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engmajor2005
11-14-2006, 04:25 AM
Did it ever cross anybody's mind that trailers for books on TV is a really, really, really, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea? I saw the TV ad for Michael Connelly's new novel and it looked some relic from the 1970s advertising a made-for-tv movie. Maybe more people would read if there were more book trailers on TV, and maybe there would be more book trailers on TV if they could be improved.

Which brings to the point of this thread: how do we improve book trailers?

I have an idea: movie trailers show clips of movies; books trailers should show clips of books. How about the author (or a really good reader) reading an especially good passage while some relevant imagery (well-done imagery please) flashes on screen?

Sassenach
11-14-2006, 04:29 AM
Did it ever cross anybody's mind that trailers for books on TV is a really, really, really, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea? I saw the TV ad for Michael Connelly's new novel and it looked some relic from the 1970s advertising a made-for-tv movie. Maybe more people would read if there were more book trailers on TV, and maybe there would be more book trailers on TV if they could be improved.

Which brings to the point of this thread: how do we improve book trailers?

I have an idea: movie trailers show clips of movies; books trailers should show clips of books. How about the author (or a really good reader) reading an especially good passage while some relevant imagery (well-done imagery please) flashes on screen?

I don't care or consider it much of an issue. Very few writers get TV ads--just a handful of superstars. Why should I care?

engmajor2005
11-14-2006, 04:34 AM
Just sayin'...

veinglory
11-14-2006, 04:48 AM
Actually they are all over the place on websites and You Tube (or however the hell it's spelled). And the home made ones are even worse.

roger
11-14-2006, 07:51 PM
They are everywhere, aren't they.

I did one, which got mentioned in the book standard's trailer park blog.

I also did a virtual reading which got mentioned in the Financial Times London.

So the reason for doing these things sometimes is to create some additional PR, as well as directly reaching potential readers who you wouldn't otherwise get to. Plus I think as writers we may be more aware of this stuff going on, but to the general public, it's still quite new.

Please don't turn the sound down if you watch my trailer by the way. The music is very beautiful. Well, I think so at least.

I tried to put the links in but doing this at work I didn't have time to make them work - my computer went a bit mad. If anyone's interested you can access the trailer and the reading easily through my blog - link below.

Cheers, Roger.

Shadow_Ferret
11-14-2006, 08:12 PM
I have an idea: movie trailers show clips of movies; books trailers should show clips of books. How about the author (or a really good reader) reading an especially good passage while some relevant imagery (well-done imagery please) flashes on screen?

Um, no. Book readings bore me and I'm a freaking writer. I can't imagine how boring it would be for the general audience.

Make them just like movie trailers with the cool action parts acted out as if it WAS a trailer for some new action movie. Then when they find out its a book, I would think it would pique their curiosity.

engmajor2005
11-16-2006, 07:28 PM
Having scenes acted out like a movie is a touch misleading; besides, books have one thing that movies dont--narration. And considering that lots of times the juiciest bits of a book are the similies, metaphors, and asides found in the narration I would have to see the focus purely on character dialogue for promotion.

ATP
11-16-2006, 09:06 PM
Actually they are all over the place on websites and You Tube (or however the hell it's spelled). And the home made ones are even worse.

Can you tell me where? How do you find these 'book trailers' on YouTube-what are the keywords/tags you used? Are the 'home made' ones you're referring to also on YouTube?

veinglory
11-16-2006, 09:44 PM
I haven't been paying much attention as I don;t like them much, you can find some here: http://community.livejournal.com/booktrailers/

Shadow_Ferret
11-16-2006, 09:50 PM
Having scenes acted out like a movie is a touch misleading; besides, books have one thing that movies dont--narration. And considering that lots of times the juiciest bits of a book are the similies, metaphors, and asides found in the narration I would have to see the focus purely on character dialogue for promotion.

True, but television is a VISUAL medium. Book trailers on the radio doing as you suggest would probably work very well, but having someone READ while what goes on? -- they show a sunset? paint drying? -- I maintain you need some exciting visuals if you're going to advertise a book on television.

soloset
11-16-2006, 10:12 PM
Most of the ones I've seen are by a company (http://www.cosproductions.com/) that claims it has copyrighted the term "book trailers". They put in a good effort, but most were ultimately embarrassing. Local lawyer or car dealership level. Not what I'd want associated with my name.

