Trailers: Seen Any Good Books Lately?

The movie rights for "The Thieves of Heaven," a new thriller about a secret Vatican treasure, have only just been sold, but you can already view a trailer online. Of course, it's not teasing anything that can be seen in theaters--the trailer's for the novel. Publishers and authors are increasingly commissioning trailers for books--some with dramatizations by actors that could easily be mistaken for movie trailers--that can be viewed on their Web sites and even aired on TV and in movie theaters. "We've seen a huge increase in interest [for book trailers]," says Sheila Clover, whose company, Circle of Seven Productions, pioneered the concept in 2002 and has trademarked the term "book trailer." "We're already booked solid this year." Other companies are now producing "book videos." HarperCollins Canada started offering book trai--sorry, videos --on its Web site in February, and The Book Standard last week announced the winners of a contest in which film students created videos for three new Bantam Dell titles.

Conventional wisdom has long been that viewers aren't readers--and vice versa. But as bloggers and media outlets have shown the popularity of blending print with multimedia online, booksellers are now jumping onboard. "We love this concept," says Bantam Dell's Caroline Schwartz. "Because books are entertainment, too." Even if it takes a movie to remind us of that.