Let’s Talk About Book Trailers

If you haven’t seen one yet, allow me to introduce you to book trailers. Here is my favorite picture book one for It’s a Book by Lane Smith.

In essence, a book trailer is a 30 second advertisement for an upcoming book. They can be longer, but as in TV advertisements, 30 seconds is the norm. Most picture book trailers include a few pages from the book – often with the illustrations lightly animated – some music, and perhaps someone narrating some of the text.

I find book trailers to be a fascinating creation and am intrigued by their use. Many critics abound, and I do agree with Guardian blogger Lindesay Irvine that “These are terrific diversions, but their status next to the book is a little ambiguous.” But what a brilliant idea they are, especially for picture books! In a world where a child’s attention is constantly being demanded by lights, sound, movement and only increasing their already short attention spans; the concept of using a loosely animated video to advertise a picture book is marvelous. I would much rather my child be marketed to about picture books than the latest plastic toy or sugary treat.

Of course these must be used well. In no way would I advocate just watching the trailers repeatedly and not taking it off-line to actually cracking the spine of the book. And there is a danger in that, were the trailers apt to give too much of the story away and not just pique interest. But when used appropriately, a book trailer should be able to introduce a child to a new adventure that they will hopefully be itching to get their hands on. And parents can benefit by getting a glimpse into a book’s premise and art before seeking out a hard copy.

And let’s be honest here, I’ve purchased a few recent picture books thanks to viewing their book trailers which delighted me greatly. But that’s probably just me.

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