Book Trailers

Book Trailers

August 9, 2011


I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really understand the point of book trailers. Unlike a film or television episode, you can’t exactly cut together scenes from the book. I’ve seen ads for books on television, but only rarely. But to be fair, I usually try to avoid television commercials at all costs. The book trailers I do watch I watch because I came across them on Youtube.

The Graceling trailer seems a little unusual for a book trailer, at least compared to the ones I usually watch. What makes it unusual to me is that I’m not used to seeing actors act out parts of the book. Most of the book trailers I’ve seen have involved showing the cover of the book on the screen and flashing quotes from reviewers. I’m not sure I like this type of trailer, to be honest. I feel like the entire point of reading a book is to use your imagination in terms of what the people and places described in the book look like. By showing you what things are “supposed” to look like, I feel like that process gets tainted. I mean, this is why I generally read a book before seeing the movie adaptation: I want the opportunity to picture what stuff looks like in my mind first and then compare it to what the movie does. Likewise, I probably wouldn’t seek out a book trailer until after I’ve already read the book, especially if other book trailers are going to follow Graceling‘s suit.

[Above: book trailer for Fire by Kristin Cashore.]

The trailer for Fire, the companion book to Graceling, is a little bit better in that the faces of the actors are obscured. At least this way you can come up with how you think the characters look on your own.

[Above: trailers for each of the books in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.]

Of the book trailers I’ve come across, I’ve got to admit that the trailers for The Hunger Games series are among my favorite. Ultimately, however, I’d like to go back to my original point. I really don’t understand the point of these trailers. Are these actually being shown on television and I’m just missing it? Or are they supposed to be more akin to promotional tools for bloggers to use? In any case, I wonder how helpful they actually are. At the very least, I don’t think they’re very helpful in selling books to me. I only make a point in watching trailers for books I either already own or am planning on buying anyway. Book trailers have little impact on whether or not I purchase a book. Whether they influence others, I’m not really sure.


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