The New York Times takes them on. Actually, the article’s about book websites, particularly the sort of shiny Flash extravaganzas produced for books with big marketing budgets (see: The Da Vinci Code) or authors who are willing and able to shell out for a popular web designer. I have to admit that I haven’t seen many book trailers, though I did watch a few of the ones linked from the Times article. My very favorite book trailer is for a small press fantasy anthology called A Field Guide to Surreal Botany:
I remember seeing the call for submissions for this anthology and thinking about how neat it sounded, and I think this book trailer (by Living Jacket) really captures that.
This morning I spent a little while playing around with Animoto, a site that generates animated slideshow-type videos from user-provided photos and their own music stable (or your uploaded mp3). I made a few super-quick drafts of a trailer for Alcestis. The process isn’t quite as satisfying as I’d hoped — the application tends to eat some of the images you choose, even if you mark them as images you want “spotlighted” — but you can remix the videos by running them through the Animoto engine again. All in all, a fun way to waste twenty minutes, and rather pretty for a free tool.
Any thoughts on book trailers? If you’ve seen any you loved (or hated), recommend and/or diss them in the comments.