Distractions For A Slow Morning

February 16th, 2006 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

It is a slow morning here at the headquarters, and we have caught our mind wandering down strange paths. This is the sort of thing that happens when PW uses the word “viral” in a sentence and the subject is not infectious disease. Example:

Though it’s too early to tell if the video will go viral. . .

The video in question pairs novelist Lolita Files with pop singer Silena Murrell. Yeah, exactly our reaction. Of course, we do not claim to be in touch with what the kids are listening to these days. Nor can we speak to the general wow factor of the HarperCollins offices (which are apparently featured in the video). On the other hand, there is sex. The book’s title is Sex.Lies.Murder.Fame.. You can view it on Google (apparently by searching for sex, hold on, we’ll try first; yep, that works — the video [or part thereof] is the third option).

This gets us back to Publisher’s Weekly and viral. We are almost (maybe after a little more coffee and consideration) ready to click on the Google link to see how a music video promoting a book works. We don’t mind wasting time, and maybe this is the most brilliant idea ever.

File Under: Square Pegs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Kate // Feb 17, 2006 at 6:22 am

    somewhat OT: you want distractions? this is a distraction.

    still pondering the viral thing,
    Kate by way of BSC

  • Emma // Feb 17, 2006 at 7:51 am

    I’m in my mid-20s; normally I would say that makes me too old for the target demographic, but (sadly!) since this is for a *book* — and not a JK Rowling one — I suspect I am a member of its intended audience.

    And I couldn’t even make it through the video!

    I’ve got mixed feelings about video trailers for books. On the one hand, anything that succeeds in drawing new audiences to books is a good thing for the industry as a whole. On the other hand, it does seem to me to be slightly counterintuitive. People disposed to buy books generally have certain habitual strategies for finding new books to buy, and I seriously doubt that hunting down video trailers is ever going to become one of those strategies — because a trailer can tell you very little about the qualities that make a book appealing.

    Before someone comments that everyone looks for different things in a book, let me note that it seems fans of romance, fans of sci-fi, fans of “literature” and fans of ethnographies all tend to express similar desires: novel (or at least freshly interpreted) material and ideas, and an engaging writing style. At best, video can only inform you about the first of these two expectations, and I do wonder if the mere act of transferring the material to the televisual medium might in some cases dull the innovative aspect of the plot anyway — since television has different constraints than the novel form, it has already done a lot that many books don’t do (and, of course, vice-versa also holds, but I’m not sure video could capture the uniqueness of, say, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius — or Untie my Heart (Judith Ivory) — or A Fine Balance.