I replied, “I find them so epically dumb that they escape adequate description.”
But when I brought it up with Canary the First, it turns out that I had plenty of words after all.
As close as I can tell, a book trailer is supposed to serve the same function as a movie trailer. They are nothing more than a hype generator–a way to get people excited about the prospect of the forthcoming publication. Often, they have the same verbiage as a back cover blurb or pitch–only this is far flashier than simply printing it out on paper.
Book trailers are a new-ish phenomenon in which one of three things happen:
1. A slide show of images with words stuck in while music plays dramatically in the background.
2. A whole bunch of images with exceptionally melodramatic narration over the top.
3. By some strange miracle, something interesting happens.
I find the nature of book trailers so utterly counter-intuitive. To me, it is the equivalent of going to a movie and instead of live-action trailers, there are placards full of text telling me how awesome the movie is going to be to watch. (“There will be gun fights, trust us!” it exclaims in Comic Sans.)
If this is an attempt to capture the attention of the internet generation, I think loads of people are going to be endlessly disappointed when it turns out that they actually have to read a book to find out what happens in the trailer’s story. Either that, or this entire enterprise is a last ditch attempt to stir up interest in a mediocre story. The way I see it, if a book is so bad that it needs a trailer, maybe the publishing house should be investing in some night-school writing courses for its authors instead.