Friday, 12 March 2010


By Richard Jay Parker

I'm a sucker for trailers. From watching them on the big screen as a kid through the grainy promise of something uncensored on those weighty video tapes to the polished digital teases we have on DVD now. We all know that the large majority of them are showing you the best moments and that the glue holding them together is frequently as exciting as the stuff in the tube but I've always enjoyed having my curiosity piqued in this way.

But what about book trailers? The concept would have seemed faintly ridiculous a decade ago but now they're all over the Internet. Do they work? I suppose the slightly jarring thing about them is that they're a substitute for the reader's imagination. But then what is a book cover if not a catchy, visual way to get a reader personally immersed in the content of a book?

Also, having seen a movie before experiencing the book is it possible to read it without imagining the actors you've seen onscreen take the roles in your mind's eye? That's a whole new debate.

Like movie trailers, book trailers give a suggestion of the plot and glimpses of imagery without giving too much away. It's not always the case and I've seen plenty of trailers of both kinds that make two thirds of the viewing/reading expereince they're selling academic.

I haven't seen many memorable book trailers but that's because they're not as ubiquitous as their celluloid counterparts - you have to hunt them down. I've now seen author/book sponsorship of TV crime shows and there appears to be more imaginative book poster/transport advertising particularly around London. It certainly can't do any harm to the profile of a book.

I guess it's because it's still territory that has to be tried and tested but I've yet to see one that really grabs my attention.

I certainly think it's something an author should consider though. I made a trailer for STOP ME and it's been out there for a while. This week Michele Emrath, a writer and freelance news producer got in touch. She'd left a comment on my blog last week and had visted my website afterwards. She kindly posted my trailer on her website (SOUTHERN CITY MYSTERIES) and it sparked a debate amongst her fellow writers. Have a look HERE - it's obviously a subject that's dividing authors.

However, if I hadn't posted the trailer I wouldn't have connected with Michele's site, sparked the debate or have this blog topic. And somewhere within all this someone might even remember that there's a book attached to it.

View trailer for STOP ME HERE (Bottom of page)

For More Ino About STOP ME Visit:


  1. Thanks for the mention, and too true! Whomever said "there's no such thing as bad press" wasn't kidding! And I don't mean your book trailer is bad press, I just mean getting your name or your book's name out there is never a bad thing.

    I first came across you on Shelfari, then by chance saw you on this blog, via Twitter--a link tweeted by a friend of mine! Then I commented on here, checked out your book trailer and ended up forming an entire post around it. That's a lot of press for you because of a few stops in cyberspace.

    Now I have to read the book...:)

    (BTW, Richard's book trailer was the GOOD example in my post.)


  2. The thing that worked with your trailer for 'Stop Me' is that it was simple and fast paced enough to go with the adrenalin flow of the book - the '...I won't slit the bitch's throat' just finishes it so damn nicely and leaves the 'oh hell yeah - gotta read it' feeling!

  3. Thanks, Michele. Yes - a few mouse clicks can go a long way! Thanks for swinging by and adding to the trailer debate.

    Thanks, Kymm. Glad you liked the trailer. Yes - I think simplicity is the key.