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.


ilima said...

My favorites are Maggie Stiefvater's for her Shiver series. She composed the music for them and did the filming herself. I'm a sucker for good stop-motion and these are just gorgeous.

Unknown said...

So many good trailers these days (yours is my Bookanista's post for today :)

I didn't know that about Ransom Riggs, but it explains a lot! I immediately bought his book after seeing it!

Lissa Price said...

Ilima, yes, great addition, Stiefvater's trailers!

Gennifer, thanks so much. I didn't even know about the Bookanistas - great site - wonderful info on new books.

Ransom is also supposed to be a great guy. Love it when good things happen to good people.

Lissa Price said...

Also wanted to add - HARBINGER releases today!

Unknown said...

I love all of Maggie Stiefvater's trailers- I can't wait to see what she does for her next book!

(And HARBINGER is downloading onto my Nook right this minute!)

Tiffany Schmidt said...

I'm so impressed by the professional-quality of some of these first-timers trailer makers! I've lost track of how many times I've watched the trailers for LIES BENEATH and HARBINGER.

Also, I love BORN WICKED - the dresses! The Kissing! (and how cool is it that they released a behind the scenes video?!)

Sarvenaz Tash said...

I'm definitely in awe of all of these production values! I also loved the trailer for Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. Beautiful animation on that one (also done by the author, I think).

Lissa Price said...

I've got to go check that one out, thanks!

Trish Doller said...

One of my favorites is the trailer for A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. There are some great people doing great work on the book trailer scene.

Elodie said...

I love The Gathering Storm trailer.. I have this book but have yet to read it. I can't wait !!
The trailer for Starters is also great and very creepy I agree ..
Thanks for this post ;)

Lissa Price said...

The Gathering Storm is also on my TBR list. I just love the idea of mixing magic and history and Russians. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Kirthi said...

I read Cinder and I loved it! The prince is exactly as I imagined him! Usually book trailers have actors that don't fit, but I really liked this one!

Lissa Price said...

It's worth seeing the Cinder trailer for the prince alone. :)

Lissa Price said...

Another trailer came out today, not sure if the publisher created it because it has an original song, which is always an added bonus! I love this cover too - SCARLET by AC Gaughen: