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Thread: Experience/thoughts on book trailers?

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
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    Experience/thoughts on book trailers?

    Has anyone had any experience with book trailers? If so, was it worth it? I've seen quite a few on YouTube lately--even one on television--and I'm curious as to how much they cost, if you can do it yourself, etc., and especially whether or not they actually generate more sales/buzz.
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  2. #2
    please distract me mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audibob1 View Post
    I've seen quite a few on YouTube lately--even one on television-
    Did you buy the books?

  3. #3
    figuring it all out
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    No; however, since watching the trailers, I've spotted several of these books at Barnes and Noble and have made a point to shuffle through the first few pages of each, just to see if it's something I'd like.
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  4. #4
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    I suspect the bang for the buck on book trailers isn't great, unless you hire Spielberg (or do something else to rise from the pack).

    On the other hand, if it's fun, why not?
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  5. #5
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Videos are a powerful media right now, but book trailers really aren't great at gathering sales. I suspect the money would be better spent creating a video advert (for use on Facebook/Instagram), and the time better used sending your work out to Booktubers (YouTube book reviewers).
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  6. #6
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    I have a filmmaker friend who can make stuff look AMAZING, so I enlisted him and his students to make me a book trailer. I pitched EW cold, and I lucked out and they liked it enough to post it (it's still there if you want to check it out).

    I had a sales bump from that, for which I'm very grateful, but it didn't make a huge difference in the fortunes of the book. On the plus side, I did not pay a lot for the trailer (under $500), and it represents my book beautifully, and I'm happy to have it in a place where it can get eyeballs. It's more a short film than a conventional trailer, so I feel like it's a companion work to the book, not just an ad.

    I didn't get quotes from video production companies, but I would guess most start at $1000 for something like this. I've heard of people paying five figures for video work and not getting the best quality in return. You need to look very, very carefully at people's past work and know exactly whom you're dealing with. A lot of people have nice equipment, can hire actors, etc., but they may not know how to edit their footage into something watchable. Having a sense of exactly what you want is vital.

    Overall, I would say EMaree is right; a trailer is not a great promotional investment. I'm glad I did it, but I would not advise anyone to sink a lot of money into it. If you do choose to do it, I would say to use a simple, easily graspable concept and not try to involve a ton of special effects or try to approximate a blockbuster movie trailer. I've never heard of a book taking off because it had a great trailer (not to say this has never happened!), but I have heard of books taking off because they happened to be mentioned by the right YouTuber.
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    I love the idea. The Fifth Wave uses one. A writer friend of mine is using them: http://www.kakrisko.com/Trailers.html. She uses images, music and text. I don't think it's expensive.

    I can't speak to their cost/benefit, but I plan to use one anyway, as long as I can get my son and/or his friends to help me make one. I don't plan to spend a lot of money on one.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 10-26-2017 at 10:47 AM.

  8. #8
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchsia Groan View Post
    I have a filmmaker friend who can make stuff look AMAZING, so I enlisted him and his students to make me a book trailer. I pitched EW cold, and I lucked out and they liked it enough to post it (it's still there if you want to check it out).

    I had a sales bump from that, for which I'm very grateful, but it didn't make a huge difference in the fortunes of the book. On the plus side, I did not pay a lot for the trailer (under $500), and it represents my book beautifully, and I'm happy to have it in a place where it can get eyeballs. It's more a short film than a conventional trailer, so I feel like it's a companion work to the book, not just an ad.
    Link to the trailer (EW usually plays ads beforehand, I got a 30sec horror movie trailer). I hadn't seen this one before, and Fuchsia, I loved it -- got totally hooked on the trailer, read the sample, and now I'm off to buy the book! Wow, that definitely works.
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Spooky trailer, well done.

  10. #10
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMaree View Post
    Link to the trailer (EW usually plays ads beforehand, I got a 30sec horror movie trailer). I hadn't seen this one before, and Fuchsia, I loved it -- got totally hooked on the trailer, read the sample, and now I'm off to buy the book! Wow, that definitely works.
    Oh wow, thank you!!! I really think the young woman who directed it (a college student at the time) is going to do well for herself in the film world. I can only hope the book is as creepy.
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  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Bickernicks's Avatar
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    I created a book trailer that looks like a movie trailer. I went crazy and animated the book trailer from the voices used in the audio book. (It helps if you create media for a living.) I thought my trailer clearly illustrated what's happening in the book. The stupid thing was nominated for a book trailer award.

    People would compliment me on the trailer. When I asked if they wanted to read MY FREE BOOK - they said no, "it's not my genre". (slaps forehead) Many people thought I was making an animated series from it. They wanted to watch THAT...but not read my book.

    Just kill me now.

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