Promoting literature in the landscape of the post-MTV generation isn’t easy. No surprise the ‘book trailer’ has become a thing. When I first set up the website for Bees Make Honey a friend of mine (from the putrid bowels of The Social, step up Sirus Garfur) said “Looks interesting, but that’s a lot of words. Can you just tell me what it’s about?”
The short we made for Dogtooth Chronicals was born in chaos & utterly flawed. The starring role was taken by someone who looks nothing like the character, Wolfgang (as much as we tried to tramp him up & ply him with strong coffee to make him look wired). But I’m still dead proud of it & happy I got to experiment with using scratchy doodles.
So, a few points on book trailers & our piece in question…
- Don’t try to be a film trailer. You’ll fail.
- Don’t stick a camera in the author’s face & let them ramble about their masterpiece unless they’re more enigmatic & batshit mental than Hunter S. Thompson.
- Be prepared to make many compromises. I had to sacrifice a funny bit of dialogue about Rotherham bus station due to practical constraints. Bygones.
- Think outside the box, but remember point one (you’re not David Lynch). The extract we used for this didn’t make the cut for the novel – as it progressed neither plot nor character – but it was perfect to represent a bunch of things about the novel quickly.
- (Plug) If you live in the Midlands or Yorkshire Phil is totally available for hire to help make your book trailer. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
I posted a few of my favourite bits I had to cut from the novel on this blog many moons ago, so here is the full extract for Doggerel complete with dictionary definition, should you want it.