Salon’s Laura Miller on Book Trailers

Posted January 27, 2010 to Digital, Media Appearances

Salon Magazine’s Laura Miller wrote a critical article on book trailers, and included quotes from me about whether they work. Never coming to a screen near you looks at the idea that trailers, or movies about books, don’t sell books to consumers.

She and I had a lengthy email conversation about book trailers – I’m convinced that unless there’s a unique hook or angle to the trailer itself, book trailers that are only about the book itself are only interesting to other authors (who are told they Must Have One). (Note: you do not have to have a book trailer.)

From that conversation, Miller quoted me talking about live action trailers featuring actors who were singularly unattractive to me:

Mind-blowing science fiction about nanotechnology or interplanetary travel is pretty hard to reproduce on your Flip HD, and affordable actors seldom measure up to the gorgeous heroines and heroes of romance. As Sarah Wendell, a co-founder of the Web site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and coauthor of “Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels,” told me in an e-mail, “as a reader and shopper for genre fiction, I’ve never been swayed to make a book purchase based on a trailer … A few have featured actors so unattractive to me I was totally turned off.”

There have been some great book trailers in romance – many of which created by the authors themselves on a minuscule budget. But most of them leave me uninterested, and I have never purchased a book because the trailer was amazing. They may lead me to look up an author whose trailer is creative and witty, but they’ve never made me think, ‘I MUST have that book.’

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