It’s a 40 second video. Big bold letters announce the end of an era. A muscled man raises his head to the sun amid the chanting of Sanskrit shlokas. Sounds like an interesting film, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s the book trailer of Immortals of Meluha, one of the four trailers that the author, Amish, has uploaded on YouTube prior to the book’s release.
This is not the only one. There is an illustrated video announcing the release of Devdutt Patnaik’s book Jaya. There are book trailers for Ashok Bankar’s novels Gods of War and Vengeance of Ravana, too.
Book trailers swept the publishing industry in the West in 2007, but it is now that Indian publishers and independent authors are exploring the potential of such videos.
“This is a relatively new method of publicising books, especially in India.
The idea is to take publicity for books beyond the conventional ambit, into new areas that consumers today are zoning into,” says Hemali Sodhi of Penguin India. The publishing house has a YouTube channel, which “reaches out to younger readers.”
Author Tuhin Sinha created a video for his book That Thing Called Love in 2008, in which Tuhin and a friend enact a scene from the book. “The teaser was meant as a brand-building exercise for the book, and showcased the book’s plot as a plot viable for films,” says Tuhin.
Amish, whose book trailers have above 12,000 hits on YouTube, says they were made by his friends. “They felt the book had a visual appeal that needed to be translated. Also, it’s a form of viral advertising. The trailer had a huge impact on the initial sales of the book,” he says.
The first book trailer that HarperCollins India had created was for The Zoya Factor (2008), and ever since, they’ve done over 20 trailers — most recently for Vishwaijyoti Ghosh’s Delhi Calm.
“We had some book trailers where shorter ones led to one big video — these worked very well,” says Lipika Bhushan, manager, marketing, HarperCollins.