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Monday, July 12, 2010

A Viral Book Trailer

Gary Shteyngart has been hard at work publicizing his new book, Super Sad True Love Story, which will be released later this month. Not only is the satirist making the usual rounds, he put together a video featuring James Franco. Quite a few other authors, actors, and even his editor make a cameo in this vid.

I have to wonder if this is something only humorists can pull off. Could you do a serious video trailer for, say, Mockingjay? What about something already enormously popular, like Deathly Hallows? I, as so many others, am wondering what's the key ingredient to make something go viral. Clearly Gary's vid has it. But why?

There's nothing terribly compelling about this advertisement, except for it's premise: video advertising for a book by a fairly niche author. There's definitely some high points in the film, but why would anyone watch it in the first place?

I definitely don't have the answer, but I do know I'm excited to pick up Shteyngart's book on July 27th.

What do you think of the idea of creating a video to advertise a book?


  1. I think creating book trailers is fairly standard practice, at least in some genres. As to how to make them go viral, though, I wish I knew the answer! High production values and comedy are two factors that help, I think. I've seen serious video trailers, but I'm not sure they're as likely to go viral, at least not without an already built-in fan base (which Mockinjay and Harry Potter already have).

  2. That's very cool; I had no idea some genres had video trailers! I like the idea very much. I'll be interested to see if there are any film trailers for Mocking Jay, but at this point it's coming out in about a month... so maybe not.

  3. I've mostly seen YA book trailers... but that might just reflect what I read on the internets. :)