Sunday, December 6, 2009

Book Trailers: From the Sublime to the Sublimely Ridiculous



While I firmly believe that publishers need to make greater use of the internet for marketing, I am often skeptical of video book trailers. Few of them have actually made me want to go buy a book. But occasionally one succeeds brilliantly. This one, from the New Zealand Book Council for Maurice Gee's Going West, is so dazzling you almost wonder whether the book can live up to it. But it was enough to make me order a copy.

On the other hand, it seems almost superfluous to create a trailer for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Quirk Books' followup to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. They had me at "Sea Monsters." Still, if you've sat through enough hours of Masterpiece Theater, this bit of Regency gone awry is hard not to enjoy:



Do you think trailers are effective at selling books? Let me know about examples that you think have done the job.

10 comments:

Thomas Taylor said...

Oh dear, the monster one... oh dear.

But the the other one, oh wow!

Elen Caldecott said...

I think Charlie Higson's The Enemy trailer is great - made me want to read it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jUXsJOlmoY

Uncle Gus said...

Yeah, I think I'll have to buy Higson's book now too. The sea monster one, though...not so much.

The first time I saw the trailer for Stephen King's new one, Under The Dome, I was pissed. I thought it was a new movie.

"You mean, all that for a book? ((sigh)) It's Stephen King for cryin' out loud!"

Then I saw the new trailer for Avatar. By the time it was over I was sucking my thumb, and had forgotten all about Under the Dome.

Peter Ginna said...

Thanks for these comments. I just watched the UNDER THE DOME trailer and thought it was pretty effective. Partly because it's very short--it gets the big concept across quickly. I liked the conceit of Charlie Higson's trailer but for me the problem was it went on about a minute and a half too long: the same effect, done in half the time, would have whetted my appetite better (although "appetite" may be a poor choice of words here...).

Football Chick said...

Didn't I read somewhere that the Sea Monsters one is going to be in actual movie theaters? I think Quirk is trying that - should be interesting to see how that works.

Peter Ginna said...

That is interesting, because while the trailer itself is hip, advertising in movie theaters is actually an old-fashioned model. It's not viral, it's broadcast--and relatively expensive I'd have thought. On the other hand, the idea presumably is they're exposing a lot of viewers who might like the book and might not find it some other way. But if Uncle Gus (see above) didn't realize he was seeing a book trailer until "Stephen King" came on screen, I would worry that a lot of the folks who see this in a theater won't realize a book is what's being advertised here--partly because you don't *expect* to see a book ad in between Transformers and Spider-Man trailers.

Uncle Gus said...

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I didn't see either of the trailers at the movies, I saw them on TV. And I did enjoy the trailer for UNDER THE DOME, I just got sucked in thinking it was a movie preview.

I guess I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. [insert chagrined smiley here]

Jessica Strider said...

Jeff Carlson had a great book trailer for PLAGUE YEAR. It got me to read and then buy the book.

Margaret Maloney said...

The trailer for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters showed before An Education when I saw that film last week. But it wasn't in with the movie trailers that precede the film. Rather, it was in the part before that, with local ads, movie trivia, etc., that are theater specific rather than bundled in with a film by its distributor.

I imagine that's much less expensive, and gives one a greater ability to target a specific audience.

Peter Ginna said...

Good point, Margaret. It's still "broadcast" advertising but if it's in there with the ads for the local pizza parlor it can't be that pricey. Here as in other areas, publishers are right to experiment.