Book trailers are becoming hot stuff these days, which is surprising to anyone who’s ever seen one of the old ones: go back a couple of years and book trailer technology was basically “slow pans across still images while a breathless voice tries to make you think it’s a movie trailer.” They were goofy and weird and I’ve never met anyone who liked them, but the core concept behind them–a video promotion that can be shared on the Internet–was so strong that they kept doing it, and kept doing it, and now we’re starting to see some pretty good book trailers. A lot of old school authors and readers still don’t like them, but younger readers eat them up, which has helped (perhaps symbiotically) make them a staple of YA.
When the Balzer+Bray marketing team told us it was time to make a book trailer, my editor and I very staunchly didn’t want a cheesy, wannabe movie trailer, so we looked in other places for inspiration. We were in the middle of a fun project at the time, creating short “supplementary materials” for the ebook, sort of like the special features on a DVD. Our idea for those, rather than a series of short stories, was to do a series of in-world documents collected by a mysterious figure, chronicling the rise of biotechnology and the creation of the Partials. We thought the book trailer would be an awesome opportunity to do the same kind of thing, so we pitched the trailer as an investor video from ParaGen, the biotech company that created Partial technology. You can watch it here:
I love it, and I especially love how subtle it is: it doesn’t tell you anything about the book, really, or the story, and certainly not the characters. On the other hand, it does tell you what a Partial is, and it sets a slightly ominous tone of pride and greed–people who think they can do anything, especially if it will make them rich, will often overstep their bounds. They’ll push too hard and go too far and cause more problems than they know how to deal with. The happy, smiling people in the video are only happy and smiling because they think they have everything under control. They’ve accomplished a lot, and they’re justifiably proud.
But pride cometh before the fall….
On a completely different subject, we have new shirts in the store, including my favorite: “I Am Not A Serial Killer” t-shirts with glow in the dark words! Well, all except the word “not.” Sorry about that. Sure, it changes the meaning in the dark, but I’m sure your friends won’t mind. Why are they alone in the dark with you anyway? Serves them right. Also available in a hoodie.
Oh! And we also have a PARTIALS shirt. The first of many!