Reel time stories

Book publishers and authors are creating trailers and short films to promote their books

There are snapshots of the famous Howrah Bridge, the trams, crowded lanes and bylanes of Kolkata. Interspersed between these snapshots is a silent haunting tune that plays in the background. The foreground has accolades from various publications printed on it. This is the trailer for the book JFK, written by Jahangir Kerawala, which was released in October and has garnered positive reviews for its fast-paced writing. The book trailer of JFK is available on YouTube and social networking sites.

Talking about the concept of a book trailer, an emerging publicity tool in the world of literature, Kerawala says that since the story line of the book is a murder mystery set in Kolkata, it made sense to include the snapshots of Kolkata in the trailer. "It provides the reader with an idea about the book. The essence of the book is always the story and the plot. Since social networking is something that everyone is hooked on to these days, this helps to promote the book better," he adds.

Book trailers might have caught on as a marketing tool for books in the recent past, but the idea was first used by Chetan Bhagat, when he had launched a TV ad for his second book, One Night at a Call Center. While back in 2006 it was still a nascent tool to be used to market a book, the idea has caught on now.

Ali Fajandar, Director, Grey Oak Publications, says that it also helps first-time writers get visibility. "Often, despite having multiple book launches, and the book having a good story, it takes a lot of time for the books to move. Making a movie or a trailer and putting it out on social networking sites helps the sales as well as visibility," he says. Citing the same example, he says that they have made short films on the short stories that were incorporated in the Urban Shots series. "Even the actors and the directors of the movies were first-timers. So everyone benefited. Besides, it was good publicity for the books," he adds.

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