How often have you seen a book advertised on television? At the cinema? Ever? I've been searching the dark, cob-webbed corners of my mind trying to think of an occasion. Perhaps one the Diana industry books? Perhaps the odd celebrity autobiography? Occasionally during the Christmas season maybe, as part of the shops' promotional drive for what is in store.
But I cannot think of a single specific instance, and by and large the marketing for books I have seen is generally restricted to billboard posters in tube stations.
And that contrasts dramatically with film, DVD and computer games that are heavily marketed through the visual media. There are obvious reasons for this, perhaps, as these are visual media themselves and their content makes them ideally-suited for screen marketing.
And perhaps books are less suited so. You can't show scenes from them obviously (although you can read them) and part of the appeal of books is that the visualisation is ultimately the reader's own.
But books are dramatic, intriguing, full of passion. And that can be represented visually, as Random House have admirably proved with this trailer for The Redbreast, a thriller by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo, which was published in paperback last week.
The trailer is very good. The production values are very high and made very much in the mould of movie trailers. I watched it and now I want to read the book. Job done.
From the looks of the other videos offered up by YouTube, this is becoming an increasingly common practice. There's a Jonathan Kellerman trailer on there and a handful of others in a variety of languages.
Whether it works or not will remain to be seen. There can't be many people of YouTube hunting them down and certainly this one appears to have had a limited number of views. But it is different and innovative and I certainly hope to see more of it, and will keep an eye out for others.