Remember when you hired a video and sat through all those trailers for other movies? Of course you don’t. You hit the fast-forward button like everyone else, only bothering to press play if something looked interesting (or if, miracle of miracles, the movie actually started). That’s the real reason they invented DVDs and Bly-Ray—to stop you skipping through the previews.
Anyway, you’ll know these trailers help “sell” a movie. (Hands up everyone who hired a movie after seeing one, only to realise the trailer showed the only good bits in the entire movie. Yeah, me too.) Well now they’re doing the same for books. That’s right: you can now watch a trailer for a book.
Now I don’t have a problem with the author appearing on screen and telling people how good their book is and why you should buy it. It’s always nice to meet the person behind the words, as Joanna Penn wrote in a recent article.
But for the love of whatever deity you happen to believe in, don’t dramatise the book.
A week or so ago I found out Gerry Boyle is writing another book in the Jack McMorrow series. Now I love that series, and so when I found out I went straight to his web site to find out more. And what did I find? A book trailer.
I clicked ‘play’, hoping to hear from Gerry himself. But then I saw what I presume were scenes from the book, and immediately hit the ‘back’ button.
This will be the ninth book in the series. I’ve read the other eight, and so I have a pretty clear picture in my mind about what everything (and everyone) looks like. Stephen King came up with the perfect name for it: skull cinema. So the last thing I need is to have someone telling me, “Actually, this is what it really looks like. Sorry, but you’ve had it wrong the whole time.”
It’s bad enough when you see a movie based on a book and everything’s different to how you imagined it. I don’t want the same thing happening before I even open the book.
So for those of you who think a video trailer is the perfect way to sell your book, think again. Some of like making up our own images of what everything looks like.
After all, it’s probably why we’re reading the book in the first place.