Apparently books have trailers now. I’ve been aware of this for some time but never actually watched one, because it just seems like the wrong medium. Then I read that Joe Abercrombie’s forthcoming A Red Country has a trailer. I’m such a fangirl that, naturally, I went off to watch it. It still seems like an odd concept and I watched a few more to get a feel for them. I was looking for books or authors I knew and trying to avoid YA.
A Red Country, Joe Abercrombie: I will read this book, because I love his books, and I require no persuading. Having said that, if I was ambivalent I don’t think this trailer would sway me. It’s very much a mood film and gives away little in content.
Blue Remembered Earth, Alastair Reynolds: I’ve never read anything of his and never really been drawn to do so. Until now. The trailer was really intriguing and I will probably read this at some point.
Room, Emma Donoghue: This had been suggested for my work book club and rejected as nobody was particularly excited by the synopsis. Having seen the trailer I’ve changed my mind and I may well read this.
1Q84, Haruki Murakami: I’ve heard of the author but didn’t have an opinion about reading this book. I still don’t.
19 Minutes, Jodi Picoult: This is one of those authors that I’ve never read because I’m pretty certain their work is not my cup of tea. The trailer picqued my interest a bit but probably not enough to make me read this book.
A Most Wanted Man, John Le Carre: Based on the trailer, I wouldn’t read this, but if a film was made of it I’d want to see that.
Dark Prince, Christine Feehan: I have actually read this, well, two-thirds of it was all I could stomach. It’s paranormal romance, i.e. soft porn with vampires, and the trailer doesn’t deceive. My problem with the book wasn’t with the sexy parts (which were very good) but with the promotion of very conservative gender roles and relationships. If I hadn’t read it, the trailer wouldn’t have persuaded me.
Black Prism, Brent Weeks: This was the most filmic of all the trailers and I was tending towards thinking I might read it. Then I read some of the comments saying that the trailer completely misrepresents the book and that was the convincer. I will read the book now, just so I can see how far off the mark the trailer was.
All of the above are trailers for traditionally published books with a marketing budget. For comparison, I also looked at a trailer produced by Dawn Cartwright for her self-published short story collection, Son of Jack. I know Dawn through my local writers’ circle but I haven’t read the stories. It wouldn’t necessarily convince me to buy the book, although I thought that the gap between her trailer and some of the professionally produced one was pretty small.
I noticed that I tended not to like the trailers that featured the author talking about the book and prefered the ones that tried to bring you into the story world. On balance, I’m not sure trailers are going to add much to my book-buying decision making. Maybe I’m being a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. What do you think?
They’re another marketing tool, nothing else. They’ll work for some people, not for others and act like the blurb on the book.
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