Thursday, January 08, 2009

*Cue serious announcer man: "In a world where..."

I've been seeing a lot about book trailers in blogland recently. I know they're not brand new (especially to a YA audience), but they're looking more like something you might actually want to spend advertising dollars on when you're promoting your book.

(I realize this is unconscionably early for me to talk about book trailers since I neither have a book deal nor an agent [nor even a decent query letter]. A girl can think ahead, right?)

Agent assistant Tracy Marchini has a great post today about 11 Ways to Use a Book Trailer. In her post she included a fab trailer for the new Jerry Spinelli book, Love, Stargirl.

National Book Award nominee Laurie Halse Anderson had a post yesterday about the book trailer contest she held for her YA books Speak and Twisted. She asked teen readers to submit amateur videos for a contest, and then (in spite of some techincal difficulties) chose the best ones and posted them. What a great way to get a teen audience involved in your books! If you visit the link above you can watch the videos--they're good. Even better, she talks about how she publicized the contest.

Author Jackson Pearce has a book coming out next year and often posts "vlogs" about the writing process on her blog. You can check out the vlogs at her YouTube channel. I don't think she has book trailers yet, but writing-related vlogs are still a great way to get your name out there and build Web presence.

And I can't remember where I first saw this, but YA author Simone Elkeles comissioned a rap video for her book Perfect Chemistry. It's funny and the words are clever. Plus I seriously still remember the chorus (or whatever you call the chorus in a rap song) from several weeks ago because it's just one of those things that gets stuck in your head--a good thing for an author wanting to sell her book! Click above to go to her Web site and see the video. It got a lot of book review blog play. I wish I could remember where I first read about it because the blogger had talked with Elkeles about how much she paid to have it done, hiring the director and cast, etc.

And finally, fab lit agent Janet Reid had a great post a few months ago where she links to a good Michael Connelly book trailer (it ought to be good, the guy's got millions). More importantly (to me) she talks about whether trailers boost sales or not. Check the comments on this post, too; it's interesting to see what other people think.

I honestly think authors like Michael Connelly are not the ones who would benefit most from book trailers. For what it's worth, I think trailers are better suited to YA and children's writers, because the audience is more apt to consider checking out a book they read about online. Major bonus points if your trailer is funny, like Elkeles', or really sweet like Spinelli's. The good thing about book trailers is that anyone can make them on a shoestring budget. YouTube generation doesn't require it to be professional--just that it's entertaining.


Becky said...

I'm loving your posts & links because I never really knew much about the literary world. It's a peek inside a process I've never seen before. :)

Chad Sayban said...

This kind of promotion really depends on the type of book and the audience. I think you are right about the YA market being a good one for this, but it would probably not work as well in some others - especially if you have to spend any real money to produce it. Great post!

Justus M. Bowman said...

"The good thing about book trailers is that anyone can make them on a shoestring budget."

I can appreciate inexpensiveness.

Just_Me said...

If your target audience will cruise YouTube and the blogs, it works. The younger your audience, the more you want your name on the internet rather than in a literary magazine.

For me the real question is whether or not NASA will let me borrow a shuttle... I mean, my novel is sci-fi, and who else is going to loan me a spaceship for a book trailer?

Crimogenic said...

I love book trailers, but alas, I'm way off from that point and can't think that far ahead. :)