Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Trailers: Money Vs. No Money

I know a lot of readers can take or leave book trailers, and most of the time I'm in leave 'em camp. But, I'll be honest - when I run up against a particularly well done one, book trailers have a way of snagging my attention. And most days, my attention span is on par with the life cycle of a fruit fly. I've seen two particularly interesting trailers of late, one for a suspense novel, the other for a historical romance trilogy.

First up, is the money trailer. This is for Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen, which comes out in late June. Gerritsen is a Big New York Times Bestselling Author, so naturally there's some money to throw around on a book trailer. Also, a new TNT series based on this series is debuting this summer, so it behooves the publisher (and author) to throw some extra promo dollars around. I don't love this trailer as much as the one she did for her previous book, The Keepsake, but I still like it quite a bit.

(ETA 5/1: The author popped up in the comments section to say that the trailer was actually the product of some local guys, a hand-held camera, and a snowy Maine day. So a low-budget affair, and the publisher didn't foot the bill. I think it looks slick!)

On the other end of the spectrum, in regards to money and genre, we have Tessa Dare, who has done a book trailer for her upcoming Stud Club trilogy, which lands this summer. Dare did this promo trailer herself, and while it has a decidedly homemade feel to it, it's so charming and funny I can't help but be tickled by it. If I didn't already have plans to buy and read this new trilogy, this trailer would have tipped me right over the edge. Yes authors, this is sometimes all it takes. Amuse Wendy and she'll open up her wallet.


  1. Actually, I liked Dare's trailer waaay better than Gerritson's.
    Money isn't everything. I enjoy seeing how clever people can be, especially as I know that I never could have done it at all.

  2. OMGosh!! I love Tessa's video!! So adorable!

    I'm with you - they rarely influence me, but that is way too cute.

  3. Tessa's trailer is too good for words.

    Like the purple horse :)

  4. I love Tessa's video more. Especially the props that didn't make the cut.

    I have to say out of the professional book promos the ones I like the most are the ones Dean Koontz has done for his Odd Thomas books - they're little short episodes you can watch on YouTube. The ones I like the least are any for James Patterson books. I mean, is "unputdownable" even a real word?

  5. Bafriva: Me neither! No way could I manage to put together a book trailer. I know my limits.

    Lori: It's certainly memorable! I don't think I've ever been swayed by a book trailer, but that one would have probably pushed me over the edge if I didn't already have plans to buy the trilogy.

    Katie: I love the playboy's townhouse complete with half-nekkid babies. That cracked me up!

    Jami: LOL - yeah, I loved that bit at the end about the unused props too. It's a shame that the Transformer didn't make the cut....

  6. So cute! I love Tessa's new covers too. She's a doll.

  7. I have now been swayed by a trailer video. I particularly appreciate 1) the way Tessa had the boys "put their heads together," 2) the fact that she apparently made a special effort to match each heroine's hair color, and 3) the restraint she showed in not attempting to force the pirate ship into the story.

    I lack such restraint.

  8. Oh my good lord, Tessa Dare cracked me up like nobody's business--what an excellent way to make all those toys work for one's career, huh?

  9. Count me among those swayed by the trailer!
    I usually don't watch book trailers (and have to admit I didn't watch the Gerritsen one either). But Tessa Dare's is awesome!!
    Loved the purple horse too! lol

  10. Oh my, Tessa's video makes me want to read those books.

    OT, but I found an ARC of Ice Cold and it's really good.

  11. Girls, the "purple horse" is a My Little Pony. Just FYI.

    I'd be tempted to work Optimus Prime into the story. As - um - a time traveling horse whisperer!

  12. Jill: Cute and funny!

    Laura: I didn't even notice the hair color thing! Wonder if she did that on purpose or if it was a happy coincidence?

    AL: One imagines she might have become inspired while tripping over the toys, picking them up, etc.

    Anon: I thought it was cute too. Very memorable!

    Nicole: You are EVIL! E-V-I-L! The last big name ARC that rolled through my office was The Search by Nora Roberts - which I promptly gave to the Noraholic who works across the hall from me :)

    Jami: Optimus Prime would probably bbq the My Little Pony with whatever super-Optimus Prime powers he has - LOL.

  13. Hummmnnn..... I think you got tipped over the edge for Dare's video promo because it had batgirl in it (the war hero's girl, about 3min into the video). Come on, admit it ... that's what sold you.

    All kidding aside, I liked Dare's trailer better that Gerritsen's - much more original.

  14. Nah, Wendy, OP is the leader of the Autobots. He's the good guy! Now if it was one of the Decepacons and the MLP was in between him and some energon all bets are off!

    I am such a geek for knowing all this.

  15. I'm not that big on book trailers but saw Tessa's and had to post it today too. It's so cute and different. What I love about it is it doesn't take you out of your own head. You can still imagine the characters the way you want.

  16. Anon: I did notice Batgirl, but I can assure you my mind was made up to read the trilogy prior to spying her cameo :)

    Jami: I'm Transformer-Clueless. One 1980s cartoon I never got plugged into....

    Kwana: It certainly is quite memorable!

  17. I agree, Tessa's was wonderful. It helps that I liked her first trilogy well enough that I was already anxious for the next one. Now I'm doubly so.

  18. Just wanted to say that I really didn't throw much money at that trailer. It was made by two young guys here in my small Maine town, one of whom grew up with my son. They used a handheld camera, drove out with some friends on a snowy day, and shot it all in one fell swoop. My publisher had nothing to do with it.

    At least it's nice to hear you thought it looked good enough to be considered a big-bucks production!

  19. Well, Wendy, I have to shame-facedly admit that somehow, someway when I was an impressionable child of the 1980s, I developed a crush on Bumblebee.

    And I don't care what the movies depict, Bumblebee is a VW Bug! NOT a sport's car!

    (Geez louise, Mr. Spock, Bumbleebee, The Riddler as played by Frank Gorshwin - all childhood crushes which I guess explains my weird taste in men!)

  20. Tess: I thought it was great! Now I'm wondering how much fun it would be to make book trailers on the side. You know, if I had the time, inclination, camera....and creativity. Ha!

  21. Wendy, I think it shows that talented filmmakers on a tight budget can do a lot with vision, talent, and editing genius. To start off with, they read the entire manuscript, and then came up with the shots they wanted to film. They drove around looking for the right setting, and then had to wait until a snowy day to make it happen. I think the result could match up with anything a high-priced, big-city film company could produce -- but at a fraction of the price.

    (And it's cool that one of them went to high school with my kid)

  22. Hey, Wendy!

    This is something I actually know something about since I make my living in the advertising business.

    The key to the success of the Dare trailer (and it certainly is w-a-a-a-a-y charming) is that it's built around a wonderful central idea and that the author's voice comes through perfectly. It could have been made with much higher production values and been a different trailer entirely, but as long as her voice rang through, it would have worked.

    It's all about The Idea. And having a great one is always the key. (And always the hardest, too, daggnabbit.) It's nice if you have bucks to shoot and edit, but you really don't need so much if you've got a concept.

    Sandy AAR

  23. Awesome! That was superb. I havent read anything by Tessa Dare, but now will be looking for the books @ walmart.


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