Last week we covered an impressive strategy for getting your book into the library. This week, we think about another emerging way for authors to promote their work and drive book sales — the book trailer. Book trailers are kind of like movie trailers, short videos setting up the premise of the book and enticing readers to want to learn more. While they’ve become common for the release of big new fiction works, I’m not sure how well the concept translates to many areas of scholarly publishing. Or at least I was unsure until fellow Chef Charlie Rapple sent along the charming musical number below. You may not have a great interest in music patronage in interwar France (or you may not yet be aware of your interest), but you will hopefully enjoy the author’s song. We invite any other scholarly authors out there who have produced a book trailer to post a link below in the comments.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


4 Thoughts on "The Scholarly Book Trailer"

Certainly a creative and maybe even fun way to promote a scholarly work.
A sign of times to come?

I can imagine that a similar strategy could be applied to entice people to read a paper or summarize its results for the general audience.
Certainly video abstract are a regular feature for some journal (see example ) but most of the examples I have watch are directed to an academic or learned audience.

I can imagine “musicalizing” according to the topic of type of results of the paper to provide a “mood” for the general audience to improve the “uptake of the message” goal.

Certainly many scholars do not have the necessary skills to provide such musical knowledge capsules (myself included) but the I truly find the idea not only amusing but potentially useful to help increase public engagement.

Who knows, our next rock star scientist is out there waiting to be discovered by the crowds.

I should tip my hat to Rachel Maund at Marketability for sharing the Epstein link!

I love the opening line
“I wrote a book
Thirteen years or so is all it took”

Not so convinced about 9:16 aspect ratio though. Presumably it was originally filmed for tiktok.

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