So what are they? I mean, obviously they are promotional pieces to entice the viewer to read the book they promote, but *how* do they do it? If we know this we can assess what is needed to make an effective book trailer.
Traditionally, promoting a book was the job of the book itself, its physical "packaging" if you will - the cover, the spine, back cover and dustcover flaps. These were where you would get the promotional blurb about the book, the author and the series or fanchise that it was a part of. This sent me off on a tangent defining my thoughts on book covers and, since it is vital to the artistic direction of our books, I've posted the result on our deviantArt account, "On Book Covers"
What struck me the most was that, of the elements that I mentioned - cover, spine, back cover and dustcover flaps - only the front cover exists on an eBook! Now, you can do a lot with a cover, identify the fanchise, the genre and make a unique statement that can draw the reader, but there is a lot that you've dropped. What about all the material that was covered on the back cover? Often you'd get a continuation or wraparound graphic from the front, two or three paragraphs of promotional text and icons that would show the trademarks, copyright, age classification, prequel/sequel info... A relic of the hardcover, the inside back flap was the domain of information about the author, usually presided over by a cheesy photograph. All of this information was there in the reader's hands when they picked it up from the bookshelf. How is an eBook reader going to get that kind of in-depth information?
Could a video book trailer take their place?
[To be Continued]