Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Some Favourite Book Trailers

1st June 2011

You only have to glance at the current bestseller charts in books for a demonstration of how profoundly film influences our reading habits. In spite of the incursions of low-priced ebooks, it's books adapted for film and TV that continue to dominate the shelves. A Game of Thrones, Sookie Stackhouse and The Hobbit are all doing very well indeed on the back of recent adaptations.

You might argue that this success is due to the film and TV industries' hefty marketing budgets. That's at work, but I think something else is going on at the same time. Nothing captures our imaginations like moving pictures. They're easier to understand, and they engage an audience on a more visceral level, because they can reach people with different learning styles.


Phoenix Rising

That's all very well for authors who are lucky enough to land a film or TV deal. For everyone else there's the humble book trailer. It may be the cheaper option, but with enough creativity these short films can be extremely effective. One of my recent favourites is this one for Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. It's a great example of doing a lot without going overboard on expensive special effects. The creators have chosen to focus on the characters and the humour of their mismatched partnership. I think it works very well.



The Meowmorphosis

I love the silliness of this trailer for The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook, although I don't know if it actually makes me want to read the book.

Words, words, words

Just because books are full of words doesn't mean the trailer should be. It's an opportunity to introduce people to a story. I'm more of a fan of trailers which have a bit of drama, as opposed to those that simply repeat the cover blurb in text that fades or scrolls in and out. So although this trailer for Alison Goodman's books Eon and Eona has some gorgeous images and stirring music, it could be even better if there were characters acting out the story.

Scarlett Dedd

Cathy Brett's Scarlett Dedd is a book that reluctant readers respond to especially well. I think the animation in the trailer helps a lot with this. It introduces all the main characters, and who can resist the hook of wondering whether Scarlett's grim plan will succeed or not?


Blood Harvest

Finally the creepy, atmospheric, trailer for Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton. It looks like more of a straightforward horror, but the children in it act flawlessly, and it draws you straight into the story. This is my idea of a book trailer done well.

© Ros Jackson