The Moby Awards!

Book trailers have changed the way books are marketed. Book trailers are so common now, I forget how they use to market books. There were subway signs. And newspaper ads. I remember James Patterson advertising a soundtrack to his book on the radio once. And TV spots (again, a la James Patterson). Youtube has made video marketing avaliable to big houses who don't want to to coax other media into adversting their work, as well as small publishers who are just using their DIY intution.

Thus--The Moby Awards! Hosted in NY on Thursday by Melville House (I wish I lived in NY, I just need to get out of!!!), it is a celebration of the year's "best and worst book trailers." With 25 videos short-listed, it takes a good chunk of the afternoon to watch them all.

But I did.

And here are my picks, just because...(with Youtube links!)

Best Low Budget/Indie Book Trailer: I am in the Air Right Now by Kathryn Regina.

I love this lady's poetry. And this is the first time I'm hearing it. Come on: "I felt like I was crying at your door and begging you to come out and that felt good because I would never do that in real life." It's understated and vague, kinda like Tao Lin, but not as annoying (I will keep on picking at this guy for the rest of his life). It feels airy, like a blonde wrote it, but it goes perfectly with the title and the last line: "I am in the air right now." It captures confusion. And I love the animations.

Other nominations:
A Common Pornography by Kevin Sampsell
The Electric Church in One Minute by Jeff Somers
Extraordinary Renditions by Andrew Ervin
I Lego New York by Chistoph Niemann

Best Big Budget/Big House Book Trailer: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

I know I shouldn't be picking a monster mash-up, but this is too funny: a mixture of theratical seriousness and English girls doing kung-fu. And then there's the line "They might be dead goddamnit. But they're still Englishman." The only thing that could have made this trailer better is Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Epic win!

Other nominations:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Going West by Maurice Gee
High Before Homeroom by Maya Sloan

Best Performance by in Author: Gordon Lish in Collected Fictions

Simply because I didn't know this collection was out (been trying to get some of Gordon Lish's stuff for a while, you know, him being the father of minimalism and everything...); I didn't even know he was still alive. Makes me want to buy it, which is what a book trailer should do, I guess, but all I'm saying is that Gordon Lish is still alive.

Other nominations:
Dennis Cass in Head Case
Thomas Pynchon (voice of) in Inherent Vice
Daniel Handler in The Book vs. The Kindle, Round 10: A Seriously Unfortunate Event
Jeffrey Rotter in The Unknown Knowns

Best Cameo in a Book Trailer: Zach Galifinakis in Lowboy

I loved the original trailer to Lowboy, where everyone's reading the first page or so of Lowboy on a train. There's something intellectually erotic about people reading on a subway. But this new one is erotic too, mainly because John Wray is kinda cute, for a 39-year-old. That and Zach Galifianakis is funny.

Other nominations:
Jon Stewart in I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil…
Jonathan Safran Foer’s Grandmother in Eating Animals
He is Legend’s Schyler Croom in High Before Homeroom
Deepak Chopra in The Karma Club

Least Likely Trailer to Sell the Book: True Confections by Katharine Weber

It's actually a commericial for Zip's Candies (the subject of the book), and I don't get it. I do have a thing for 1950s camp nostalgia, I think that's what got me. Not gonna buy the book though, and that was the point.

Other nominations:
Pocket Guide to Mischief by Bart King
Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce
Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin
Sounds of Murder by Patricia Rockwell


  1. You do understand that Little Sammies candy is fictional, as is Zip's Candies? See

    And thank you for your vote of confidence!

  2. I thought it was a novel (I do work in a bookstore). I didn't know Zip's Candy was fictional.

    Anyway, good luck!