Monday, April 4, 2011

To trailer or not to trailer?

So let's talk about book trailers.

When I first heard about the idea, I thought: Brilliant! The twelve-year-old me would have flipped to see theatrical previews of her favorite books. And a trailer is way better than seeing an adaptation for film, because, let's be honest, the book is always better than the movie.

While we're being honest, we all know there's some rough trailers out there. Cringeworthy, even. It's enough to scare me away from doing anything that won't turn out as fabulous as this:

Or how about this one?

What do you all think? What are some of your favorite MG book trailers? What makes them great? What do YOU like to see in a trailer?

I think my favorites are based around sketches. Like this:

And, out of respect for my twelve-year old cat obsessed self, I have to include the marvelous WARRIORS trailer:

Okay, my friends, it's your turn. Share your wisdom. Or some links to your favorite trailers. Or at least something to appease us cat lovers. M


  1. Trailers have sort of become mandatory these days, even with middle-grade books. After I made my trailer for Nightshade City, my two kids sat and watched it about 50 times over it really got them excited about the book!

    Of note: I bought THE GRAVEYARD BOOK after seeing the trailer--that day. It's not that I wouldn't have bought it anyway, but the trailer made it something I MUST HAVE! ;)

    A most timely post, Marissa!

  2. Oooooh, I love trailers. I'm starting a Trailer Tuesday feature on my blog tomorrow and I've already got authors lined up for the next two months.

    There's a lot of debate on whether or not they actually drive sales, but I think they're fun no matter what! :D

  3. I love trailers. I know I've checked out books just because I liked what I saw on the trailer. I've also searched for a trailer on a book I've heard about to get a better idea if it's something I want to read.

    For kids, I think trailers may help them get excited about a book, like Hilary pointed out.

  4. I would love to see a blog or a site that was dedicated to new book trailers. I love to see them, but searching for them takes time.

    A Tale Dark and Grimm is probably the best, ever. I love that is it so short.

    Hilary's trailer for Nightshade City was awesome, just sayin'.


  5. A couple of years ago, my husband and I did a live action trailer for my Haunted series about a brother and sister who travel with their parents' ghost hunter TV show. We had an original music soundtrack by a friend, used local talent for actors, and borrowed costumes from the community theater. It was a lot more work than your basic "panning across still photos with printed text" version, but I think it was worthwhile (and only cost us $10).

    It's impossible to tell how many views may have actually led to sales, but the trailer has now gotten over 1700 hits on YouTube, and possibly more where it's been linked on websites and blogs. Anyway, it was fun!

    It's at: or search for "Eboch Haunted" on YouTube.

  6. I love trailers too. I've heard from a few school librarians that they are using them to get some of their more reluctant readers interested in certain books. One trailer I really like is D.J. McHale's for MORPHEUS ROAD:

  7. If done well, I like them quite a bit. I know my students (8th graders) are intrigued by the good ones. HUNGER GAMES and MAZE RUNNER were two that I remember students mentioning a year or two ago. Good post, Marissa.

  8. I made one! :) Copy and paste?

  9. Marisa,

    I think book trailers will become more and more popular as mediums for introducing trailers to new readers evolve.


    I am a lover of Book Trailers also and just started a website to spread the word about them. It is only in its beginning stages right now but we are rolling out version 2.0 by the middle of next week. Please run over to and check it out! I am also doing guests posts on Book Trailers so Contact me if you want one done.

  10. Hilary & Cherie - Yes! I've only just now explored the realms of book trailers, and I find my list of "to read" books growing by the minute. That's some good marketing! And I love that NG read an excerpt from the book.

    Megg- Will you post us the link to your blog post tomorrow? Sounds fun!

    Storyqueen - I agree. A Tale Dark and Grimm has this sort of whimsical blend of fairy tale and Edward Gorey.

    Chris & Jeffrey- Thanks for the links. Always glad to check out more trailers!

  11. Dee - Oooh, Morpheus Road is a good one. I also saw the one for the Monster Princess, which I loved (and am in awe that the author got the movie-voice guy to read it).

    Timothy - Love. It. But you've got to tell us. How did you get the child-howl/screech sound? Good work! And the Boy Who Howled with robots is AWESOME.

    Michael - I tried to find the Hunger Games trailer. But guess how many fan ones are out there? Ha! Which, I suppose, is just very cool on its own.

    Have you guys seen this one? I laugh every time I see it. Brilliant:

    (Edited to fix the link here. I accidentally posted Timothy's trailer on the first comment, which will make sense if you subscribed to the comments, but only be super confusing to everyone else. So sorry.)

  12. As requested, here's the link to my blog:

  13. @Marissa - Thanks! I actually found a site that will take the sound off Y0uTub3 videos and lifted the screams from an anonymous user's video of their misbehaving child. Then I edited it in iMovie. I licensed the still photos from Photobucket. Cheap and easy. :)

  14. I love your trailer, Timothy!

    I was ambivalent abt them for the longst time but i think i've come to like them a lot! Of course, i don't like to mske them (but my husband does! YAY!)

    I love them now! This was an excellent post!!!

  15. I agree with Marissa--I love the howling child for the Boy Who Howls!! Great trailer!

    The Haunted trailer was excellent, also.

    Here's mine:

    My dragon, Elridge, is described as a dark dragon with golden eyes, and sometimes you can see fire burning behind his eyes. I was excited because the friend who put together the trailer for me found a fantastic animation of a dark dragon with golden eyes that had flames. How perfect is that!!

  16. All of these trailers are awesome! I love them. Working in the film biz I know the power of a great trailer. I'm so glad they are doing them for books. One of my recent top favorite trailers is for Juniper Berry. I did a post on it over at my blog - - Enjoy!


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!