Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trail of two trailers for Book Trailer Tuesday!

It's really been interesting casting around and paying attention to trailers. And it sort of makes me think about what makes a good book trailer. And the answer there isn't so simple, because it depends on what you think a trailer should do. Should a trailer:

A. Raise awareness of the title and the book's existence.
B. Spark people's curiosity enough for them to pay attention to reviews and other info.
C. Show viewers fun stuff about the plot or characters.
D. Give viewers a cool experiential hit of the book.
E. Get viewers to want to read/buy the book.
F. Build positive awareness/the brand of the author, and the books on a secondary level.

Obviously any one trailer may be doing several of these things. I doubt a trailer can singlehandedly do (E), though a (C) or (D) trailer plus a good review is a powerful combo for me.

This PsyCop trailer is a perfect example of (D), a cool experiential hit. Like, a lot of trailers are just the blurbs set to music and visuals, but this one utilizes visuals to try and express what it's like to be a pscyhic. Or at least I think that's what it's doing.

I like the simplicity. I come away without any idea of the plot or characters, but it gives me the heart of the book, or what I hope would be.

Yesterday, Smart Bitches did a great post about Maggie Steifvater's book trailer, below. I'm not going to discuss this at length, because they did an excellent job of it.

A few notes, though: It's interesting how the Steifvater trailer barely talks about specific books; it's more her relating to her audience in a fun, playful way. It's a perfect example of (F) author brand building. If you look at the comments on that Smart Bitches post, it seems quite effective. There's a lot I enjoy about this trailer. The guitar music, the personality of the notecards, the illustrations.

Questions I'm pondering: I haven't read any of her books. Are her books humorous? What if they're not, does this trailer set somebody up to expect a humorous book? Or is it more like meeting Maggie at a party and liking her because she's playful and funny, but you don't automatically expect the books she writes to be that way?

Other book trailer Tuesday participants: BirdBrained! (anybody else??)


Leslie said...

Interesting vids. I've only read Steifvater's book Shiver and while there are humorous parts, in the form of snarky teen comments, I don't think humorous would be among the first words I would use to describe it.

I think Steifvater's trailer shows her creativity, which could certainly get you to take a look at her books. :)

Chris said...

Stopping by to add nothing whatsoever to the discussion. :)

Anastasia said...

Sometimes I almost think a really good video with the author is more powerful than even a completely awesome trailer. It's the human connection, I think.

ALSO, this is something I'm going to talk about more in a post sometime, but: book trailers are a hard sell because if they're not engaging or interesting or GOOD then no-one wants to watch them. And if they are good? Well, that's nice, but they also have to have that almost viral quality to them so that EVERYONE will watch them, not just readers.

Which is my next thing: that book trailers mostly aren't for book people, but for people who don't normally read books but might pick one up because the video they watched was so interesting. Book people, I think, treat book trailers like a DVD extra, almost: fun to watch, but not really important because the BOOK is the main thing. And maybe they've already read some reviews, read the summary, pre-ordered it, whatever. Book people depend on words for their dealings with books, and it's words that convince them to try a book. Anything else is just a bonus.

For non-book people, the trailer is more important because it's probably their first exposure to that book. Maybe they don't spend all their time on book blogs and Amazon recommends, etc; maybe they're more visual and spend a lot of time on Youtube. They stumble onto a book trailer, it's awesome, and BOOM. They want to read the book!

And this is getting really long, so even though I have more to say I think I'll save it until I get my post up. Also, totally lifting parts of my comment to stick in my post.
(Am I on the right track with this, btw? Book trailers have different audiences, and the most successful trailers are those that think not only of book people, but other people as well?)

Carolyn Crane said...

Leslie: yes, that's a good point. It shows general creativity!

Chris: wassup

Anastasia: Wow, that is totally something interesting to think about. I hadn't thought about that at all, but it makes sense. What an interesting post that would make! I encourage you to lift away, and I do want to have this conversation. I'd also be interested if you have any figures or anecdotal evidence on it!!

Christine said...

That video is just very Maggie. Smart, clever, fun, creative and talented.

I've only read two of Maggie's books, Lament (faeries) and Shiver (werewolves) and loved both of them. They're not humorous books, although they're not dead serious either. Perfect for teens... lighthearted daily stuff they can relate to from their own lives, and also some heavier, dangerous, maybe angsty stuff that's also part of their lives. Teens just looove drama.

Maggie has such a wonderful story telling voice for YA. Kind of easy going and natural, but also very poetic. It's like the poetry and the beauty of the writing just seeps into you without you even realizing it's poetic. I think this is especially true for Lament, anyway. Shiver was a little more straightforward of a story, and the writing reflected that.

I didn't read the Smart Bitches post, so I may be repeating what you already know, but Maggie's book trailers for her books are amazing. She made a trailer for both Shiver and Ballad. Both are very good. I posted the one for Ballad on my blog over the summer. I was--and still am--very impressed that she did the whole thing herself. Including composing, performing and recording the music! Actually, I think her sister may have recorded with her, but still. Awesome talent, there.

/Maggie fan

Lea said...

I'm always in awe of anyone who can do things like this and get some semblance of an idea across with respect to what the book is about.

Looking forward to next Tuesday CJ...

Marg said...

I have no idea why but this post just came up in my feedreader, and I am still going to comment! lol!

I do watch trailers but usually it is for authors I know I already like to read, or for books that I already know I want.

This Maggie Stiefvater vid is one of the few times I can remember where I felt compelled to get hold of a new to me author based purely on the video.