Archive for December, 2012

Book Trailers – What Are They For?

When my publishers first mentioned a book trailer for Maze Running I was a bit worried – I thought I’d have to script it, or at the very least appear in it. But it’s been a very painless process: Floris Books wrote it, filmed it and edited it themselves, with no involvement from me at all. And now the Maze Running trailer is up on Youtube, I’m really pleased with it. I think it’s a combination of wonderfully simple and excitingly pacy. (Here it is…)
I’m a fan of trailers. When I go to the cinema, I always make sure I’m settled down in plenty of time to see the trailers, so I can enjoy a little taster of films I’ll probably never have time to go and see. And I’ll even admit to wasting a bit of writing time recently watching every available version of the Hobbit trailer online.
A film trailer is usually (not always, but usually) a good way to decide if you’ll enjoy the full film, because you get a sense of the content and the style of the film.
But is a trailer a good way to decide if you’ll like a book? If you like the look of the trailer, or the background music, or a voice-over, then you might decide to read the book, but none of those elements will appear in the book (which is simply words on a page, not pictures on a screen or music in an earphone.)
And if you don’t like the music or the camera angles, could the trailer put you off the book? And would that be daft, because the book trailer isn’t made up of bits of the book in the way that a film trailer is made up of bits of the film?
So is a trailer a useful way to judge a book?
Probably it’s no dafter a way to judge a book than by its cover, given that the cover artist often hasn’t even read the book! Or by its blurb, which isn’t usually written by the author.
Are any of these useful ways to pick a book? Or are they all just ways for a book to catch your eye, then the story inside must live up to the cover, blurb or trailer’s promise?
Are book trailers just another way for publishers and authors to try to give books a presence online (like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs like this…) and does all this (very time consuming!) online activity actually help readers choose books?

So what do you think of the current trend of trailers for books?

Have you ever gone out and bought a book simply because of a trailer?

What do you think of the Maze Running trailer?

And what other book trailers have you enjoyed?