The Red Queen Book Review
I have to admit, I am a notorious binge reader. I was a Netflix-esque binge reader before Netflix was even a thing. This is especially the case during my younger days. I would stay up all night reading until I was up-to-date with a series. When I was younger I would devour Narnia, Hunger Games, Divergent, Sweet Valley High, A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Keys to the Kingdom, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter….the list is endless.
Fiction to Non-Fiction Binge Reading
Soon I graduated from high school and then university. As I grew older, my taste in books started to expand into history, art, non-fiction and business books. Now, I find my binge days of reading fiction books limited. Instead, I binge read marketing books by Chip Heath, Dan Heath, Jonah Berger, investing books by Benjamin Graham, influential books by Dale Carnegie. (Reviews to come!)
I now look for books that can expand my views and give me different perspectives on the world. Books have the potential to develop your mind, provide you with more opinions, encourage you to research ideas, and can teach you something new.
The Red Queen Book Marketing Review
I usually have 2-4 books on the go that I am reading. Currently, they tend to be biographies, art, business and marketing books. But when I was working in the publishing world I came across a fiction book called the ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard and published by Harper Collins. I was intrigued by its marketing. The Red Queen book was a bestseller before it was officially released and it was Victoria’s first book. This is exceedingly rare in the publishing world, so naturally, I had to read it!
Nowadays, to get published most authors need to have a website to blog about their book. Have a twitter account to tweet about their book. And go on a couple of book tours to meet potential fans. Victoria Aveyard didn’t seem to be doing any of that (She might have gone on a few book tours though). Yet her 1st book was already a bestseller before it was even released! She had a Tumblr page and a Twitter account but didn’t heavily promote her book online.
How Did The Red Queen Book Become A Bestseller?
So how did Victoria’s first book – Red Queen – become a best seller? (and it hasn’t even met its full potential yet). I believe two main factors helped promote The Red Queen book.
1. The publisher had an excellent PR/Marketing strategy.
PR and marketing in the book industry has changed. It is not about taking journalists out for dinner and schmoozing them. Or is it about placing ads in magazines. Now the majority of book PR and marketing starts online.
The Red Queen’s publisher, Harper Collins had an excellent PR strategy and nailed the book described. When introducing a new book, you need to relate it to something that people are familiar with. Harper Collins said that The Red Queen book is where X-Men meets Vampire Academy. Audiences are familiar with the two, and both stories are favorites. In addition, X-Men and The Vampire Academy have turned into movies, giving them more public awareness and a bigger fan-base.
The publisher, Harper Collins knew who their niche market was. They then used the right language that they knew their audience would resonate with. The might have written something like this in their press releases: “Hey if you love X-Men, Game of Thrones and dystopias, then you’re going to love The Red Queen!” They told book reviewers that The Red Queen bookhad elements of each of their favorite books. Of course, book reviewers gave the Red Queen a read since the publisher said it fits into their favorite book genres perfectly. The Red Queen book held faithful to its promises, and thus book reviewers loved it. So they recommended it to their audience.
Then came the domino effect. I read about ten book reviews from book bloggers about The Red Queen book, and they said the same thing. That they enjoyed the book, and that it is a mixture of books that people already love. That is a great review, especially when it is repeated a few dozen times. And guess what…. people did love it! This is because The Red Queen was similar to the books its targeted market loved.
This now leads me to my second factor
2. The Red Queen Fits Into That Trendy Formula
Victoria Aveyard did an excellent job writing The Red Queen. It is easy to read and follow; the characters are well developed and carry a mix of mystery. Each page promises a new secret to be revealed which has you reading all night to find out what happens.
The Red Queen book fits that basic cool formula that is really in and trendy in the publishing world right now. No, this formula doesn’t have any math or equations in it, and it is still original content. The book followed the formula of Divergent, which followed the formula of Hunger Games.
The Red Queen book shows a lot of parallels to beloved books. Its characters, climax, and setting are all original, but the theme of the is similar to stories that are already bestsellers. Five themes stick out to being like books that we already love and read.
- The main character is female; she is struggling to understand the concept of power and how she is different from others.
- There is a hierarchy, class or caste system where the characters fight against the poor, working and wealthy.
- It is a dystonia society – a very popular category currently in the book industry.
- There is a hunger for power as well as a hunger for change and equality
- There is a budding romance
The Red Queen is an excellent book to read. It was written in a way that fits perfectly with people’s current interests. But is it innovative? The Red Queen is a book that people will love because they loved the books that are similar to it. Does that mean there was nothing new about it, though?