Have you heard about the relatively recent new trend of book trailers? More and more publishers are starting to actively market their new offerings through video trailers, just like the ones you see for new movies. Well, maybe not just like them — most of the ones I’ve seen are just atrocious!
The first one I saw, strangely, was for J.R.R. Tolkien’s “new” book, The Children of Húrin — and this one’s actually very well made. It helps that most of the visuals come from the illustrated editions of Tolkien’s books and that the music is very good. Watch it here.
Then, for comparison, stop by the Book Trailers blog and watch a few of those. If you can stand it. Every now and then, you’ll come across a trailer that might actually make you interested in reading the book (almost by accident, as it seems) — but most are bad, bad, bad. Dreadful voiceovers, awful choices for images and logos, and even horrible actors putting on scenes from the books. My favorite of the latter (the worst of the worst, if you will; so bad it almost flips the scale over and becomes good, or at least entertaining, hahae) is the trailer for the hackneyed thriller, Power Play, by Joseph Finder. You just have to watch it to appreciate how truly awful (and inadvertently funny) it is. My favorite line is the over-the-top voiceover: “Now, it’s up to one man ... who wasn’t even supposed to be there.” What is this, a suspense novel or Clerks?!
Another strange one is the trailer for 13 Bullets, by David Wellington, an FBI-versus-vampire potboiler. The trailer consists of time-lapse footage of a guy getting made up as a vampire. At the end, he hisses at us, and then we see the hilarious (unwittingly, I’m sure) tagline: “Vampires that don’t suck.” Get it? ’Cause vampires do suck. Only we’re supposed to think this book doesn’t. So clever. But I’m afraid the trailer that’s supposed to be getting you interested in the book is going to have you wishing for 13 bullets of your own.
And lest you think the books are as amateurish as the trailers, these are real books from real publishers, like Random House and Simon & Shuster. Or at least, some are reputable; others appear to be self- or vanity-published. But if you ever write that great American novel, be sure to visit Jillett Productions, who can custom-tailor a book trailer of your very own at bargain basement prices. No, no; I’m sure they’re very good. Hmm, let me just take a look at one of their samples ... “If you’re like most people, you probably always wondered how to slaughter a wild boar and then feed its head to some flesh-eating beetles.” (Not kidding.)
Oh the humanity! *smirk*