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The Price of Everything: Book Trailer Storytelling Evolved

What’s the Price of Everything?

What’s the Price of Everything?

Penguin book trailer by Sponge, Chicago, for Eduardo Porter’s debut book The Price of Everything.

Not exactly book-cut storytelling, but pretty close. And one of the best book trailers I’ve ever seen:

Penguin—Eduardo Porter The Price of Everything

There are quite a few well-done book trailers around, but, all in all, most of them fail to be convincing. Many book trailers approach their theme cinematically, an approach doomed to fail because, well, it’s a book and not a movie. There’s a difference between reading a review about a movie that wants to make me go and watch the movie, and a cinematic trailer about a book that wants to make me go and read the book. On the one hand, in terms of signal density, the cinematic book trailer tries to wet my appetite for less with more. On the other hand, in terms of imaginative potential, it already chips away from the range of possible experiences I can have through creating the story and its characters in my mind. This, after all, is where books really shine.

Obviously, many book trailers try to weasel their way out of this predicament by wallowing in cinematic indifference and pompous vagueness. Others leave the cinematics aside and focus on voice-over and typography, which works better, but not every time. And then there are the wacky ones

I think I’ll have to get back to this topic soonish.


If you have something valuable to add or some interesting point to discuss, I’ll be looking forward to meeting you at Mastodon!

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