Monday, June 16, 2008

Coming soon...

This is a banner ad created by the lovely and awesome Little Willow for my author website, and teasing my forthcoming series from Simon Pulse, The Bradford Books.
(It's a tentative title. Stay tuned.)
The series is being touted as "mean girl-lit with an online component," and if you check out the splash pages you'll see that we are slowly but surely populating them with new, fun, (and, yes, sometimes mean) content.
As authors, we're artists, of course, but nowadays, we're often guerilla marketers, amateur publicists, and sometimes even booksellers, as well. It's absolutely crucial in today's market to get involved and make sure you're talking up your books where and whenever possible. Hence new, fun, interactive channels like this blog, or events like the Simon Pulse blogfest. I've personally gone web crazy in the past few years, with my own author website:,
a livejournal blog:,
and even Facebook and Myspace profiles.
It's a lot to keep up with.
But the newest trend, it seems, and one which completely fascinates me, is that of the book trailer.
Yes, book trailer. If you haven't seen one, it's this: like a movie trailer, but for books.
To me, the notion of a book trailer is somewhat counter-intuitive: if I'm reading a book, I want my own ideas of the characters and the setting to remain wholly in my own imagination, not dictated by screen images that may interfere with my own perceptions.
And yet, they are increasingly popular. Lisa McMann's compulsive novel, WAKE (one of the very first Simon Pulse hardcover releases!) was teased with a You Tube clip:
Say what you may about sticking a face on a character (and besides, don't tons of book covers do that already, anyway?), that clip is *spooky.* It absolutely makes me curious about the book.
Mission accomplished, right?
I've also read about authors holding "trailer contests," such as the brilliant Kathi Appelt, author of S&S's THE UNDERNEATH, who solicited reader-created trailers for her book. What a great idea! And of course, certain mediums (media?) definitely lend themselves to the book trailer format. Namely: graphic novels. Check out any of the awesomely cinematic trailers on the First Second website:
I love books. And I love movies. That doesn't mean that I need them to become increasingly interchangeable formats to me. But technology is evolving, which impacts the way that readers interact with their favorite authors, and their favorite books. I may prefer my own mind-movie to a book trailer, but I can't promise I'll never create one for a project of my own. And anything that attracts more readers to my books--or, for that matter, *any* books--is fine by me.
What about you? Have you seen any book trailers lately that made you think twice?


Jennifer Echols said...

A hilarious clip has been circulating among writers that deals with this issue. I shared it here:

It pretty much sums up how I feel about this. I'm fascinated by all the new technology, and in a perfect world I would love to explore it all. But the bottom line is, if I'm making a book trailer, that's time I'm taking away from writing, and I don't want to do that.

(she said as she blogged instead of writing)

Micol Ostow said...

That's a really good point, and separate from any of the objections I would have made on my own. Still, you can't fight technology...Otherwise we'd still be writing our books on parchment with feather pens, no? ;)