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To commemorate the appearance of The Lost Symbol, the Telegraph has attempted to identify the 20 worst sentences from Dan Brown’s oeuvre. As my friend John McIntyre says, it couldn’t have been easy.

I won’t wreck the fun of reading all the snark, but here were a couple of my favorites:

18. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: He could taste the familiar tang of museum air – an arid, deionized essence that carried a faint hint of carbon – the product of industrial, coal-filter dehumidifiers that ran around the clock to counteract the corrosive carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors.

Ah, that familiar tang of deionised essence.

And …

9. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 32: The vehicle was easily the smallest car Langdon had ever seen. “SmartCar,” she said. “A hundred kilometers to the liter.”

Pro tip: when fleeing from the police, take a moment to boast about your getaway vehicle’s fuel efficiency. And get it wrong by a factor of five. SmartCars do about 20km (12 miles) to the litre.

None of this mitigates the fact that Brown will sell approximately 400 million kajillion copies of his new book.

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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