Book Trailers. What do you think of them? Are they valuable? Is this the next best way to use the wonderful free media outlets out there to help promote yourself, or is this the next best way to shoot yourself in the foot?
Which camp are you in?
My answer (Surprise! I have an opinion!) is that it can really go both ways. As in any marketing idea, it depends on what you put into it. The best book trailer I have ever seen is actually a FAKE one put together by Nathan Bransford to show how easy it was to make one. Unfortunately, I searched through his site, and I cannot find it. Anyone have it?
Here is a great one I can link up to. It is a little long for my tastes. They probably could have edited it down under two minutes, especially without music — but WOW does it pack a punch. Take a look. This is definitely one of the five best I’ve seen, despite the length.
Here’s another live-action one, with voice-over. This one I think is pretty good too. And it’s short enough that it does not annoy you out of buying the book.
The worst one I have seen? Hmmmm. Out of the 30 Book Trailers I have watched preparing for this article, you actually want me to pick the worst out of the 27 that were just horrible?
I think the numbers make my point without picking on any one person. I don’t want to embarrass anyone.
This is the thing. You are going to get out of it what you put into it. Let’s take a look at another one that I think is pretty good. This one does not have expensive live-action. It’s just pictures, graphics and swipes, and a really good soundtrack. The pictures are perfect, and it doesn’t look thrown together.
Wow. Good, huh? Even if you don’t like the genre, you are tempted… aren’t you? So what made this so much better than the other 28? I will take a wild guess and say PRICE. I don’t know if it was professionally done or not, but the person who did it knew what they were doing, and took their time to make sure it was RIGHT.
The other 28? Well, they look like they were thrown together on someone’s home computer.
What does this say about your work?
As a consumer looking at a book trailer… this is what goes through my head when I see a bad book trailer.
“Is the book as lame as that trailer was?”
“Is that the best they could do?”
“Is the book going to be as bad as that trailer?”
These are all normal, honest reactions. On the flip side, for the really good trailer… something professionally done means someone believed in the work enough that they spent the time, and maybe money, to produce a quality product. If they took the time to do this, the book must have been worth it.
Is a bad book trailer going to make you pass over the book? In my eyes… YES. Others may have a different opinion, but for the reasons I listed above… yes.
My Opinion? If you are going to do it at all… do it right. Get a professional to do it. If you are going to get a bunch of stock photography that is mismatched and does not flow together, and glue it together with a cheesy free soundtrack in the background you are not doing your novel any justice.
You are better off not having a book trailer at all.