Sunday, May 30, 2010

Melville House Presents The Moby Awards for 2009's Best (and Worst!) Book Trailers

Ah Memorial Day weekend...something about that extra day just makes the skies a little bluer, the clouds a little fluffier, and the pigeon shit on the sidewalk a little less disgusting.

I went for a run in Central Park today. I've only been back there a couple of times since the weather's warmed up and it's still strange to see all of the green.

A few months ago the Great Lawn was covered in an army of snowmen. Now, the fountains are flowing and the pedicabs are out in full-force. I'm always impressed with those guys pedaling human bodies around in what essentially amount to over-sized red wagons painted yellow. Parts of Central Park are really hilly. I've seen some pedicab drivers (pedalers?) hop out at the really steep hills and tug their loads up manually, all the while chatting up their fares about the different sites they're coming to, entirely unwinded. Amazing.

But that's not what I wanted to make my post about. So, moving on--
The week before last I went to an event that, considering all laws of probability and rational thought, should not have existed, but, like so many things in the book publishing industry, went on in spite of all things logical and sane. 

This event was the first annual Moby Book Trailer Awards. That's right. Book trailers.

Presented by Melville House, an indie publishing house in BK I've mentioned in a previous post. The event was a red-carpet affair at The Griffin, a trendy bar in the meatpacking district.

(Side note: The meatpacking district used to literally be a meatpacking district in Manhattan. Up until the 80s, it was a slaughterhouse littered, fly-drawing area of town with blood-soaked cobble stones. Now, through the power of astronomical rent hikes and Manhattan's innate ability to reinvent the unreinventable, it's a yuppie's paradise littered in velvet-roped bars and over-priced restaurants, similar to Dallas's uptown.)

The event was an intimate affair with probably about 50ish people in attendance. True to my expectations of meatpacking district fare, my vodka pineapple was a steep $11. Also true to my expectations of that area's venues, the surroundings were very chic, with funky antique chairs and chaise lounges arranged in the center of the room beneath a stunning medley of chandeliers, further glamorized by an array of mirrors strategically placed to best reflect the fixtures' glittering glass. 

Kaci and I sipped our drinks and admired the surroundings while we waited for the event to start. Other guests included famous industry bloggers, authors up for awards, and anyone in the publishing industry who RSVPed using a work email address (which is how I, a lowly production assistant,  weaseled my way into an invite).

Everyone seemed really excited to see what this event was all about. The industry articles about it had been vague at best, promising only a "red carpet affair" that required "formal dress" for the presentation of book trailer awards and giving the date and location. 

Before coming across this event in a daily newsletter I subscribe to from, I had no idea that books had trailers. Silly, silly me. Apparently, in this new age of self-promotion homemade youtube videos by indie authors are the new craze. The purpose of this event was to showcase certain videos, the best of the year, the worst of the year, the least likely to sell the book, etc., in order to generate even more press for this new phenomenon.

When the award show started, a presenter announced the winner for each category and then we got the opportunity to see the winning trailer. Some were really funny. Some were really questionable. And some, thankfully, really made you want to read the book.

Click on the link below and scroll to the middle of the page to check out the nominated (and winning) videos and, if you like, leave a comment or two to let me know which ones you like best!

My two faves were John Wray's trailer for Lowboy and Kathryn Regina's vid for I'm in the Air Right Now .

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