Pub Rants

Taking The Book Trailer To A New Level—Guest Blogger Simone Elkeles

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STATUS: Second cool thing that happened yesterday but couldn’t share until today. Grin.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE by New Radicals

I have to say this is a video intensive week but it’s not fair if my blog readers don’t get to see it first so here you go.

For Simone’s new book, she really wanted to do a book trailer that looked like a movie trailer. Considering how many teens loved her first novel PERFECT CHEMISTRY, I have a feeling that they are going to love the trailer for RULES OF ATTRACTION. My only regret? That I wasn’t in LA with Simone for the filming. Be still my Mrs. Robinson’s heart.


From Simone:
I’m no stranger to quirky book trailers. I’ve produced
parody rap videos as book trailers for some of my previous books, but for the sequel to my bestselling novel Perfect Chemistry I wanted to do something totally different. I wanted my book trailer to look exactly like a real movie trailer – with actors acting out snippets of scenes from my book.

I called Pete Jones, a friend and writer/director whose screenplay Hall Pass is currently being filmed with Owen Wilson and Bill Murray and being directed by the Farrelly Brothers. I told Pete I wanted him to direct a “movie trailer/book trailer” and he said he’d do it. Pete hooked me up with producer Pat Peach with Spotlight Films in California, who did an amazing job of auditioning actors and scouting locations (among other things – the guy seriously is amazing). Each audition was emailed to me, so I was a part of the audition process even though I live in Chicago. After hiring actor Giancarlo Vidrio to play the lead high school bad boy Carlos Fuentes (I knew my fans would LOVE him) and Catesby Bernstein to play the lead heroine Kiara Westford, I still needed to find “my Alex.” It was a cameo role for the hero to Perfect Chemistry and Carlos’s brother. I knew I couldn’t settle for anyone less than “perfect.” My fans are obsessed with my Latino hero Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes. They get tattoos with Alex’s name because they’re so obsessed. I knew I couldn’t let my fans down…I needed to give my readers an Alex Fuentes that fed the fantasy of who Alex is in the book.

As I was watching the auditions and the filming date grew closer, I told Pat Peach that nobody who’d auditioned filled the bill to play Alex. He said if I could have any actor in the world to play Alex, who would it be? That was easy – Alexander F. Rodriguez from Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold music video. Talk about perfection! Both Pete and Pat told me it was a long shot. I got Alexander’s email address and emailed him. To make a long story short, I told him I couldn’t imagine anyone else making my character Alex come alive for the book trailer.

To my complete and utter shock (yes, my jaw actually dropped) Alexander emailed me back and said it sounded like fun and he was on board for the cameo role. I flew out to California for the filming, and I felt like a teenager again seeing the heroes I created come to life. To see my characters exactly how I imagined them was surreal and wonderful and crazy and…and I got so emotional when it was over and Pete Jones called “that’s a wrap!” I started crying. Of course when Pete looked over at me and saw tears running down my cheeks, he laughed and said, “Stop it, Simone. There is no crying in Hollywood.” I couldn’t help it…it’s no accident I write romance novels!


38 Responses

  1. Marianne Mancusi said:

    I saw this earlier on someone else’s blog and it’s just too amazing for words. Simone, you have outdone yourself. The casting is perfect and it’s shot so well–it really looks like a movie trailer!

    Can’t wait to check out the book!

  2. Anonymous said:

    Thanks, Mari! I’m so glad you like it…it was sweet of you to watch and comment!

  3. MeganRebekah said:

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say.
    This is exactly how I think book trailers should be — showing the excitement and the tension.
    This is simply amazing. And Alex is exactly how I pictured him, which is even better.

  4. Michael G-G said:

    Amazing. I felt like I was in a darkened theater rather than at my paper-cluttered desk. This will really raise eyebrows for the book–not that it needs it!

    Well done, everyone involved.

  5. Angie said:

    Oh my!
    I will have to look this trailer up the very second I walk in the door at home. I absolutely love Alex and can’t wait to see if Simone’s idea of him is the same as mine!


    Are they going to make a movie out of Perfect Chemistry?I think it would be very popular

  6. Cole Kleinschmit said:

    Why does a publisher go forward with a book that shares a title when the prior book has already crossed the media gap into film and fame? I realize with titles that utilize common words there’s no copyright infringement; I’m more interested in why someone would choose to share a title with an already famous (albeit 23 year old) novel.

