

  34. […] If you'd like to win free lewts by pimping our trailer to your online chums, go here:; […]

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