Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Trailers? Huh?

We’ve all seen the latest trailer for Captain American or Noah; movie trailers are a staple in our society today because film companies rely heavily on this type of advertising. The film moguls want to give the audience just enough of a taste to convince viewers that their movie is worth the trip to the theaters, the $10 movie ticket, and $15 food at the concession stands. For filmmakers making a trailer is fairly easy to do. They just edit together some of the footage that already exists.

For books, the challenge is ever more apparent.

Book trailers are rarely seen on television. If anyone has even seen a book trailer, it was probably for the latest James Patterson book. And yet, publishing companies like Scholastic make book trailers all the time.

For TCU Press marketing is crucial to get the word out about the unique books being printed. These books were published for a reason, and people deserve to know about them. Because books are a totally different medium that depends on the imagination of the reader, book trailer makers are presented with an array of different challenges.

Unlike movies, books don’t come with moving images. Many don’t come with any images, besides perhaps the cover art. Trying to assign a particular photo or drawing of a character can be a sensitive subject for readers, just as it is for readers of books with film adaptations. Additionally, book trailer makers must decide whether they want to stick with still images, moving images, or no images. Each present their own pros (like cost efficiency) and cons (like limited audience engagement), but many of these decisions depend on the budget and skillset at hand.

A running convention of book trailers is text (text with excerpts from the book or text from positive books reviews for instance); voice-over narration, another convention, is used much the same way with excerpts and reviews. A third convention that is quite useful—and I would say necessary—is music. Music can set the mood of the trailer and subsequently convey the tone of the book in a matter of seconds.

Book trailers serve a distinct purpose in the greater marketing scheme of book publishing. For many, book trailers are the 15 or 30 seconds needed to pique readers' interest.

by Rebecca Semik, intern

1 comment:

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