In 2015, a lot of publishers (and self-publishers) put together book trailers to promote their upcoming and new novels. Here’s mine if you haven’t come across it already:
It makes a lot of sense to create a trailer. You get a social media component to the create work that works like a calling card – easy communication of what the book is about, what the cover looks like, maybe even an excerpt from the book. Bloggers love it. They’re great for pre-sales. And they can be works of art. Here’s my favourite one:
I’m not sure what kind of budget the New Zealand Book Council offered to make this happen, but this doesn’t happen for free. Gee’s novel was first published in 1992, so this is more a work of art than a pre-launch publicity trailer. Still, a great investment, since the film has well over a million hits. I wonder how this translates into sales of the book?
Here’s a tremendous trailer for one of my favourite funny people, Aziz Ansari:
Not that they’re marketing to my generation (or even gender), but here’s celebrity Bella Thorne with a trailer for her new novel:
When I was doing research on book trailers, I noticed that none of them actually brought the book to life, and I think I know why. If you dramatize scenes from the book, you might be infringing on someone’s interest in dramatizing your work down the road. So instead, you act out a synopsis of the book, or you create content that is engaging but not the book, or you just read the book with some flashy effects.
It’s all because of that reticence to adapt the novel.
So I decided to do just that. I had very little money but I did have some friends, and the material in No Escape From Greatness lent itself well to some adaptation. I focused on the screenplay portions of the book, which are written by the main character. I thought “what if Gabriel could actually put these scenes on their feet?” Suddenly the trailer, and the three short films I’ll be releasing in 2016, were like scenes-within-scenes, or what I call “video excerpts” of the book.
I hope it works. But I also think I managed to avoid making a boring trailer. I also don’t think I cheapened the look of the book itself.
What do you think? I’d love to see your favourites (and the ones that are laughably not-so-good). I’m going to give you one, and I mean no offense to the hardworking people behind it. I am definitely not making judgments on the quality of the book itself, just the trailer. But if you like reading, this book trailer is for you!!
Hit me up with comments, either here or on Facebook! (be respectful)