Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book Trailers - Fad or Future Advertising Tool?

As an author I’m always looking for new ways to promote my books. Book video trailers always caught my attention. They’re very much like a movie trailer, and like movies, books have a story to convey. With movie trailers having been around for years, it’s only logical that books would eventually follow suit. I truly believe with the tremendous growth of multi-media, book video trailers or commercials are not only here to stay, but will continue to thrive. Like a cover, a book preview is an enticement for a reader to think about purchasing an author’s book, and also just like a cover, a preview can be deterrent to a reader. So be careful what you put up on the internet as a visual promotional tool.

A good book preview runs for approximately one minute. If you have something two minutes or longer, you have a good chance of losing your audience. As authors we know just how important words are and nothing changes when it comes to a book preview. Actually, they’re even more important because you have less than a minute to catch a potential customer’s interest. Make sure your audience can also read the text with ease. We sometimes forget just how fast we read as writers.

The best trailers have a mixture of different visuals. Special effects, live action shots, voiceovers and still images can all add to a powerful book preview, and it doesn’t have to cost an excessive amount of money. Sometimes a simple, tasteful trailer can be even more effective than an expensive, detailed and highly technical one. One picture can have numerous scenarios imprinted into a person’s mind. They are visual works of art.


Attracting a younger audience.
Attracting a different audience.
With the right trailer, a buzz can start before your book is even out.
Generates more traffic to your web site.


A bad trailer can detract and lose sales.
The cost of investing in a trailer.
The time involved in doing it yourself.

I’d played around with doing trailers for a while with my own books, but then when author, Linda Andrews, asked if I would do two for her books, A Knight’s Tale and Dancing in the Kitchen, I decided to become serious about learning how to put a trailer together. After all, this wasn’t for me but someone who was counting on my ability to promote her work. I quickly found out how thoroughly enjoyable and hard they are to make and that like a full-length story, trailers have to have an emotional hook. With the right trailer, they’re a wonderful tool to promote your book. But unlike a two hour movie, a person doesn’t have time for a whole lot of pop corn to watch a book preview!

Can a book preview generate more sales for an author? The statistics aren’t out yet, but when you watch a movie trailer that moves you, makes you smile or makes you become deeply emotional in a matter of seconds, are you more likely to watch that movie?

I know I am.

I thought I’d share my latest book preview for Addiction written under my pen name of Lynne Logan.

For more information on Bella Entertainment, you can visit our web site.

Carol Webb


Anonymous said...

Good information.

In the present economic situation if you are looking to get your message across to people and advertising your business without spending loads of money, then you can opt for traditional outlets like print advertising agencies. These agencies can offer you classified ad space at special discounts. This is also a great opportunity especially if you are setting up a new business or are tight on your advertising budget.

When you use a professional ad agency, you tend to receive an early notice of the special offers and prices and also a considerable reduction in the advertising rate for national press. So help your business grow by promoting it in the low priced publications. Use print media to cut your costs and boost your advertising efforts in this growing economic recession.

Nicole North said...

Great post! I love watching and creating video book trailers. But I have no idea if they're effective and actually cause people to buy books.

Lisa Logan said...

I don't think trailers are any more a fad than ebooks--which is what many claimed when electronic publishing first came along.

As with most promotional efforts, it's near impossible to judge whether trailers sell books. However, there are readers who swear under oath that they have bought books based on a trailer ad, so chances are it doesn't hurt!


Carol Webb said...

Thanks, Nicole. I love watching trailers too. There's a couple out there I've seen and my jaw just drops because now I've got to go and buy the book even though it might not be a story I would particularly buy.

I think you're right, Lisa. Trailers are not going away. Ebooks are not going away. If anything is going away, I really think it's the paperback.

Tia Dani said...

Carol created a wonderful trailer for for our paranormal book, COLOR OF DREAMS! This is our first book and we really don't know if a trailer will help our sales or not. However, we both agree that we would buy a book if we liked the trailer. We feel our trailer was money well spent.
Thanks Carol!!

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner said...

I'm never sure whether book vids sell books (I've heard readers say NO! and I've heard them say YES!).

I don't worry about it. I look at it as a fun extra for my readers and fans, as well as a way to get the word out about my next book. I have a terrific graphic designer do my vids and I haven't been disappointed. I like them, and like I say about most marketing--it can't hurt!

Do I advocate spending $15K on one? No. Unless you're a megabestseller and that's only a fraction of your advance. A couple hundred dollars or less? Sure.

Tina LaVon said...

I just wanted to let you know I love the tailor you made for Tia Dani!!!