Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sure she can write...but can she act?




RO: Yes, it's not enough that we write the books. We have to look and sound good on camera. I thought it was just the newbies like me who had to shamelessly flog our work in the hopes that someone will discover our book and feel that it's something they'd like to spend time with, but apparently even an established, bestselling author like Mary Karr has to trod the boards, however reluctantly.





Seems to me I read Karr's first book, although I may be confusing it with another similar memoir, but now that I've seen the book trailer for her latest, Lit, I will probably pick it up this summer (although I'm in the middle of two good books - Story of a Marriage and Hero, the bio of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda...more on them later.)





Lots of friends (including Roberta) raved about Lit when it was first released. I didn't think I needed to read another memoir about recovery and redemption after years of destructive behavior and/or horrendous abuse. I get it. I'm happy for you.


But dang if I didn't change my mind after seeing MK's book trailer on Youtube. I wouldn't have even known about the trailer if there hadn't been an article in the NYTimes about - book trailers.




So was it Mary Karr's personal charm, the book trailer itself, or the power of the New York Times that got me to want the book. At the risk of sounding retro, I think it was the Times...



What does the JR gang think?



PS....Stop by tomorrow when our guest blogger is Mary Boone, Library liaison for Sisters in Crime who'll give us the skinny on exhibiting at ALA, the American Library Association's Annual Conference.

9 comments:

Jan Brogan said...

Yup. It was the New York Times. I put together an awesome trailer from Teaser (thanks to my friend Dave with the terrific production company, Midnight Media)

But its all in the distribution....

Roberta Isleib said...

I picked up Lit because I saw and heard Mary Karr in person at our local bookstore. And it was terrific! So I imagine a GOOD author interview might have the same effect.

But talking to an audience and talking in front of a camera are not at all the same thing--as I found on my few forays into live TV:).

My one live youtube video was my "Yak for Barack." The Obama team called for creative campaign possibilities so I wrote and filmed a rap for Obama. Astonishingly enough, not only did they not use it, but it's only gotten about 50 views. I think half of them were by Hallie who simply couldn't get over my nerve!

Hallie Ephron said...

My book trailer was not nearly as ambitious as Jan's, and if you ask me a big waste of time. Yes I am in total AWE of Roberta -- cant remember when I've laughed so hard. I loved Mary Karr's first book, her memoir "Liar's Club"about her dad and her relationship with her sister. Don't need a trailer to want to read this one.

Rosemary Harris said...

My two book trailers have both been animated http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ27LuD1cg4

- the idea of appearing on camera is about as appealing to me as root canal. How does Hank go on television every day??

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, hey, going on camera is no problem. It's what to SAY that's the problem!

Although Jan's video was terrific,and so is Alex Sokoloff's for The Price, I would have bought those books anyway.

There's only been one video that ever made me buy a book. I think this one is the best I've ever seen. I bet you'll buy the book, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MnQ_HyyTp4

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, hey, going on camera is no problem. It's what to SAY that's the problem!

There's only been one video that ever made me buy a book. I think this one is the best I've ever seen. I bet you'll buy the book, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MnQ_HyyTp4

Roberta Isleib said...

That is a very cool trailer Hank, you're right. How was the book?

Anonymous said...

Loved LIT. It really spoke to me, and the writing is stellar. Haven't seen the trailer! Going to look for it now.

Nancy M

RhondaL said...

I'm dreading having to go on camera. What I don't have in cheekbones, I make up for in chins. Too bad we can't hire someone to play us, like a Remington Steele.