The Sword and Laser discussion

Wool (Wool, #1)
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What Else Are You Reading? > Book Trailers- What's your take?

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Handel | 123 comments I recently saw a trailer for Wool and it had me thinking again... I'm not really sure what to think of book trailers.

Part of what I love about books is that MY imagination fills in all the blanks. The author gives you an idea of what things and people and places look like but you fill in all the blanks and make an image in your mind and no two people have the same imagination- so it makes book experiences so different from one another (As re-reading a book years later can create a new image in my mind of what something looks like in a book). And book trailers take a little of that away... That's one reason I don't really like them...

Another reason is that they get me hopeful of a movie which will (almost) never happen.

And a book trailer can turn me off from an otherwise great book because it looks cheesy/poorly done/not what I imagined.

I've been seeing a lot of book trailers over the past six months or so. I think the first one was for The Scorpio Races which I saw after I read the book, and I must say if I had seen the trailer before I read it I might have been LESS inclined to read the book...


Ulmer Ian (eean) | 276 comments sounds like you shouldn't like book covers either :)


message 3: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 652 comments I'm not a fan of book trailers but the world is full of different tastes. To me, the point of reading is to engage your own imagination, not to be wowed by some animated interpretation of the book. I just avoid them but for those who like them, "hey, what ever floats your boat."


message 4: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 652 comments Ian wrote: "sounds like you shouldn't like book covers either :)"

A book cover is a single image, not an animated production that tells a story. I don't think book covers and book trailers are proportional.


message 5: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Forsythe | 39 comments I've not really ever put a lot of thought into book trailers, but I also find myself avoiding them. Something about them is just off putting in general. If the cover and blurb aren't enough to get you interested why would a 45 second animated short do it?


message 6: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Handel | 123 comments I love book covers. It's different, a book cover gives you a tiny glimpse. I have rarely been turned off by book covers. I think only some of the paranormal romances have had truly god awful book covers that really made me go, "Uugh!" Then again sometimes cheesy/silly book covers are a draw depending on my mood.


message 7: by Leesa (new)

Leesa (leesalogic) | 287 comments I liked Harry Connolly's book trailer for his Twenty Palaces series.


message 8: by Charles (new)

Charles | 248 comments It's great when done right.

Unfortunately, it's easy to get wrong, and there's a relatively high barrier to entry (i.e. production costs) vs. relative returns (compared to other forms of publicity).

I liked Scott Sigler's book trailer for example which they showed in the first video episode of Sword and Laser.


message 9: by Ulmer Ian (last edited Jul 11, 2012 03:51AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 276 comments @Charles Book trailers are pretty cheap to make. I think many authors (and I believe I heard this in regards to Scott Sigler specifically) make them on their own since the I'm not sure publishers put much faith in them.

I guess I agree with OP I don't really find them enlightening either. I use services like goodreads or the S&L show to find books to read. :)


message 10: by Igor (new) - rated it 5 stars

Igor (igork) | 105 comments Kathryn wrote:The author gives you an idea of what things and people and places look like but you fill in all the blanks and make an image in your mind...

Agree on this.


message 11: by Rasnac (new)

Rasnac | 335 comments I don't like book ads(especially on billboards) and I hate book trailers. To me it represents a shift in average reader's mindset and how literature or books in general is redefined and relocated in perception of the modern consumerist society, and it is not a good developement. If that makes me an old person, I'm perfectly happy with that. Now, get off my lawn! :)


Ulmer Ian (eean) | 276 comments Rasnac, I knew google would quickly provide:


:D

Advertising is nothing new at all, and was probably more common in the past when books weren't priced out of all the major advertising outlets.


message 13: by Michal (new)

Michal (MichaltheAssistantPigkeeper) | 244 comments Hate 'em.


message 14: by Tamahome (last edited Jul 11, 2012 03:16PM) (new)

Tamahome | 4548 comments I like how every sf book trailer I see still has analog tv. Isn't pixilation sexy?


message 15: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Tamahome wrote: "I like how every sf book trailer I see still have analog tv. Isn't pixilation sexy?"

