In the two years that I’ve been covering book trailers, I’ve handed out lots of praise, some constructive criticism, and, yes, even a little derision every now and then. It’s only fair that I put myself on the chopping block. Here is the trailer for my new novel Rotters (Delacorte, 2011).
Unlike the trailer to my book The Monster Variations (Delacorte, 2009), which I made myself, this is a fancy high-dollar job bankrolled by my publisher. That’s obvious right away: the effects, music, and graphics all scream “paid professionals.” The good people at Random House sent me early storyboards and scripts to approve, which I did with one note: Don’t be so faithful to the book.
It was my feeling that simpler is better. This is an advertisement after all. They agreed, and the scene you see here is one that has no exact counterpart in the book–and yet summarizes so much of the central tension. This trailer’s weakness its that it makes Rotters look to be a horrifying thrill ride at the expense of the substantial character development. But its strength is that, the first time I saw it, I thought, “Wow, I’d like to read that book,” forgetting for a moment that I wrote the damn thing.
Verdict: That’s up to you. Have at it.