Book trailers and awards

I’ve been trying to figure out something this week and I wonder if people can help me. Every year, we hear about the winners of the Kirkus Book Video Awards. The winners are always posted on B&, too. The strange thing about it is that because it’s sponsored by Random House, only Random House books get used in the videos.

I did a little investigating, and it looks like it’s actually a contest for film students to create storyboards, and RH provides $4000 to the finalists to make book trailers based on three books coming out from Delacorte, which are then judged. This is, of course, a cool and legitimate use of a contest—and the resulting book trailers are always cool*—but what I want to know is: why are Kirkus and B&N involved in it? It seems like an in-house contest at RH, and putting Kirkus’s name on it makes it seem as if it’s a wider competition for books published by a more diverse set of publishers.

What I’d really like to see is an award for book trailers that allows anyone to enter a trailer for consideration. Like the Academy Awards of book trailers. I think book trailers are really coming into their own. I really love seeing the results of this Kirkus/RH contest* and this year they’ve even started using the spots as commercials on TV—The Maze Runner’s trailer was a commercial on the SyFy network during a Twilight Zone marathon, which I think is the perfect use of a book trailer. (And it’s so much more interesting than the old book commercials with just a picture of the book and a voiceover. We can do so much better than that as an industry, can’t we?) So where is the wider application of this idea, or perhaps a tweaking of it (because this one is really more a competition for film students)?

So, anyone know if there’s an award out there already that focuses more on the book trailers themselves rather than being a publicity vehicle for one publisher (and it’s a good publicity vehicle, don’t get me wrong—I just wonder if there’s something that’s a true award for publishers/authors to enter)? One that focuses on the book trailers themselves, about books from any publisher?

If not, shouldn’t there be one? I think it would be a good thing to think about.

*Here’s one of this year’s winners, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, to give you an idea of the quality work that comes from the RH competition:

3 thoughts on “Book trailers and awards

  1. The video gave me chills; thank you for posting it.

    It would be great if your suggestion–more book trailers on TV–was followed. It’s too bad it is so expensive to run a TV ad, otherwise it would a terrific sale tool for the publishing industry and the authors…

    1. It does make me wonder, though, how much a TV ad for a smaller market (non-national, targeted regional advertising) might cost. It might be worth looking into for publishers, and given how TV stations are hurting for advertising, it might be better than “male enhancement” ads.

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