Book Trailers

When I first heard of these, I thought, Cool! A great way to constructively maximize those skills I learned in my film classes in college! (Finally.) I researched some book trailers online and I was disappointed that so many of them were quite bland. Or shall I say, literary. It may seem obvious that a video promo for a book wouldn’t come off too visual or movie-like, but to me, the opportunity to highlight the strengths of the storytelling utilizing audio and video was exciting. Plus, believing I had some skills in this area (am trying not to overreach here), maybe the story in my head could bring the words to life to the degree that people may actually want to read them. Or more importantly, seek them out.

I read the rules for book trailers, suggesting that showing visuals of characters was primarily a no-no, being that it detracted from a reader’s imagination of what those characters looked like. Protect the reader’s imagination.

While I understand the point, I entirely disagree. My objective was to gain interest in the project, not protect everyone from exposure to the material, or any version of it other than the book they’ll never see, hear about, or read. So that in the unlikely event they discover it on their own, they have no idea what it is. That being said, a good trailer should be a tease, not Cliffsnotes.

Think of music videos. Book reviews. And gasp! Movie trailers. While it can be argued that exposure to these might change someone’s experience with the final material, not everyone seeks the exposure to these, and those that do so do with the purpose to determine if the material is worth their time and energy.

Which, in the end, is what a promo of any kind is supposed to be. Right?

My favorite book trailer that I’ve seen so far, that protects the imagination: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

It’s fantastic.


One response to “Book Trailers

  1. I had recently met a young lady at a restaurant Downtown, she worked in marketing for a local magazine here in San Diego. Once she heard of the trailer for the book, she was shocked, and completely against the idea. She also insisted she’s an avid reader of books, that have turned to film, and watched plenty of films based on books she eventually read. I found her perspective a little interesting.

    I asked her how she found out about these books, that eventually made it to film. She stated that some were referred to her, some were from her favorite writers, and a few were through book reviews, and opinion of others. I asked where they might have gained such opinion, or knowledge of the book so they can read it. She didn’t know. So, I thought to myself, “How do we gain interest in ANYTHING these days?” Marketing, advertising, exposure, has evolved into film. Short, sweet, funny, impactful, moving, inspirational and intelligent. I credit the phone company for the early tear-jerkers “Reach out and touch someone” to my current favorite “The E*Trade Baby” (I can’t wait for the superbowl ad)

    In regards to book trailers, I can’t think of any other exciting, creative, and DIRECT means of exposure to a book. Argue all you want about destroying the imagination of the READER. How about seeing it through the WRITERS EYES? Perfect examples, “Fight Club”, “BarFly” and “Pet Cemetary.” Each film made with the writers intention of expression. They did an amazing job too. Put that into a short film, and I’ll increase the amount of books I’ve read, or will read exponentially.

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