Book trailers are still uncommon in Singapore, but slowly gaining ground, if only for the most popular book series. A while back, I switched on the television and was slightly horrified to see a trailer for Stephanie Meyer’s latest addition to her widely popular Twilight series. Harry Potter enjoyed advertising airtime on local channels, presumably with a large chunk of that airtime going to Okto, the kids’ channel. It is heartening, and slightly amusing, to see books being teased in trailers in a fashion normally reserved for motion picture films and music albums.

At the AFCC singing the praises of book trailers for children and young adult fiction is children’s book author Christopher Cheng. He argued that it is crucial for books to have trailers, in order to differentiate itself to the masses, and to aid in consumer decisions. In a sense, book trailers are marketing strategies, each tailored with a facet of the author’s personality, to promote the product and the author himself. Here is a trailer he had made himself:

He insists that armed with only a Macbook pro and its default programmes, anybody can make a book trailer of that caliber with a little effort. Do note that there are probably decent alternatives to Mac-exclusive software for Windows and Linux, so there really is no reason not to make an attempt at a dazzling book trailer if you are an author.

The reason why book trailers are especially potent for children’s literature is because of the ease of which they can be made accessible to children. According to Christopher, several libraries in Australia carry TV screens in prominent locations that play different book trailers for children, and this factors in significantly with the choices they eventually make. This is not confined to kids, too. Here is a trailer for Deborah Abela’s Max Remy Spyforce series, targeting pre-pubescent children.

Quoting Christopher, the books “couldn’t stop flying off the shelves when… the trailer was presented in schools”.

There is a certain sense of irony here, that rather than embracing a fully digital medium, these authors instead turn to utilizing aspects of digital mediums in order to promote sales and awareness of their physical books. However I believe that this is not simply a fad – as infrastructure improves and recognition grows, whether book trailers are meant for physical books or ebooks will be inconsequential.

To end, here are some other trailers that were shown, and made an impression on me.

By: Candy Gourlay, Tall Story

By: Chris Gall, Dinotrux

By: Dan Yaccarino, All The Way To America

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