There have been books based on movies. There have been movies based on books. Now authors are going a step farther by writing and animating short films based on their own books. A novel marketing idea, indeed.
The latest one that I know about would be the one done for the new Sir Fartsalot series. You can see it on You Tube here.Intended to become a viral video, Penguin and the author hope that the short will drive traffic to the author's site, and consequently, result in sales for the book.
Now, I don't know how well you can truly orchestrate a viral video. By it's very nature, people have to feel they've discovered something and then pass it on. Something that is marketed as being an intended viral video (that's how it was talked about in our store's newsletter) in my mind slightly defeats that purpose. However, I'm talking about it and passing the link along, so what do I know.
I do like how this goes beyond the standard book trailer. It has it's own self-contained plot but still introduces us to the main character. I definitely think it is more kid-friendly and kid-centric than the average book trailer. I think that any author that has the resources or technical capabilities should at least consider this as a possible marketing opportunity.