Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Andromeda: Super Funny Shteyngart & Book Trailer Vogue

It's been a while since I saw a book trailer I actually wanted to watch multiple times. Bookish websites and even the New Yorker are all abuzz about novelist/satirist Gary Shteyngart's book trailers for his Super Sad True Love Story. The first trailer featured Ph.D. lit student (oh yeah, and Hollywood star) James Franco, who was one of Shteyngart's Columbia students. Jeffrey Eugenides and other writers also contribute some deadpan interviews.

The second trailer featured Paul Giamatti as Shteyngart's roommate, visiting a women's club full of hot "cougar" women who have little interest in the author as personified here (a very weird shtick indeed). I can't get enough of Giamatti, from Sideways and John Adams to Win Win. If he wants to start making book trailers, too, I'm all for it.

Neither trailer really discusses the novel in question; both are made purely for laughs, fitting for an author who just this week won the Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction -- a first for an American author.

So first, go watch those trailers, especially if you're a fan of Shteyngart, Giamatti, or Franco.

And second, do trailers work?

In Alaska, we've seen book trailers from Homer memoirist Miranda Weiss (winter razor-clamming) and from mystery author Dana Stabenow (a lighthearted overview of her Kate Shugak Series). Are there any others we should know about?

If your book doesn't have a humorous angle -- and/or you don't have Hollywood friends willing to do cameos -- will anybody watch? Shteyngart's first trailer got over 146,000 views on youtube, but would the average author find it worthwhile to make a video for 1,000 views?

Given the ease of making and posting, and the blossoming of filmmaking talent in Alaska, I thought we'd see a much bigger explosion of book trailers by now. Any thoughts?

P.S. Thanks for the comments so far -- I knew we'd be able to dig up a few more. I'm adding mentioned book trailer links here, for easier access:

Dan Coyle, author of The Talent Code

Don Rearden, author of The Raven's Gift


Nancy Lord said...

See Homer writer Dan Coyle's trailer for his book The Talent Code.
It was filmed and edited by George Overpeck, who I believe is the same person who did Miranda Weiss's clamming trailer. I think it's a really good example of being interesting and entertaining in its own right and making a viewer interested in the book without actually talking about it very much.

Don Rearden said...

I slapped my own trailer together for The Raven's Gift. Some scary music and footage of where I grew up. Nothing fancy but it's sold a few books...and KTUU used a clip from it. I have it posted on my website and on YouTube...
I certainly don't think they are a must have, unless you can work some viral magic and get folks blogging about it!