How the Future of Book Trailers was Kickstarted

Remember our post about the Red 14 Films Kickstarter some time back to help create author book trailers? Well, it was successfully funded. For those of you who weren’t with us then, here is a little about how it was funded and links to the product, courtesy of Rocco Rivetti and Joshua Duggan. Otherwise, a nice update about a growing innovative trend in publishing, the cinematic book trailer.

Book trailers have long been in the doldrums of an awkward adolescence. For every well designed and engaging cinematic piece there are at least one dozen stock image slideshow-trailers illegally set to Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for The Da Vinci Code. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Many in the publishing industry see true potential in book trailers as an interactive and engaging cross-media collaboration, believing that they can do for print what the music video did for the recording industry back in the 1980s. So what are they doing about it?

They went to Kickstarter. Last August saw the end to yet another successful Kickstarter campaign. Instead of raising money for the usual handful of low budget indie films, studio time for struggling-yet-talented musicians, or even the next Cards Against Humanity, this campaign served as a rallying point for people seeking innovation in print. Not one, but four authors, with the backing of their publishers, teamed up to raise money for their own cinematic book trailers.

In a rare show of industry cooperation, these four authors Jason Ockert, Monica Drake, Scott Dominic Carpenter, and Matt Bell, worked in collaboration with their publishers, Dzanc Books, Crown Publishers, MG Press, and Soho Press, to raise awareness about the campaign, and what it could do to breathe new life into the publishing industry.

84 backers pledged a total of $10,307 to finance these four cinematic book trailers, showing their support of this new and immersive way to discover, and ultimately connect with new literature. The trailers were shot by the Los Angeles based literary production company Red 14 Films, a company that seeks to raise the bar on the level of quality expected of the average book trailer.

Now all four trailers have been released!

The Four Writers and Their Books:

1. Neighbors of Nothingby Jason Ockert (Dzanc Books). This brilliant short story collection examines characters who find themselves searching for new identities in worlds they no longer recognize.


2. In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, by Matt Bell (Soho Press). Bell also wrote Cataclysm Baby and How They Were Found.


3. The Stud Bookby Monica Drake (Crown Publishers) which is Drake’s follow-up to her debut novel Clown Girl.


4. This Jealous Earth, by Scott Dominic Carpenter (MG Press). This is Scott’s debut story collection. His novel Theory of Remainders was released in 2013.


Each book trailer is thematically very different, but all four trailers are linked by their reliance on unique, cinematic content made specifically for the book. Instead of reading like a direct advertisement, these cinematic book trailers follow in the well worn footsteps of graphic illustration and book cover design, allowing a filmmaker to explore the previously unreachable, cinematic elements of the story.

Successful campaigns such as this are proof that book trailers can be much more than just a necessary evil for digital book marketing. As the written word makes the shift to the digital space where fans can seek out literary content, we’re starting to see some very interesting changes in the way the average reader interacts with a book. Now if someone could please tell the authors still pirating poor Mr. Zimmer’s scores to use for their slideshows that they missed the memo …

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