The PARTIALS book trailer is out!

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!

15 Responses to “The PARTIALS book trailer is out!”

  1. oraymw says:

    This is made of sheer awesome.

  2. Suey says:

    That is so awesome! Someone is going to see this and think it’s for real. Can’t wait to read it! But waiting I am, still hoping to get my hands on that ARC you told me the library people have spirited away. It will be my turn soon, very soon.

  3. Eliza says:

    So awesome! I am very excited to get my sticky hands on this book. Also-it looks like one scene (doctor walking jubilantly through glowing red hallway) was filmed at the downtown Seattle library.

    Upon second viewing, I realize the almost the whole thing was filmed there! Yay! Seattle repreSENT!

  4. Caleb H. says:

    I super like the part at the end about the glowing shirt. Keep up the solid writing Dan!

  5. This definitely isn’t a wannabe movie trailer. Great idea to do it as an investor video from ParaGen.

  6. Jennifer says:

    That’s great! I love it. I like how it’s a completely different take on a book trailer. And it makes me want to buy some stock in that company…

  7. J. A. Self says:

    The trailer looks great Dan, very professional. I’m one of those skeptical old-schoolers myself, but loved this.

    One thing that might help: have ten seconds or so of a shot of the book cover at the end, with a clickable link. I’m not sure about other sites but youtube for example will put up video suggestions at the end rather than showing your last frame.

    It would help random viewers understand it is a book trailer and which book it is and who wrote it. The link in the video currently is small and only there for a few seconds.

  8. Rory Hunter says:

    Great stuff. Reminds me of the recent Deus Ex trailer, which was documentary style and featured no in-game footage at all. Also reminds me of Portal with the stick figures :-)

  9. Raphael says:

    Yea. Now I *definitely* got to have that book.

    Seconded what J.A. says. So far, there is no real visual branding. Or is the cover similar to the company’s logo?

  10. oraymw says:

    I’m going to echo the motion to have the book cover at the end, right above the facebook URL. I’ve showed this to a couple of people, and they didn’t immediately grok that it is for a book. Luckily I was there to explain it to them.

  11. Ground breaking. Dare I say it reminds me of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds?

  12. Cool. It almost looks like a real advertisement.

  13. Dan Smyth says:

    THAT was absolute genius. Loved it. Can’t wait for the book.

  14. I love it! It’s so well done!

  15. Awesome! I loved it! I already pre-ordered my copy on Kindle! I agree with the other comments that it is not necessarily obvious that this is a book trailer, but it was cool. Great job! :)

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