WHY BOOK TRAILERS DON’T ALWAYS WORK

vintage film slateFads come and go. The one that has caught my attention as of late is: THE BOOK TRAILER.

A great concept, this visual creation is supposed to reach the audience through the one sense that the book cannot. Sight. However, some people take this concept a bit too far and try to make a Hollywood-typed movie trailer though with the budget of a local film student.

Books are not visual. They are birthed in the imagination. When I see a book trailer with actors portraying the characters in the book, the author/publisher has just ruined the entire experience for me. No matter what, as soon as I pick up that book – if I ever pick up that book – I will be locked into the producer’s perspective of what the character looks like. My imagination has been rejected.

We’re talking about a book here, people. It should not be a blockbuster movie deal.

Here are a few trailers that I felt didn’t distract me or force images into my head prior to reading the novel:

Books are played out in the imagination. When the trailer shows a face, they have ruined it for me. That’s why I try to read the book before I see the film. Otherwise, why bother reading at all?

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WHY BOOK TRAILERS DON’T ALWAYS WORK

4 thoughts on “WHY BOOK TRAILERS DON’T ALWAYS WORK

  1. Thanks, Joe. I am working on a trailer of my own, because deep down I really think it’s a cool concept to stimulate the one sense writing never can; however, I am shooting it either from behind the MC’s head or in his POV to prevent tainting the audience. We’ll see if I nail it or not. 🙂

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  2. Kristin Pitts says:

    Thanks for this perspective. I’ve been asked to consider adding book trailers as a category for the FCTE writing contest next year (the script, of course, would be the writing component). And since we want to promote students’ use of technology, what you you recommend as the requirements so as not to ruin the reader’s imagination?

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    1. Thanks for the post. In response to your question, I would say to keep it as intangible as possible. For my own book trailer, which should be up around early August, I plan to shoot the either sequence from the POV of the MC or from behind the MC as he goes through the storyline. Keeping it in that vain, I will not be spoiling the reader’s own creative process as they imagine my characters and my world coming to life; yet I’ll be able to stimulate them through their sense of sight, which is something I cannot do through the novel. Let me know what you ultimately decide for your requirements on your project. Hope my answer was helpful!

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