The most boring one I've ever seen was a professionally produced spot for a James Patterson book -- some coming of age thing where they flashed still images under a voiceover by someone droning on about maturity or something. I'm not 100% certain because I tuned it out almost immediately.

I could see it working for the right book, though, I guess, with lots of interesting pictures. But I bet you'd have a pretty significant number of people in the audience coming away from it thinking it was a new movie and being annoyed that it wasn't no matter how big the disclaimers were.

Cathy C
11-16-2006, 11:18 PM
I don't agree that the trailers put out by Circle of Seven Productions are poorly done. Now, of course, you get what you pay for, but they have produced several live-action book trailers--hiring actors, setting up a scene in the book . . . the whole bit. But that level ain't cheap. I know several authors who have signed up to have a trailer made by them and have been very happy. One was picked up by the author's publisher to put on DVD and was placed in the packets that went out to distributors and booksellers. Another, done for author Susan Kearney (http://www.susankearney.com/images/The_Ultimatum_60_small.wmv), is TERRIFIC. (You'll need Windows Media Player to see this)

I think there are a lot of people that can be swayed by trailers into buying the book. Some that might not have ever wandered into a particular genre can be made to visit on the strength of images. Others, not so much. But I've definitely considered one by them for our next book . . . if I can raise the money.

JMHO, of course.

Higgins
11-16-2006, 11:58 PM
Did it ever cross anybody's mind that trailers for books on TV is a really, really, really, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea? I saw the TV ad for Michael Connelly's new novel and it looked some relic from the 1970s advertising a made-for-tv movie. Maybe more people would read if there were more book trailers on TV, and maybe there would be more book trailers on TV if they could be improved.

Which brings to the point of this thread: how do we improve book trailers?

I have an idea: movie trailers show clips of movies; books trailers should show clips of books. How about the author (or a really good reader) reading an especially good passage while some relevant imagery (well-done imagery please) flashes on screen?

Lots of sensationalistic or cultistic books have gotten advertised on TV over the years. For example, from the 70s I can recall Chariots of the Gods? being advertised with lines like "Did a genius from another World design the Pyramids?"
And there was a skittles commerical that I always thought was based on the movie trailer for Smila's Sense of Skittles...I mean snow... which I think made me read the book, or half of it.

Christine N.
11-17-2006, 12:35 AM
I've seen the one for Nora Roberts writing as.... whatever her pen name is. All it says is "Everybody's reading, blah, blah, blah by Nora Roberts writing as ..." And a bunch of people laying on beach chairs reading the book.

Must not work too well, 'cause I remembered it was a book commercial, but forgot the pen name and the title.

engmajor2005
11-17-2006, 01:25 AM
Perhaps the best one I saw was for James Patterson's Suzanne's Letters to somebody. It was him, on the beach, waving the book around, encouraging women to buy it for their husbands/boyfriends. If they cried, they were keepers. Or something like that.

Not a good one, but the best one I've seen.

There was one for a Star Wars novel where Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker, did this voice-over monologue reflecting on the threats to the galaxy or something. That sounded effective.

I agree that the best place for non-print books ads is on the radio, but I wouldn't mind seeing a good one for TV.

james1611
11-17-2006, 05:05 AM
gone

soloset
11-17-2006, 05:27 AM
I don't agree that the trailers put out by Circle of Seven Productions are poorly done. Now, of course, you get what you pay for, but they have produced several live-action book trailers--hiring actors, setting up a scene in the book . . . the whole bit. But that level ain't cheap. I know several authors who have signed up to have a trailer made by them and have been very happy. One was picked up by the author's publisher to put on DVD and was placed in the packets that went out to distributors and booksellers. Another, done for author Susan Kearney, is TERRIFIC. (You'll need Windows Media Player to see this)

My comments were meant mostly in reference to TV spots -- I think this could be a very fun, very unique idea for promotions. Much cooler than the usual bookmark, anyway.

I don't think they're all poorly done, either. Some were quite appealing. I just don't think the quality in general is up to movie trailer or even really glossy tv commercial level.

