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A book trailer is a video advertisement for a book which employs techniques similar to those of movie trailers to promote books and encourage readers. These trailers can also be referred to as "video-podcasts", with higher quality trailers being called "cinematic book trailers". They are circulated on television and online in most common digital video formats. Common formats of book trailers include actors performing scenes from the book akin to a movie trailer, full production trailers, flash videos, animation or simple still photos set to music with text conveying the story. This differs from author readings and interviews, which consist of video footage of the author narrating a portion of their writing or being interviewed. Early book trailers consisted mostly of still images of the book, with some videos incorporating actors, with John Farris's book trailer for his 1986 novel Wildwood incorporating images from the book cover along with actors such as John Zacherle.
In September 2007, the School Library Journal established the Trailie Award for the best book trailers. There are three categories: author/publisher created, student created and librarian/adult created. The award was announced at the School Library Journal Leadership Summit on the Future of Reading on October 22, 2010 in Chicago.
In 2014, Dan Rosen and CV Hearst established BookReels, a website dedicated to allowing publishers and authors to post book trailers and other multimedia, culminating in the annual BookReels Awards. BookReels lets readers browse and rate trailers, post comments and reviews, join discussion groups, and share BookReel discoveries.
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