Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book Trailers

. New technologies and marketing tools pop up fast enough to make me feel like even more of a curmudgeon than I thought I was. It seems like just yesterday I was waiving my cane and yelling at Twitter to get off my lawn, and now here come "book trailers." Like with all trends, it took a while for me to notice. In fact, maybe book trailers have been around for years and I never realized it. I know that Caitlin from Unbridled Books sent me this trailer to The Evolution of Shadows several weeks ago and I ignored it, like I do with all things I don't understand. It took this comment from Sarah Stonich, author of The Ice Chorus, for me to finally clue in:
Hi Rose City Reader, I'm hoping to get the opinions of bloggers on book trailers - the one linked here, as well as trailers in general. Are they effective? What makes a good one? A bad one? Please watch my mercifully brief book trailer, which I think conveys a sense and mood of The Ice Chorus, now out in paperback by Alma Books of London: [link to trailer] Any feedback would be appreciated. Cheers, Sarah Stonich
Because I react instantaneously to comments, so thrilled am I to get any, I watched Sarah's trailer right away. It is the first book trailer I ever watched. I think I like the idea. It is just a short little video clip with still photos of Ireland (where the book is set) and other images that capture elements and themes of the book. There is a voice-over -- presumably the author -- giving a back-of-the-book type description. In the interest of research for this post, I went back through my email and found the link to the trailer for The Evolution of Shadows. It is a little different because there is no narration, just stark, black and white photos of war torn Bosnia, interspersed with written descriptions and snippets of praise from other authors. I have to say that these trailers makes me want to read the books. Both The Ice Chorus and The Evolution of Shadows have been sitting on my TBR shelf for several months. But so have 900 other books. Something has to make a book stand out over the others to make me turn to it sooner rather than later. Maybe trailers are the answer. What do you all think? Do you watch trailers? Are they effective? Are some better than others? RELATED POSTS ON OTHER BLOGS 5 Tips for Making a Good Book Trailer on Abel Keogh's Blog (If you have posted on this topic, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it here.) .


  1. Rose City Reader,

    Feel free to link to my post/site.


  2. Hi Rose City Reader,
    Thanks for the info on book trailers. I tried creating one and ran it by a few friends who were kind enough to let me know how bad it was. So for the time being I've been scared off them.

    Of the few I've seen online, none have persuaded me to purchase a book--but maybe I just haven't seen the right ones.

    Bob Sanchez

  3. I agree that the Ice Chorus trailer was useful in making a decision about the book. Many book trailers are not. They just look like bad slideshows and they don't tell anything about the book. I'm still not a fan of them in general but I think once authors and publicists start realizing that it takes words to sell words, they will get much better.

  4. I enjoyed the trailer for Pynchon's new book but mostly because I got to hear his reclusive voice. Otherwise, the cat cameo was the highlight.

    So far I'm not impressed with the trailer idea in general. Maybe I just haven't seen a great one yet.

  5. Thanks Bob for an author's perspective. It seems that there are so many jobs an author has to do in addition to writing the dang book!

    Here's a link to Bob's book, When Pigs Fly -- a funny, madcap, mystery adventure.

    Kristen -- I think you are right about trailers getting better. People are so creative, they could come up with clever commercials for books.

    J.G. -- I keep forgetting to watch the Pynchon one. I'm no fan, but I want to see the cat.

  6. Well... I haven't heard of book trailers, either. Just so you feel better. :) And I know you like comments. So here you go.


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