And Maroon 5 has a hit song about a payphone.


message 16: by John (new)

John | 3 comments Check out YouTube / The Immortal by E. H. Kindred it's a pretty good trailer and she did it all herself too, from art to music


message 17: by Kim (new)

Kim (shirezu) | 392 comments So far from the ones I've seen I don't really like them. In fact even though I like the premise for Year Zero the trailer really put me off it. I was thinking about getting it but remembered the trailer and decided to pass on it.


message 18: by kvon (new)

kvon | 552 comments I never come across them. And I don't think I'm missing anything.


message 19: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) I've seen a few. I remember one made me cringe. I can't remember what book it was for, but I do remember thinking that I had liked the book so it was a pity the trailer was awful.

I remember seeing the one for Anathem and thinking it was pretty good.

Overall I'm pretty ambivalent. I tend to ignore all info about a book until after I've read it so bad or good, it doesn't affect me.


message 20: by Charles (new)

Charles | 248 comments Ian wrote: "@Charles Book trailers are pretty cheap to make. "

Maybe where you're from but again, it's going to depend on the book trailer (i.e. some special effects more expensive than others) and I'm comparing it to other forms of promotion (quicker/cheaper/easier to make a poster or conduct a blog tour vs. a trailer).


message 21: by Raelene (new)

Raelene | 5 comments I am going to buy Year Zero solely based on the book trailer. I think they have their plus and minus like all ads.


message 22: by Keidy (last edited Jul 13, 2012 01:14AM) (new)

Keidy | 262 comments I don't like book trailers and it's been rare that I've seen one that's well done. Being a designer, I can see that most book trailers seem to be just placed out there as an afterthought. I don't know if that's the case, but that's the general feeling I get. They don't look like they're done by a professional and this is one of those things that it's so very easy to get wrong. I'm sure if they had a freelancer or a multi-media artist in charge of all of these, the quality would be so much better. But as it stands now, every time I watch one I always think of the same thing: Lost opportunity.


message 23: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 2895 comments I rarely have the patience to watch online videos (buffering, ads, etc). I barely even watch the S&L video shows. Book trailers do nothing for me. I don't know why I would watch a video to tell me about a book.


message 24: by JR (new)

JR (jerslan) | 18 comments I'm definitely not a fan... It makes it feel like they need to SELL the book to you. I remember seeing the one for Year Zero recently and thinking that it made it sound like a really crappy book. I will probably not be reading that anytime soon... Then again, seeing how I have 4 books on my Currently Reading shelf... My plate is a bit full at the moment ;)


message 25: by Rob Secundus (new)

Rob Secundus (Quintessential_Defenestration) | 564 comments The only book trailer I can remember finding interesting was the one for Unholy Night, and that was just because of how wonderfully over the top it was.

The trailer to Year Zero almost killed my interest in it.

If I were an author with the opportunity to release an online video to promote a book (and I understand that authors would typically have nothing at all to do with stuff like marketing), I wouldn't approach it like a movie trailer. More like the web series Felicia Day did for Dragon Age- an interesting and complete stand alone thing that can enrich the universe of my story, while also serving as a gateway/introduction to stir up interest.

If you make a video that people really enjoy, and would enjoy sharing, and then say, "hey guys, if you buy my book THERE IS EVEN MORE OF THIS GREAT STUFF," I think that would work better than "Here is a sort of animated, sort of motion comicy thing that is basically a visual rendition of the blurb on the dust jacket."


message 26: by Jonathon (new)

Jonathon Dez-la-lour (jd2607) | 166 comments I think the concept of a book trailer is an interesting one as often the cover and blurbs can sometimes not be enough (or in the case of Stephenie Meyer recommendation on the front of The Hunger Games, a complete turn off). So if it's well done, I imagine book trailers could become actually useful and interesting. But I also think that at the minute they're in their infancy and no-one's quite realised their full potential yet.

I also like Rob's idea that instead of creating a 30-60 second trailer to summarise the book, to actually create a short or series of shorts that serve as part of the book's fictional universe.


message 27: by Tarl (new)

Tarl | 12 comments I'm still in the brainstorming phase for a trailer for my book, and it is a puzzle. The power of books is in the imagination. Yet the trailer can bring in a visual feeling and a musical theme that can share my feeling of the book.
I agree that a book trailer is not a movie trailer. Trying to mimic that is a mistake. If you can build the world, and pique interest in the hidden world within the covers of your book, the reader may be more inclined to pick it up.
The motion comic idea is a good one, but it generally requires more than just the original author to create. Multimedia can pitch the story to different audiences. All part of a broad marketing approach. Daunting if it is only one person in front of the screen.
For those interested, my book is "The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens", available on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Wool (other topics)
The Scorpio Races (other topics)
Year Zero (other topics)