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Inside Move: ‘Henry’ novel gets ‘Spider’ sense

Publisher pumps tome with tentpole teaser

Hoping to snare readers in a web of its own, Rugged Land, a Gotham publishing startup, has bought a handsome chunk of prime real estate to advertise John Scott Shepherd’s new novel, “Henry’s List of Wrongs”: screen space before “Spider-Man” in three downtown N.Y. theaters.

The 40-second trailer, produced by ad firm Happy, is running at two Clearview Chelsea Cinemas and at the Chelsea West Cinema for four weeks before every showing of “Spider-Man.”

Rugged Land also bought airtime for the trailer on MTV’s “The Osbournes” in select markets and screened it at the April 16 Kansas City preem of “Life or Something Like It,” the Angelina Jolie pic written by Shepherd, an ad exec turned screenwriter.

“We’re looking for ways to make books more interesting and sexier, both for the book-buying public and for people who don’t usually go to bookstores,” says Rugged Land’s Webster Stone of the non-conventional effort.

Rugged Land isn’t the first publisher to flog its books onscreen — Scribner paid close to $500,000 to run a TV spot for Stephen King’s “DreamCatcher” last year — but its approach is more grassroots; a short spot on “The Osbournes” in New York cost the publisher just $500.