Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Brigitte and Book Trailers

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It was Brigitte Waisberg, Marketing Manager at Annick Press, who got me involved with blogging at Open Book Toronto. Thanks to her and to Clelia Scala, Open Book’s Executive Director, I’ve made it through a week of blogging — thanks also to all the people who have sent me comments.

Usually when I get an e-mail from Brigitte, it’s to send me reviews of my books. However on Friday she sent me the link about some of Annick’s most recent non-fiction books, including one I wrote called Bones Never Lie.

This video is a form of book trailer and if you’re not in the publishing industry, you may never have heard of this promotional tool. Can you see the problem there — how effective is a promo device if much of the target audience doesn’t know about it?

There are a lot of opinions about why book trailers aren’t better known. Some people think one big reason is because many of them are terrible, but I’m not sure that’s true. Perhaps some are, but I feel the one at for my book Bones Never Lie is great, and I think the trailer for my book Royal Murder at is even better. I’m lucky — Annick Press, the publisher of both books, had these created professionally.

But authors often create their own trailers and I think many of these are good, too. Writers are creative people and enjoy expressing themselves in a number of media. Most authors are notoriously underpaid, so money for the trailers can be a problem. However tight budgets can sometimes make for creative developments. Most of the book trailers I’ve seen and appreciated are for children’s books — I wonder if that makes a difference?

Perhaps one of the reasons book trailers aren’t better known is that book readers tend to look for reviews and critiques, i.e., written information, rather than more visual material. Maybe that’s one of the reasons (and budgets — again!) why you don’t see a lot of billboards, or transit or magazine ads about books.

Go on-line and look up a few book titles — both ones you’ve read and ones you think might interest you — and see if there are book trailers available for them. How good do you think the trailers are? Do they accurately describe the book? Most importantly, do they make you want to run out and BUY the book?!

And if you need a smile for the day, check out this book trailer: Oh, Miss Dashwood!

And Another Thing …
Anyone remember when people used to wait until December to begin celebrating Christmas? (That sounds curmudgeonly, doesn’t it??) It was on this date in 1965 that A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered. Half of the televisions in the U.S. were tuned to the show — can you imagine that happening now?

When television executives first saw the show, they were sure they had a flop on their hands, thanks to everything from the choppy animation to the quirky jazz soundtrack. But A Charlie Brown Christmas was a critical and commercial hit. And you won’t be surprised to know that the soundtrack, featuring the Vince Guaraldi Trio, is one of the most popular Christmas albums ever.

A Charlie Brown Christmas changed Christmas in another way. Before the special aired, aluminum Christmas trees were very popular. But just two years later, they were hardly being manufactured. And if you don’t know why, then you need to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Thanks for reading.

1 comment

I did not know there were such things as book trailers, until today. The two trailers for your books are very well done, but you have put the likelihood of my ever swimming in a lake again in jeopardy with that other link. I suppose a little Charlie Brown Christmas is just the thing to soothe my rattled sensibilities. Thanks for opening my eyes to another venue for finding good books to read and give.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Elizabeth MacLeod

Award-winning author Elizabeth MacLeod has written over 50 books for children. Her most recent book, Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries, was published by Annick Press.

Go to Elizabeth MacLeod’s Author Page