MobyLives, operated by the excellent indie publishers Melville House, started up the first annual Book Trailer Awards this year–and a few of the finalists are fall-on-the-floor funny.
Book trailers are a strange hybrid of new media possibility and old-school literary steadfastness. I’m not sure what to make of these things (except to say that I wish I had reason to make one). In one sense, it seems to be an author/publisher being savvy. In another sense, it’s an uncomfortable appeal to Internet junkies–seemingly, the opposite of a person who wants to commit hours upon hours in a linear, non-hypertext process of stringing together a bunch of chicken scratches set in ink on a bound leaf of papers.
My favorite of the bunch of finalists for the Book Trailer Awards is this book trailer for John Wray’s dark novel, Lowboy, with comedian Zack Galifianakis. I won’t tell you the surprising, hilarious twist in this video. Galifianakis is a master at comic timing.
And though I’m still uncertain what to make of this form, I do give props to my friend Scott Heim for the eerie, compelling trailer he made for his fantastic novel, We Disappear. Both the novel and his book trailer echo Scott’s artistry and disregard for convention: