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View Full Version : Experience/thoughts on book trailers?



audibob1
10-17-2017, 10:09 AM
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.

mccardey
10-17-2017, 10:22 AM
I've seen quite a few on YouTube lately--even one on television- Did you buy the books?

audibob1
10-17-2017, 05:00 PM
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.

lizmonster
10-17-2017, 05:25 PM
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?

EMaree
10-17-2017, 05:32 PM
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).

Fuchsia Groan
10-26-2017, 10:00 AM
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.

MaeZe
10-26-2017, 10:14 AM
I love the idea. The Fifth Wave uses one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKkEAIs4pJc). 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.

EMaree
10-26-2017, 02:42 PM
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 (http://ew.com/article/2016/10/10/killer-me-margot-harrsion-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.

MaeZe
10-26-2017, 09:12 PM
Spooky trailer, well done.

Fuchsia Groan
10-27-2017, 12:04 AM
Link to the trailer (http://ew.com/article/2016/10/10/killer-me-margot-harrsion-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!!! :Hug2: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. :)

Bickernicks
11-11-2017, 08:12 PM
I created a book trailer that looks like a movie trailer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiPDRTCGikQ). 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.

Erato
04-10-2018, 01:46 PM
Mine are all DIY for free, and they've been a lot more effective than just posting images/text to advertise. But if I had had to pay for them I don't think the amount of sales would have rendered them worthwhile -- still single digit sales by the month.

You can see one of them here: The Cut of the Clothes - Regency Fiction Book Trailer. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpjb66p3gkg)

KMTolan
04-11-2018, 05:44 PM
I would agree that trailers are not going to bring sales in general. I do use one, though, at conventions where I sell my books. Running on an iPad, it helps catch the lazy eye, which is all I expect it to do.

Maskoz
05-03-2018, 01:01 AM
I think it's hard to quantify the impact of a trailer, but having an eye-catching bit of content at the ready to throw at an online conversation can be really useful. I have one for mine, but am lucky enough to have a bit of experience with video and audio, which allowed me to do it myself. I don't think I would have paid for one to be made.

Earthling
05-03-2018, 12:08 PM
As a reader, I've never watched one and have no interest in watching one. While I understand everybody is different, I generally assume that if a marketing or promotion strategy doesn't work on me, it won't work with many other readers, either. If a publisher made one for me I would dutifully put it on my website and social media, but I wouldn't pay for one myself or push it hard.

insolentlad
05-03-2018, 03:50 PM
I DIYed simple slide-show trailers for most of my early releases. I doubt they had much effect and they were time-consuming to create. Time better spent on other projects, I think, so I haven't bothered more recently. I did have some fun writing the music for them, however. Maybe I'll do another someday...