building new castles every day

book trailers got nothing on LeVar Burton

In I like, Thinkings on September 10, 2010 at 12:38 PM

You may have seen one on Indigo’s website. Or maybe you peruse your favourite romance publisher’s blog from time to time and saw a, what, trailer? For a book?

I think it’s a pretty neat marketing tool. Simple too. Essentially like a movie trailer, these short videos act as viral advertising, targeting our highly visual readers (a paradox, I realize).

But do book trailers ‘spoil’ the raw experience of reading? Does it fill in the blanks for the reader, where she creates images in her head, of her own accord, based on her own tastes, experiences, etc.? You know, like when some producer turns a book into a film. A lot of readers exclaim, “That is so NOT how I pictured him” or “I pictured her more plump, with redder hair”.

I’ve also noticed that many book trailers use animation rather than actors. Though this may seem a little Second Life-ish, I suspect it’s a budget-smart choice. Seeing as marketing budgets for books are set around $1/copy (that is, if the book even has a marketing plan), the affiliated professionals have to spread those pennies far and wide.

Anyway. Enough critical thinking. What my real point about book trailers today was how they got me remembering Reading Rainbow. Do you remember that show? When LeVar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation (minus the sight-permitting headband) would bring two-dimensional stories to animated life. And the show did it so simply too, with Burton’s soothing, dynamic voice and the slow zooming in, out and around the illustrations. Oh, and there was some animation too.

Did you know Burton also lent his voice on Captain Planet? Yeah, yeah, he was Kwame!

Geez, I love that man’s voice.

And for your viewing pleasure, which theme tune do you prefer? My heart is with the older version.


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