I received a request (by a fan) to feature this book trailer. Well, there’s good news and band news. Let’s take a look:
First, I’ve got to give props to Laurie Boris for the clever (and appropriate) concept. This trailer doesn’t tell us much about the story, but it does highlight the “cool” bit by showing us (while featuring her book) that these aren’t “ordinary” characters. One is a talk show host and the other is a politician, so both are basically celebrities. They’re in a big city where celebrities are featured on billboards and other forms of signage. This is suggested by featuring the book title and author in various “advertising” venues within the trailer (though not exclusively advertising venues). It’s very clever, and part of what makes it so very clever is the fact that it’s actually appropriate.
So, we have a clever concept that provides a short synopsis of the story. The ONLY downside to this is that the information featured in the trailer is the same information I have found available through every other form of marketing I’ve encountered for this story and it’s not much to go on. We know the main character is a talk show host that happens to be gay. We know that his “next guest” is a male politician with a secret. We assume that this secret will be that the politician is also gay and therefore a potential (and a probable) match for the talk show host. We also know that the talk show host is “cool.”
This is a problem. The ONLY real incentive we have to read this story is because we like gay romance or because we want to be gay and cool or possibly because we are gay politicians who want to keep our secrets. But what if we don’t gravitate towards gay romances? What if we have no interest in being cool, regardless of our sexual orientation? What if we have no interest in keeping our secrets or in being politicians? What if we don’t trust a female writer to write about the gay male romantic experience?
It is a very clever book trailer, but cleverness alone is not sufficient to make for a successful marketing tool. If Laurie Boris is only interested in the gay lit or the gay romance crowd, then this trailer is fine. But if she’s trying to expose people who don’t usually read gay lit or gay romance to the genre, then this misses the mark, because that’s all it seems to be. If she is targeting the gay lit or gay romance crowd, then this is still a risky proposal because all readers know is that she has clever conception – both the story and the trailer reflect that. Readers, especially romance readers, want more than concept, though. They want to know that these are characters they can/will care about and we don’t have more than their social roles (talk show host/politician) to go on there.
That being said, there is another dimension to this trailer. Whether it was made for this purpose or not, this trailer was featured as a potential “Trailer of the Month” (for June – so, sorry, no voting) for Indies Unlimited. Now, Indies Unlimited is great about highlighting indie writers and giving them extra exposure/support. That’s what they do. So, Laurie Boris’s story is going to be exposed to a wider reading audience. There will be people who read this for the conceptual genius alone, but those readers (who are usually writers, too) are a small batch. It would work better if we had more to go on.
Now, onto the coolest part about this trailer… Did you notice that this is a book trailer for a short story? This is a 49-page e-book that is currently being sold for $0.99! Generally, I dislike the way the current marketplace has devalued writers’ works so that books sell for $0.99, but for a short story…that’s good value all the way around! More on this as the week progresses.