Book Trailers Going Strong in 2012!
If you haven’t noticed, book trailers are getting more sophisticated. Sometimes that’s because the publisher decides the book calls for a big production, complete with actors and sets. Random House made a stunning, magical period piece for Robin Bridges’ The Gathering Storm.
It’s one of my favorites. They also made a creepy, science fictiony one for me, for STARTERS.
And I love this one for Macmillian made for CINDER by Marissa Meyers which really makes you feel like it’s a movie or television trailer.
BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood not only has high production values, but wonderful casting and lots of kissing.
But sometimes these elaborate trailers are made by the authors themselves. And it’s because more people have access to equipment today. As digital continues to explode, I predict we’ll see more of this.
This one was designed by the author, cast with friends and family, and crewed by some talented people. You look at this and it’s hard to imagine that a publisher could beat it. Anne Greenwood Brown’s LIES BENEATH.
Here is another very ambitious trailer, this one with dialogue, made by the author and friends: HARBINGER by Sara Wilson Etienne. Anyone who has ever made a short film knows how much work this is.
Even though I’m focusing on complicated trailers, sometimes a simple one might be the most elegant solution. But I suspect most authors would like to have the option to see their dreams realized, however they visualize them. And we’ve all become so visually sophisticated that using standard images seen too often in the early book trailers will now pass over our eyes, barely noticed and quickly forgotten.
What an author brings to the design of her own trailer is passion and an intimate sense of her own story that no one else can beat. The challenges to the amateur production are obvious – less budget, less access to professional talent, actors and crew. But one thing the author needs to do is learn when to let go. That means keep it on the short rather than long side. When you work so hard, months in prep, and days in production, not to mention what can be weeks of post, the author is often too close to the blood, sweat and tears to be able to make judicious cuts.
If you decide to make your own trailer, be sure you get feedback from friends who are in film school or pros, preferably at the storyboard/script stage, but definitely when it’s time for the final cut. Unless of course, you’re an author like Ransom Riggs, who used to make trailers professionally.
There are lots of cool trailers out there. If you know of one made for a YA science fiction/fantasy 2012 release that you like, tell us about it in the comments.
The League of Extraordinary Writers is a group of debut YA authors who write science fiction and dystopian works. The ten of us have works that run the gamut of near-future mind control to far-future space travel, but they do have one thing in common: a future where the Earth we know now is twisted, gone.