Book Trailers

All right, I’ve been seeing a lot of these lately and I’m wondering whether they are really getting the job done: book trailers. I understand what they’re trying to do. We’re such a visual society that simply reading a blurb or seeing a cover sometimes isn’t enough. We’re used to commercials; we’re used to movie trailers. And that’s what a book trailer is: a movie trailer for a book. Except…there usually aren’t actors because half the fun for the reader is to come up with their own visualization of the characters (unless they’re depicted on the front cover and the author is lucky enough to have the model act in their trailer). So the trailer is a bunch of words put to music. If the book is chick lit, then you have those snappy, contemporary, almost art deco-style cartoons of females in high heels and mini-skirts wearing sunglasses, holding a martini, and smirking as she thinks about her love interest.

I don’t know. I thought book trailers were kind of cool until I saw about ten of them, and realized they all look the same. So, it’s really not much different from placing an advertisement in the newspaper. The coolest thing, I think, is the music in these trailers. The music is where the reader actually gets a feel for the book, not the “Heroine thought A. Hero wants B. How long will it take Heroine to switch her mind to B?” type text that floats across the screen. Not for me, anyway.

I’m curious to hear what you guys think about this new trend. Do book trailers work for you? Have you even seen any?

[edit] Here is the best book trailer I’ve ever seen, from Lemony Snicket. [/edit]

4 thoughts on “Book Trailers

  1. I'm new to book trailers and I still think they’re cool but I hear what you’re saying. You can only get a glimpse of the characters and an idea of the plot. Do you think book blurbs or review quips do a better job? They may.

    I have two new ones I had done for two of my books and I welcome any comment on the book trailers (good or bad. I myself like them but they only show a quick glimpse of what the book and characters are about, more a feel than anything else.

    Like

  2. I’m new to book trailers and I still think they’re cool but I hear what you’re saying. You can only get a glimpse of the characters and an idea of the plot. Do you think book blurbs or review quips do a better job? They may.

    I have two new ones I had done for two of my books and I welcome any comment on the book trailers (good or bad. I myself like them but they only show a quick glimpse of what the book and characters are about, more a feel than anything else.

    Like

  3. I think book trailers suffer in comparison to movie trailers because of the level of professionalism that is available. A lot of the book trailers out there look like they were done by amateurs. As a public, we are already used to high-quality videos (even from home computers and indie film-makers), and so when I see the book trailers that currently float the web, I'm disappointed. I think once the technique is perfected, I'll like them more, but for the time being I have to say there must be other ways to advertise.

    In terms of your book trailers, I adore the music. I think if you're going to use images, they should take up the entire screen or be in a "widescreen" size, rather than a vertical picture that looks cropped and centered in a square black screen. Also, your font is hard to read at times because it is white text sitting atop portraits of your characters. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing the evolution of the book trailer market!

    Like

  4. I think book trailers suffer in comparison to movie trailers because of the level of professionalism that is available. A lot of the book trailers out there look like they were done by amateurs. As a public, we are already used to high-quality videos (even from home computers and indie film-makers), and so when I see the book trailers that currently float the web, I’m disappointed. I think once the technique is perfected, I’ll like them more, but for the time being I have to say there must be other ways to advertise.

    In terms of your book trailers, I adore the music. I think if you’re going to use images, they should take up the entire screen or be in a “widescreen” size, rather than a vertical picture that looks cropped and centered in a square black screen. Also, your font is hard to read at times because it is white text sitting atop portraits of your characters. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing the evolution of the book trailer market!

    Like

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