I was going to write a snarky post about this Onion article and how I’m totally sick of the tired old copy about how “it’s a new way to connect in meaningful ways! Content! Connect! Blah blah blah!” and how I would like one of these new social network upstarts that claim to be revolutionary and provide real-world results to do something that actually translates to the real world…
But then I saw this HILARIOUS book trailer for Meg Cabot’s new novel, Insatiable, and my snarky mood vanished! The trailer manages to describe the plot of the novel while making fun of itself and the genre of teen-hormone-fueled vampire fiction spawned by Stephenie Meyer and her (bloodcurdlingly awful) Twilight Saga. This trailer does two HUGELY AWESOME things for me:
1. It makes me want to read the book. And I haven’t read a Meg Cabot book in 10 years (sorry Meg, I burned out on Princess Diaries).
2. It makes me believe that publishing is not dead. People will want to read this book. They will buy it. Hardcover, paperback, Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Nook, and every other format you can think of. They will buy it. They will read it. And they will want sequels.
So what’s the problem? Why are you worried?
Because so few people are seeing them and even fewer books are using them. If publishers spent more time and energy creating deliciously exciting, funny, enticing things like this, and empowering their authors to do projects like Cabot’s crowd-sourced zombie-couture Fashionably Undead audiobook (co-written by the author and 50 of her Twitter followers, for BBC Audio), instead of having conference after conference bewailing the end of the industry as we know it, they’d be doing just fine. Readers would be excited and engaged, and above all, they’d KNOW about the fabulous books being written ALL THE TIME instead of drooling endlessly over Robert Pattinson fansites.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, some FANTASTIC transmedia projects, book trailers, and crowd-sourced book clubs:
It’s a Book! Trailer, explaining the difference between books in dead-tree vs. ebook form.
Neil Gaiman’s Instructions trailer, narrated by the author.
Meg Cabot’s magnificently insightful blog entry about her Insatiable trailer.
Meg Cabot’s celebratory online Dracula reading group, working up excitement for the new book, complete with prizes!
My personal favorite, the #1b1t discussion group, the first Twitter-wide book club, currently reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, started by Jeff Howe, the inventer of the term “crowdsourcing.”
Hear that, publishers? Quit sending your people to nonsense conferences and quit writing articles about how the industry is dying and DO SOMETHING TO SAVE IT.
Or get Zach Galifinakis to be in your book trailer.