Maybe I'm being overly negative, but it just seems like a possibly huge investment for very little return. Like hiring a publicist or paying for press reviews -- it can't hurt but it can't really help, either, and you're out cash either way.

Simon Woodhouse
11-17-2006, 07:00 AM
http://www.youtube.com/group/romancebooks

Are any copyright laws being broken by the music used in some of the clips found via the link above? I'm thinking particularly of the Ice Queen one.

The clip for Spying in High Heels isn't half bad.

soloset
11-18-2006, 11:39 PM
Are any copyright laws being broken by the music used in some of the clips found via the link above? I'm thinking particularly of the Ice Queen one.

Probably. In the case of the Ice Queen one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkhMp74OtcE) (you're more patient than I am if you made it through more than the first fifteen seconds), it is unless Chris Isaak or, more likely, his record company, has said it's okay. And I'm not sure Getty images allows use of their, uh, clearly watermarked images in that fashion.

With the resources freely available out there under Creative Commons, there's really no need for that sort of thing. Heck, approach someone you really really admire on one of the big archives and beg them to do your art/music/design/whatever you can't for the pittance a starving author can scrape up and a tiny bit of fame. Worst they can do is say "no".

ETA: I can't believe the one for Gabriel's Ghost is supported by the author, either. I've been meaning to pick it up, and I still am, but that "trailer" did not make a very good impression.

Stacia Kane
11-19-2006, 01:45 AM
I made one for my December release. I did use free/royalty-free music for mine, after an extensive search.

I don't really care if people think my trailer is cheesy or bad (I don't think it is). It was fun to make, and I tried to keep it as short and to-the-point as possible--I do hate the ones that are like 2 1/2 minutes long and feel the need to tell us every little thing about the book.

Sean D. Schaffer
11-19-2006, 02:00 AM
Did it ever cross anybody's mind that trailers for books on TV is a really, really, really, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea? I saw the TV ad for Michael Connelly's new novel and it looked some relic from the 1970s advertising a made-for-tv movie. Maybe more people would read if there were more book trailers on TV, and maybe there would be more book trailers on TV if they could be improved.

Which brings to the point of this thread: how do we improve book trailers?

I have an idea: movie trailers show clips of movies; books trailers should show clips of books. How about the author (or a really good reader) reading an especially good passage while some relevant imagery (well-done imagery please) flashes on screen?


I think if it sells more books, then good.

Even so, I do believe I have seen what you are talking about. The book trailers that are out now can definitely be improved upon, IMO.

I basically agree with your idea, although I would not have a reader, reading parts of the work out loud; I would have an announcer, explaining what the book's main points are with pictures that, like you said, have some relevant imagery involved. Pretty much the same as what you described, but with the content of the spoken words being slightly different.

ATP
11-19-2006, 09:52 AM
In reference to finding book trailers:

I used the youtube.com search engine - book trailers - and received a lot of material that related to books per se eg. promo of a German film entitled 'The Black Book' but not so much concerning specific book trailers.

Any one here able to help out with suggestions on any better commands/keywords to key into youtube search engine? Or better yet, post some/the links here?

Thanks.

soloset
11-21-2006, 11:43 PM
Try putting the search string in quotes -- "book trailer (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22book+trailer%22&search=Search)" or "book trailers" -- to make sure the search engine is including both terms together, not each separately.

You could also use google. If you put -- site:youtube.com "book trailer" (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Ayoutube.com+%22book+trailer%22&btnG=Google+Search) -- into google, you'll get some interesting results.

That'd let you narrow it down, too. Say -- site:youtube.com "book trailer" "science fiction" (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=site%3Ayoutube.com+%22book+trailer%22+%22science +fiction%22&btnG=Search).

writeroffthelake
11-22-2006, 03:54 AM
As a lover of books I've always hated that books aren't advertised more on television. But TV is a visual media and I think it's really hard to take words on a page and make it interesting to a visual audience. I don't even feel comfortable with books on tape and tape is a medium I've used for a long time (to send tapes to people in the days before email and "free" long distance).

I love seeing the words. The only trailer that's probably going to appeal to me is if they show a blurb of what the book is about.

