James Patterson’s “The Quickie”

This post intended for Week 12


This was the first book trailer I had ever seen on television.

It was just a quickie. I wasn’t even supposed to be watching late night television. My parents were never going to find out, EVER! It was just a quickie. I had to watch a segment of Whose Line is it Anyway and suddenly the commercial was there. It was just a quickie.

At the time, my twelve year old self thought it was odd and a little stupid that a book was being marketed on TV; luckily, comedic styles of Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles quickly helped me forget the trailer until now.

Re-watching the commercial, I still think the concept of a book trailer (or at least this particular book trailer) is dumb, but it does show how the writing/publishing realm has adapted to society. The fact that this video even exists suggests that people are seeking out and reading, or at least buying books less and less. The issue is so extreme that even successful writers need to market their writing on TV in thirty second primetime spots.

The manner in which the book was presented proposes that it is not enough to market the book on TV; it needs to be shown in a movie trailer-like format in order to get the attention of the masses. Amusingly so, this means that there is a part of the publishing industry which is dedicated to making these commercials. There are groups of people who are hired to record and edit vague images, overlaid with narration, for the purpose of marketing a book. It almost sounds like the beginning of a really bad, black-humored joke.

The way I see it, this video is an illustration of how the life of writing is becoming more difficult because people are reading less and we have reached a point where books need to be advertised on TV because people aren’t looking for them otherwise.

On the other hand, there are very few book trailers out there, therefore it is also possible these commercials are created by means of giving the books an edge. Then again, it is unlikely that someone would have thought to advertise books on TV if marketing was not an issue.


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