I don’t always say it but it does happen and I’ll freely admit it here. I may have been wrong about Book Trailers.
The first few I saw were uninspiring. They were filled with strange voiceovers narrating a synopsis with shadowy figures and bland tracking music. I also did not get how these would work. How would people see them? Find them? Are they suppose to build anticipation with established fan bases or introduce new works to new audiences? All around it was a head-scratching, no thank you on my part.
I now give Exhibits A, B, and C that prove how wrong I was.
Created by one of my favorite blogger, Ransom Riggs over at Mental Floss, it was on point. It captured the book’s appeal, the charm of Austen mixed with crazy B-movie monster action. How better to explain that than in video format. Sure that’s the point of the book trailer but this is the first time I saw how well it could work.
This one came out a few months back and I was floored. Not only did it include great graphics and animation (yeah steampunk!) but the voiceover worked! There is a real sense of drama and urgency about the story being described. It fits the time period as well as the new world Westerfeld created. I already loved him for the Uglies series but now my esteem has been taken to a higher level which is another result of a well made Book Trailer.
Let me introduce you to another author who is now on my must-always-read-list, Maggie Stiefvater. I read Shiver and enjoyed it (thank you ALA!) but after this video I have to check out her other book. I liked Shiver but I was always saying because “werewolves are the new vampires.” I put it in the Twilight category of YA supernatural romance. Quick read, impossible love, mythological creature. Well written for sure but that’s where I put it in my mental file folder. Talk about being put in my place. The Holly Hobbyness of the production, the gentle mocking of the genre, the animation… I cried with laughter. People thought I was having a fit for trying to hold it in. I love how the author is promoting her material in a unique and engaging way.
As better products come out I’m willing to change my opinion on Book Trailers but I still have to wonder, besides sitting around and admiring them for their cleverness, does this work? Where are they placed to be viewed for maximum exposure? And bringing it all back to me, how can libraries use this model to promote their services and programs? Are we clever and engaging with our promotion material? Where can we place ourselves to be seen and enjoyed by our community?