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Patrick Ness trailer

In case you haven’t seen it already, here is the trailer for the third title in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy:

The trilogy is excellent and I can definitely recommend reading it. I’m interested though in what you think of the trailer. Walker Books have done a good job as these sorts of things aren’t cheap to produce, but does it work for you?

The first trailer I saw for a children’s book was for one of the titles in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I don’t know whether it made me want to buy the book more as I was already pretty hooked on them, but I do find that they can bring a certain excitement to the release of a new title in a similar way that watching a trailer for a new film can. And, as a marketer I know that these trailers work and are an important part of a campaign.

One of the discussions at the recent Children’s Book Circle event I went to was about the imagination and how wonderful a book can be for it and how it is like no other media for feeding it. Video games, films, television all provide the visual stimulus that books cannot. With books we fill these gaps in with our imagination or take our leap from the illustrations on the page if there are some. Not that there isn’t room for imagination when watching films, I personally believe that there is, but it just isn’t the same.The images are already there and with a book we have to create them ourselves, fill in the visual gaps.

I suppose the worry is that with trailers like this one, while they do grab our attention, focus it and draw us in, they might also be doing some of the work for us. Some of the work that is such a pleasurable part of reading. Putting the images in our minds before we have even started on the first page, giving us visual assumptions that might then change how we would have imagined the book. Do you think that? I know that the trailer doesn’t give away much but it gives away something.

Then there is the disappointment and please don’t think that I am doing Walker Books down, I’m most certainly not. They don’t have a Hollywood budget for this sort of thing and while they have done a terrific job on what is probably considerably less, the lack of a Hollywood budget shows. Does that make a difference to the audience who will be consuming it?

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I see what you mean, but in my job as a school librarian, GOOD book trailers can be a fantastic tool to promote books. Teenagers these days are very visual and respond to stuff like that (you just have to look at the amount of “homemade” trailers for series such as Hunger Games and Mortal Instruments). They will often trust that more than the most enthusastic librarian!!! So a necessary evil maybe? I have to say I like them, and this Patrick Ness one is fantastic!

    May 14, 2010
    • natashaworswick #

      I do really like the “homemade” trailers for books. I love that teenagers feel able to engage with reading in such a visual way and it opens up so much in terms of extending the conversation beyond the physical book itself – I guess that it is a different way of using the imagination that is just not quite the same as it used to be. This and all the other variety of ways that people respond and engage in books now (i.e. Spinebreakers, podcasts, online activity, messaging) wasn’t discussed at the CBC event and to an extent it was very biased to a nostalgic view of the consumption of books.

      They are definitely necessary and this one by Walker is great… I am sometimes guilty of letting my own nostalgia for reading get in the way sometimes, but I do think they are a great marketing tool. Maybe the slightly less Hollywood way that they are made and presented is a good thing and gives teenagers a route into wanting to make their own as good as, if not better.

      Nothing in my eyes though will replace an enthusiastic librarian though!!

      May 14, 2010

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