    (In this case, Bret Easton Ellis’s Rules of Attraction)

  7. Victoria said:

    That was awesome! Showing the rest of us how it’s done. 🙂

    if you don’t get a call from a Hollywood producer soon – or maybe you have already?

    And the guy that played Alex? Smokin’.

  8. Lisa and Laura said:

    Ok, so I was already in love with Alex, but now you’ve really put me over the edge. Good God.

    Simone is one of the most innovative authors/marketers out there. She is truly an inspiration!

  9. Anonymous said:

    WHEN is that movie coming out?! Yeah, yeah, I’ll read the book, but this shows what a GREAT movie it’s going to be! Hope you get to keep the same actors when it does!

  10. Carolyn said:

    Oh my! That was wonderful! Yes, I want to read the book now, but I also want to see the movie!

    And ::swoon:: for all the gentlemen in the trailer.

  11. JDuncan said:

    My biggest question regarding fabulous trailers like this is what was your investment to get it made. This kind of thing is not cheap, unless you have a lot of folks donating time and equipment.

  12. Jeff Baird said:

    I saw this yesterday, started the expected comment, awesome, fabulous and then stopped and thought about it all night. This is…unique! At least I think so. I have questions too, how much, when, why—even for a book! I guess this is just an unbelievable Jeopardy moment!
    ….What is—why you hire the right agent! Outstanding to Kristin, staff and break a leg to Simone!!!! What insight! This really rocks and in that genre has to be a huge success! The male actor was outstanding, great choice there! WOW, Just WOW

  13. Designs by JoLea said:

    Wow – Absolutely awesome!!! It’s enough to convince me to read a book totally out of my genre – that’s sayin’ somthin’.

    Great job – whatever the cost, I think you made a good investment. Now I have to go find the book…

  14. Tracy said:

    Now, I have to run out and get the first book, while I wait for the second.

    It’s already been noted here, but Alex is muy, muy pretty!

  15. BorneoExpatWriter said:

    Amazing! I can imagine the cost for this was huge, mid-six figures easily (I’ve been an extra in four international films here in Malaysia, one a 20 Million budget and an Oscar winner, Indochine), but the payoff will be through the roof! Talk about buzz — you’ve reached me in Borneo! This is already around the world and it’ll circle it a few times in the next 24 hours. Advance orders will be huge everywhere. What a brilliant investment.

    Only problem that I forsee is that for the actual movie, you’ve made it difficult for casting! If they don’t live up to this trailer, your fans are going to blast them!

    Amazing! You rock!

  16. Jennifer Wolf said:

    Impressive, but there are very few authors who would have a budget for anything like this trailer. I’ve produced three book trailers with live action and actually shot a scene for my most recent one. It doesn’t have the “Hollywood” punch but I feel like we did a good job with high school drama students and a shoe-string budget (the trailer is for Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison). When I shoot live-action trailers I avoid showing faces for the main characters. When we read we create our own idea of what the main character looks like, I don’t want to spoil it with my interpretation–of course if you have a major budget and a known face you can get away with it.

  17. lale said:

    Wow. Truly, that’s all I can say. It’s absolutely brilliant, and although I was wavering on the edge of getting Perfect Chemistry because I just bought three new books, I’m hitting the bookstore Saturday!

    …and the tofu tacos made me laugh out loud.

  18. Anonymous said:

    This dismays me. As a published author, I know how much I’m expected to do already. I can’t afford a video like this. The vast majority of authors don’t support themselves from their writing and can’t either. It seems this is just contributing, yet again, to raising expectations for what publishers expect from authors.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I like the trailers done by the authors themselves. You know, like with a camcorder. I get more of a sense of their personalities that way. It doesn’t feel so slick and prepackaged.

    Finally, isn’t it ironic (and sad) that one of the ways we’re getting readers to read again is to have them watch a book’s movie trailer?

  19. Sharon Mayhew said:

    Simone–I’m so excited that you have a new book coming out! I’ve been checking “E” every time I go to the bookstore since I read PERFECT CHEMISTRY…I LOVED that book. 🙂