Read the book? No, but I loved the trailer

July 16th, 2006

The days of judging a book by its cover are drawing to a close. Publishers have finally tapped into the MTV generation, and now it is possible to make your literary choices in advance online by watching a sequence of rapid-fire images accompanied by a thumping score, big flashing words and, if you’re lucky, a deep-voiced American talking about ‘one man’ and ‘his quest to find meaning in a world gone mad’. Yes: there are now trailers for books and soon, according to Steve Osgoode, director of online marketing at HarperCollins Canada, they will be everywhere.”

4 Responses to “Read the book? No, but I loved the trailer”

  1. Charleson 16 Jul 2006 at 6:34 pm

    Stephen Donaldson has had a trailer for his newest Covenant book on his website for the past couple of years. It is pretty simple and has typed words that fade off into the distance instead of the deep-voiced narrator.

    Are publishing companies actually interested in this? Will I go to a publisher’s website one day and find trailers instead of chapter samples?

    It sounds a bit strange to me, but I imagine someone will find a way to make it interesting.

  2. Megan McRaeon 16 Jul 2006 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve seen James Patterson’s books advertised on television – especially Fifth Horseman, which was accompanied by drama-series-like footage of helicopters, hospitals, people rushing to and fro, and some very tall palm trees.

    I was quite appalled by this. His books are the only ones I’ve ever seen advertised on television and to be quite honest, they could have picked better books to do “trailers” on, because I actually read Fifth Horseman a couple days before it came out (oh the perks of working in a bookstore) and thought it was one of the most trite, contrived, cliche, worthless pieces of crap writing I’ve ever read. I could not stop laughing at it, it was so terrible.

    I’ll never understand the cult following. I have a feeling it’s because it takes absolutely no brains to read it, and the chapters are two pages long, maximum.

    Which is why it doesn’t exactly surprise me to hear about book trailers being released more frequently. It saddens me, but it is not a terrible shock anymore.

  3. A.R.Yngveon 17 Jul 2006 at 9:47 am

    The “book trailer” concept makes sense, but I hope we’ll be spared the hoariest trailer clichés, like “…THAT WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER”.

    I tried to make my own (slightly) animated book trailer, and the result turned out like this:
    http://darcages.tripod.com/id3.html
    (Warning: unless you have a very good PC, the big-size trailer looks kinda crappy)

  4. Kildareon 20 Jul 2006 at 10:36 am

    I’ve seen James Patterson’s books advertised on television – especially Fifth Horseman, which was accompanied by drama-series-like footage of helicopters, hospitals, people rushing to and fro, and some very tall palm trees.

    Like Megan, James Patterson’s latest book is the only one I have ever see advertised on tv – I’m in the UK so I don’t know if advertising books on tv is more common in the US. I was surprised the first time I saw it, I honestly thought the trailer was for a bad tv movie one of the small satellite channels were airing.

    However, although I’m not sure if television advertising is the right medium for books I do think that advertising needs to be looked into and that books do need greater promotion. I mainly read in the fantasy genre and the only way I discover new authors is through reading the back cover or looking up books recommended by authors I already read.

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