As I use YouTube mostly for looking at 1980s music videos (I love Duran Duran; do not judge me), I’ve been slow to pick up on the growing field of book trailers — a couple of minutes’ worth of visual art that, much like a movie preview, is intended to hook your interest and, it is hoped, prompt you to buy the book.

Here are a couple of book trailers from authors I admire, R.J. Keller and Kristen Tsetsi. Take a look:

“That Would Be Me” (for Keller’s Waiting for Spring)

Tsetsi’s Homefront

Here’s what a trailer can look like if you have the power of a huge publisher and assured sales of a million-plus books behind you:

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol

I’d be curious to hear what people think of these videos. Are you any more or less intrigued by the titles after viewing them? Do you think that the author should be featured as much as the book? Why or why not?

One of the things I’m going to do in the next week or so is start plotting out a trailer for my own book, 600 Hours of Edward. I really have no feel for how effective or ineffective it will be, but I’m doing it under the auspices of “Let’s run that sucker up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes.” What I’m learning more and more about building buzz for a book is that it works in multitudes (seriously, I think a copy of The Lost Symbol is handed out to every airline traveler in the world) and at the grass-roots level, one reader at a time. If a book trailer helps to hook a few, it’s worth the effort.

* — I realize that “tape,” in the sense of videos, is an antiquity. I’m taking some creative license here.

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