by Laura Drake
My debut book will be out in May, so promo is at the top of my mind lately. When I brought up the idea of doing a book trailer with some of my published friends, I got the equivalent of my nine year old granddaughter’s, ‘Oh, that’s so last season,’ eye roll.
And I get it. I mean, if you’re looking for your next read, do you jump over to YouTube and peruse the book trailers? I don’t either.
BUT. They did say that if a book trailer is funny, cute, or somehow different, it can go viral. Does that correspond to more book sales? I have no idea, but getting my name and book cover in front of all those people can’t be a bad thing, right?
My friend, Tessa Dare, NYT bestselling author and creator of one of the best book trailers of all time (see it here,) even gave me a super idea that could be funny, cute, and very different. No, I’m not going to give away the premise here. Once the trailer is done, I’ll post it in all its (hopeful) glory.
So, what next? When I take a photo, there’s a very good chance I’ll that the subject’s head won’t be in the frame. I’ve never worked with photo or movie editing software. I don’t know anything! Thank God for the internet.
The first thing I needed to know, besides a premise was:
What Makes a Good Book Trailer?
From the Huffington Post (you can read the whole article Here.)
- Hide the author in the attic.
- Pay for a professional voice-over. This doesn't apply to fan videos, but for anything with a budget, it's a must unless the author is famous for something other than writing.
- Could you please not open with a title card? Please?
- No house logo opening. Ever.
- Great music. Faster is better. You're already selling something that people think is a bit dull. Moody tones put it in the category of a movie, and it's not going to compare well.
- Brevity is the soul of wit. Let's define brevity as ninety seconds or less.
From my publisher:
- Have a SEO-friendly title and robust book description on the YouTube page and in the clip itself
- A title card featuring the book and clear call to action (visit www.authorwebsite.com.)
- Don't link to retailers as you want the clip to be universal; make it evergreen
- Avoid pre-order language or anything that will date it.
- Keep it short—2:30-3:00 max
- If you’re using music, make sure it's rights-free or author has rights to use
- Use title card for any endorsements
- Use clean/simple voiceover or read a very short excerpt.
From Lisa Gottfried (you can read the entire post Here.)
- Economic – 30-90 seconds
- Edited – balance and blend text, images, audio
- Authentic – be real. People know when they are being “sold” to and there is less tolerance on-line for the tactics used on TV commercials. Your message needs to be more down-to-earth, user friendly.
- Emotional – look for teasers
- Entertainment – make ‘em laugh; then make ‘em cry
Okay, some of that info is conflicting, but I think I get the basic idea. I now have a premise, and some guidelines to follow.
Now I need to know:
How To Do This
Once more, the internet is a savior. I found a bunch of articles:
But the above describe different software to use. More internet research ensued.
Windows Movie Maker
Most trailers I’ve seen use music. But where do you get royalty-free music?
I found one site, but if anyone knows of others, I sure could use more.
Now all I needed was inspiration -- some book trailers to get storyboard ideas from. I found some great ones
BOOK TRAILER EXAMPLES:
Sites to Display Your Trailer:
Once my trailer is ready, where can I display it, besides my website, YouTube, Facebook and Good Reads?
- Blazing Trailers
- The Red Room
- Book trailers for Readers
- Book trailers for All
So what do you think? Are book trailers dead? Do you have any links or knowledge you can share with us?