Monday, January 2, 2012

My New Odd Hobby - Book Trailers

I collect book trailers. As of, like, a week ago. I wanted to learn more, and then I started searching for them, and I wanted to keep the ones I liked... so voila! I have a hobby! Collecting cinematic trailers for literature! It's actually quite fun. Like a treasure hunt through the junk shop of YouTube. 

Having scoured YouTube for some goodly amount of time (hours'n'hours) I have found that there are a few different types of book trailers. I'm a relatively new writer, so this was a great learning experience for me.

1. Fan-Produced. While enthusiastic, in general these are of lesser quality, as the artists are working with small-to-nonexistent budgets and are not professionals. They'll use clips from movies, or they'll act it out themselves (sometiimes with humorous results) or sometimes do a slideshow. You gotta admire their spirit.

2. School Project. These will be a step above the fan-made book trailers; the students involved are usually demonstrating the skills they are learning in a certain class. In an animation class or something similar that deals with video stuff, the trailer can become quite good.

3. Made By Writer. Tons of variation. And you get to know what the writer has to say about their own story.

4. Publisher Directed/Professionally Produced. These are where the highest number of high quality book trailers are found.

Here is a collection of the better book trailers I found (the ones I liked the most). You'll find that most of these are category 4 trailers, but there are also some writer's trailers and a few fan/school trailers. I'll add more as I find more... if you find one for me, leave a link in the comments. Always looking to add to my collection.

THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak
This one is, by far, my VERY favorite. Perfect pacing, great narration/narrator choice, cool lighting, good acting, intriguing everything. And they nailed the tone of the book. It is everything a book trailer should be; short, awesome, and just mysterious enough to make me want to find out what it's about. Video below.

GLOW, by Amy Kathleen Ryan - Official Book Trailer
This one got me to Barnes and Noble the day that I saw it to check it out. It turned out to not be my kind of book... but it got me curious.

BEFORE I FALL, by Lauren Oliver - Harperteen
I showed this to my cousin, who is also my dear friend and fantastic (read: honest and smart) alpha reader, and we agreed that they must have put a TON of work into this one.

LEVIATHAN, by Scott Westerfield
A great example of using the artwork already in the book to make the trailer. Visually appealing, good pacing.

SHATTER ME, by Tahereh Mafi
Strange. Dark. Brooding. Mysterious enough to make me want more. The corny line at the end wasn't my favorite, but overall the trailer was good.

THE LIMIT, by Kristen Landon
Her publisher had it professionally done - the premise is cool, and this trailer does a good job of conveying it.

DIVERGENT, by Veronica Roth - Fanmade trailer
This is an example of a decent fan-made/english project trailer. It's not perfect, sure. But I think it's cool when fans love somebody else's book enough to make a trailer for it.

SLAYERS, by C.J. Hill
I liked the style of this one - and it's only 1:07 long. Short is good when it comes to book trailers.

THE SCORPIO RACES, by Maggie Stiefvater
This was the best author done book trailer I saw. Unique, haunting, strange, beautiful. She describes how she did it on the YouTube site... we're not all as amazingly multi-talented as this woman, but if you can do it, I say go for it.

Tess has a great tutorial on how to make your very own slideshow style book trailer. For the author on a low budget with a talent for this sort of project, it might be the thing to do. Visit these three posts on her blog to see them - she's got some good resources and thoughts about it.
And here is her own trailer.

THE GHOST IN ME, by Shaunda Wenger
You can find it by clicking on the thumbnail in the top right corner once you get to her blog. This is a trailer created directly from Tess Hilmo's tutorial - and I thought, for the limitations of the slide-show medium, she did a fantastic job.

MISTBORN: THE ALLOY OF LAW, by Brandon Sanderson
A perfect example of fanthusiasm - this one made me smile.

1 comment:

  1. Great list here, Joseph. I think I'm going to have to get Before I Fall and Shatter Me. I'm hooked.