Thursday, April 10, 2008

Judging a Book by its Trailer?

Rebecca Skloot, National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) member, has been blogging a lot on Critical Mass, the NBCC blog, about creative book publicity. It's a subject this blog will return to often . One of the things I'm really interested in is how to get (poetry) books into the hands of people who would enjoy reading them, but wouldn't usually find themselves reading them.

For now, I wanted to draw attention not only to Rebecca's crusade (hurrah) to highlight creative book publicity, but to the idea of book trailers, which seem to take all manner of styles. Given the film learned so much from the printed book, it makes sense that books can take a leaf (so to speak) out of the film industry's playbook (playfilm?). I'm watching with interest to see where this leads, but for now I have a challenge to throw at y'all:

Your mission: suggest a trailer idea for a contemporary book of poems (your own is allowed). If people come up with ideas, I'll see if I can find an enterprising film or visual art type who wants to make it a reality. So get thinking! (I can't promise this will happen, but I'm fairly optimistic. Of course, if anyone out there would want to make a poetry book trailer, and is looking for ideas, do get in touch.)

(An aside: Bruce Andrews, in a seminar yesterday, was lamenting what he saw as the failure of different arts forms in NYC in the 80s to work together; in his view, artists in NYC were so successful in their own field that they didn't have time to really collaborate outside of it, at least in a way that challenged their collaborators to reach new goals. I wonder if that's still true today, and I guess it's not accidental that I'm throwing down this inter-art gauntlet the day after his comments.)

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