So today I was researching book trailers. Many have mixed thoughts about the effectiveness of posting a book trailer. A general consensus seems to be that a good percentage of amateur book trailers are poorly done and actually turns-off the reader from purchasing. Many think that the blurb should be the only tool for promotion since it displays the writer’s ability and talent, but then I think about how writers (traditional and self-published) need to use every promotional tool available to be noticed. Most need to create their own websites and blogs so why not create a book trailer as well?
I might be the minority here but I love book trailers. I don’t expect them to be Steven Spielberg quality and I love to have something visual that sets the mood and anticipation for a book. I’ve yet to come across one that I didn’t enjoy but I’m sure they’re out there. I’m not saying I always bought every book I viewed but I think it’s wonderful to review the book blurb, the first chapter, and a video trailer. If all of those peaks my interest I would buy.
So what should you keep in mind while planning your book trailer? Well, let’s look at some of the things that make a bad book trailer:
1) Using bad quality photos–bad resolution, cheap looking, uninteresting
2) The music is not in time with the images–make sure you choose review and perfect the timing to match
3) The author only posts the trailer on their website–it’s a great tool for posting on forums, other blogs, facebook/twitter, and links on your signature
4) Using music or images without permission or payment–you can go to Kevin MacLeod’s site Incompetech for fantastic royalty free music (he only asks for a small donation and credit) and royalty free image sites such as Wikimedia Commons for all your images.
5) Trying to actually film a movie without expertise–it seems the best amateur trailers are done by focusing in or out on intriguing stills and with captivating text.
6) Making it too long–they’re much more effective short and sweet
7) Making it too wordy–most book trailers I’ve seen uses very few words, usually single words at a time for impact
8)Using the same description you use for your book blurb–this is an opportunity to use a different approach
9) Fails to set the mood of the book–it’s critical that you choose music and images that will best describe your book and the atmosphere you create for your reader.
10) Putting it up when you think it’s perfect–as with everything promotional for your book test it out among trusted friends, discerning family, and especially writers forums (not only will they help tremendously it’s good exposure).
When should one create and post their trailer?
Some use a trailer way before publication and sometimes even during querying to entice curious agents. Some create one to spotlight their launch date. While others put up the trailer upon launching, listing at the end where they can purchase their new novel.
So what is the best timing for me? I will have to think about this for a bit but in the mean time I’m going to order the software needed and begin playing!