January 27, 2010

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For I have Succumbed, and It is Good posted by Doranna Durgin aka...er...no aka! It was the one thing I was never interested in doing. Not because I felt there wasn't intrinsically any point, but because I rarely watched one that...well, that I finished watching. Book trailers. At first blush, they seemed like an exciting opportunity...a chance to add some Shiny to web sites, and a way to reveal the true sense of a book. Problem is, I tend to look at things from the inside out when it comes to the web. After nearly fifteen years of building web sites (yes, there were web sites way back then, smarty-pants), I look at shiny new things and ponder not just how shiny they are, but whether they're robust across browsers. Translated, that means how many people will throw their hands up in frustration, experience browser crashes, or stare blankly at a "missing plug-in" message. The answer is, lots. Even now. And then there's the whole "added value" aspect of things. If a method of showing off a book doesn't, in fact, reveal more about the book than previous opportunities, then its only value is the shiny. I like to play as much as the next person, but I'm also a little prone to peeking behind the yellow curtain. Or maybe it's the emperor has no clothes. Pick your metaphor! Point being, I wasn't seeing book videos that captured my imagination, or that told me more about the book than I could learn by reading the cover flap/ looking at the cover (and at my own pace, at that). And the visual slideshow of image...text...image...text... Not workin' for me. As a reader, I mean (because shoot yes, I swing both ways when it comes to books). So there wasn't a whole lot of chance that I'd be getting myself a book trailer. La la la. Busy doing other things, kthanxbai. Well, things change. Embedded YouTube videos are a decently stable format, for one thing. And out there in promo-land, some book trailer folks are finally hitting the sweet spot--taking true advantage of the medium's potential while offering some decent modest-budget packages along with their holy cow, you want what for that? services. I stumbled across one such company last year, and instantly targeted The Reckoners for my first book trailer. I had fun with it, too--co-writing the script, tweaking the visuals...and getting all excited when the artists on the other end took my comments and came up with solutions I hadn't imagined. I'm not used to being on this side of the fun! And that, of course, is the point of this whole blog. TO SHOW OFF THE BOOK TRAILER, PEOPLE! I hope you think it's keen. I sure do!

Lorraine Bartlett

Five women, five weekdays, many surprises.

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