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'You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll read the book!' (+video)

Book trailers are becoming essential marketing tools for the publishing industry.

'Starters' book trailer
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Before screenings of "The Hunger Games," audiences may have seen a 30-second promo for "Starters," a dystopian tale about poor kids who rent their bodies to seniors wishing to be young again. The trailer – an industry term for a movie commercial – shows the 16-year-old protagonist nervously awaiting her fate.

"Starters" isn't a movie. It's a book, one of the latest novels to inspire a Hollywood-style trailer.

"All of the big [young adult] books are now getting some sort of a trailer," says the novel's author, Lissa Price. With book sales sagging, the publishing industry has turned to video as a way to publicize new releases on YouTube, blogs, and, in rare cases, before films.

Most book trailers are shoestring projects, little more than promotional slide shows set to music. But big-budget productions have taken off in the past few years, thanks in part to the novels of Seth Grahame-Smith.


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