Dear Aunt Debbie,
The book trailer you linked to in your last post -- by John Green, for The Fault in Our Stars -- is fascinating. It's funny and energetic and strange, and I can see immediately why Green has such an intense teenage following. My student Nicole, who I quoted raving about the book, got her copy signed, and it was clearly a Celebrity Experience. Are authors, and YA authors in particular, our new rock stars? Does this form of celebrity allow for a wider range of what celebrity means, given that it's so quirky?
Watching Green's trailer, and a few others linked to through the Adult Books 4 Teens site, made me think about the role of self-promotion in the publishing business at the moment, and the idea of book trailers in particular. How common are they in the children's book world? How much of an effect do they have? Is this largely a YA phenomenon, since it's an audience that's likely to be online a lot? What do you think of them? Do you watch a lot of book trailers?
I know I'm asking a lot of questions here, but I'll confess I'm old-fashioned when it comes to finding books. I'm sure I've watched fewer than 10 book trailers total; I like book reviews and word-of-mouth advice. As someone who I'm sure is deluged by requests from people who want you to push their books in your store, what do you think of all this online, Author as Interesting Online Personality self-promotion?
A moment of self-promotion I recently enjoyed: Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook (which is, by the way, an adult book that might appeal to some teens) in a short film on his recollections of Stuyvesant High School, his (and my) alma mater, and the school where I now teach. I, too, failed to excel athletically in that gym. Even without the common experience, however, I can imagine myself being drawn to his work because of odd little films like this.