Book trailers: A must have?

Once upon a time, marketing a book meant book readings at a dozen or so bookshops and the occasional interview in national newspapers and magazines. No more. Marketing efforts are an increasingly elaborate affair, with multi-city book tours, use of Facebook and Twitter to interact with readers, and more recently, book trailers.

Audio-visual trailers for books, similar to those for movies, are gaining popularity as a marketing tool for novels. A Guardian article pegs the first book trailer to have been released in 2003, and in the decade since then, hundreds of book trailers have been released. Some are homemade productions, created by the authors themselves, others are cinematic productions shot with a professional crew. A handful even go viral — Gary Shteyngart’s hilarious, satirical trailer for Super Sad True Love Story garnered over 200,000 views on Youtube and was featured on Huffington Post and The Daily Beast.

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