why are book trailers a thing?

Book trailers – I understand the theory. Target non-readers, grab their attention, sell the book. Genius. In theory.

Oh, God. Just, why? This screams low-budget, vaguely camp horror. And I’d say that this is pretty standard for book trailers – usually relying upon a key passage from the novel, a voiceover attempts to make forest-y scenery become a place of ultimate horror and suspense. It’s not like King’s publishers (Simon & Schuster) are lacking in funds or motivation. They’ve been one of the key publishing houses to move to online marketing, to great success. Why do they insist on such awful trailers?

This isn’t just from the early, experimental years of book marketing, either. This was made in 2014. And although this example is a couple of years old, nothing has changed since then – the number of Stephen King book trailers since this one is staggering. And not one of them is remotely decent.

This is definitely an improvement – obviously the publishers know that book trailers are awful, so they’re playing with the medium. Fair play, a satirical trailer for a satirical book makes sense. It’s also pretty fun to play with the whole ‘author’ persona. But I still think that a witty write-up or interview in a magazine would have been less…cringey.

What can replace this, though? What do you think? Let me know, because I truly need to see the book trailer die.


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