And speaking of showing what the book is about, another pet peeve of mine is when all the publisher gives you is blurbs from "names" telling me how great the book is...or worse, a picture of the author on the back cover.

I want to know what the books about. I want to know if the subject matter is what I'm intersted in reading at the moment. I want to know if the characters intrigue me.

While I may get some of that from a visual, it just isn't the same...and I use to be a photography/film making student.

jamiehall
11-22-2006, 04:05 AM
As a lover of books I've always hated that books aren't advertised more on television. But TV is a visual media and I think it's really hard to take words on a page and make it interesting to a visual audience. I don't even feel comfortable with books on tape and tape is a medium I've used for a long time (to send tapes to people in the days before email and "free" long distance).

I love seeing the words. The only trailer that's probably going to appeal to me is if they show a blurb of what the book is about.

And speaking of showing what the book is about, another pet peeve of mine is when all the publisher gives you is blurbs from "names" telling me how great the book is...or worse, a picture of the author on the back cover.

I want to know what the books about. I want to know if the subject matter is what I'm intersted in reading at the moment. I want to know if the characters intrigue me.

While I may get some of that from a visual, it just isn't the same...and I use to be a photography/film making student.

It's pretty expensive to put ads on television. Plus, heavy readers tend to be low-volume TV watchers.

However, I do wonder why more people don't put more book ads on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/).

writeroffthelake
11-22-2006, 04:20 AM
It's pretty expensive to put ads on television. Plus, heavy readers tend to be low-volume TV watchers.

Agreed, and I know that's one reason TV ads for books are seldom done. Now with the internet it's much easier to get book info than it was before. I never was a big TV or movie person, and now even less so, and I suspect this is probably true for most writers.

Still...when I'm sitting in front of the TV taking a dinner break, I'd rather see an ad for an interesting book than another diarrehea, rat poison, or tampon commercial.

ATP
11-23-2006, 09:44 AM
Try putting the search string in quotes -- "book trailer (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22book+trailer%22&search=Search)" or "book trailers" -- to make sure the search engine is including both terms together, not each separately. <snip>

Thanks for this - much appreciated.

CBeasy
11-23-2006, 08:26 PM
Ads in a magazine, or on a website never bother me. For some reason I, like Jaycinth, always find a T.V. ad for a book to be tacky. I don't know why, it just seems to me to be the ultimate expression of author going overly mainstream. Selling out, if you will.

veinglory
11-23-2006, 08:44 PM
Are heavy readers low viewers? I am not sure that is true. If it's just a matter for how time is spent it should be just as true that heavy internet surfers and low readers.

soloset
11-24-2006, 09:06 AM
Thanks for this - much appreciated.

No problem. The google trick works for most sites, with a few caveats (I think "id=" in the url is an automatic no-index for google, for example, although I could be mis-remembering). When I'm looking for a specific link here, for example, it's usually much easier than using the built-in search.


Are heavy readers low viewers? I am not sure that is true. If it's just a matter for how time is spent it should be just as true that heavy internet surfers and low readers.

I agree, I'm not sure there's really a correlation there. I know many people who fall all over the spectrum of TV time vs. reading time, from lots of one or the other to lots of both to neither.

I do think that book trailers play to the strengths of TV and away from the strengths of writing. I think they make a lot of sense for reinforcing your brand, so to speak, but not so much for drumming up new business.

writeroffthelake
12-03-2006, 07:14 AM
Are heavy readers low viewers? I am not sure that is true. If it's just a matter for how time is spent it should be just as true that heavy internet surfers and low readers.

Most of the readers I know, when they're online, are reading...ezines...email...websites. In fact, I know a lot of surfers (including me) who stay away from sites that are heavily visual or have needless and annoying gif entrance pages that require me to bother with an additional click and another second or two of page load time.

southernwriter
02-10-2007, 09:44 AM
I'm late to this party, but I'm putting my two pennies in anyway. I like the trailers, and I watch every one I come across. Anne Frasier has a great one for her book, Pale Immortal. You can see it here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN8TgpyFqlU)

I made one for my book, and you can see it, too. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk52il1VQpc)

It's a great way to raise interest in your novel. The more senses you can engage in a reader, the more likely he is to remember. If I could make mine taste, smell, and feel good, I'd do that, too.