The first time I saw a book trailer, I thought it was a joke. Surely, this wasn’t actually part of the marketing strategy for this big name author, working with a big name publisher? It was, though. And most book trailers are just as bad. Cheesy word art, stock film, and low production values abound.
Yeah, I’m biased – I like my literature and everything associated with it to be quiet. I have a fairly high sensitivity to noise and my two and four year olds use it all up, often before 8:00 am. I’ve never even listened to an audio book. But you know, I’m hip, I’m cool, and I can accept that book trailers are a thing; but if they’re to be a thing, can’t they be a thing done well?
For a deeper analysis of what’s gone wrong with book trailers, check out this from Book Riot or this from The New Yorker. Read on for a few of my book trailer picks: the good, the bad and… the Franzen.
You’ve probably seen this one for BJ Novak short story collection. Good production values, funny, actually tells you about the book:
I polled the Edmonton Book Bloggers and found out that Patrick Ness has some gooders:
The Rumpus turned me on to this very simple trailer for Blackbirds and Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig:
The book trailer that inspired this post is for Edmonton author Melanie Kerr’s Pride and Prejudice prequel Follies Past. Now, the production values aren’t spectacular, but the whole thing is so darn earnest. The meaningful looks! The dramatic pauses! And Mr. Wickam is looking fine. (Psst…snap up a copy of Follies Past for free until February 14!)
This is the one I thought was a joke. Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood:
What did Haruki Murakami do to deserve this?
And The Franzen
Oh Franzen. Where to begin?
- Starts with the word “um”
- “You can’t really multitask while reading a book” Pet peeve re. child-free males telling me I can’t read a book while taking care of kids, activated!
- “I understand a lot of commerce happens online now” – this was recorded in 2010, not 1992, by the way.
- “A bee in his bonnet” should totally be the title of his next book.
Do you hate book trailers? Love to hate them? Show me your picks in the comments!