Your novel’s in print, so now you need a book trailer, right? Only you really don’t have the money to hire someone to make one for you. Besides, do book trailers work? It’s hard enough to get people to come to your blog. Why would they click through a link to watch an advertisement? For your novel? That’s basically what book trailers are, right—advertisements?
Then there’s the problem of getting people to know you even have a book trailer. As if writing and promoting the novel wasn’t hard enough! So, maybe you put it on your blog, post it to Facebook, and share it at the end of a guest blog post or two.
Even then, based on the analytics I see on Youtube, only a handful of readers will actually watch the video.
Is that worth the money spent? Well, I don’t know. That depends on your end result and how much you spent to produce it, but I do have some tips to make the experience worthwhile.
First, be creative.
Slideshows with text won’t cut it, not any more. Readers are bombarded with graphics, blurbs, and trailers. A quick skim through Facebook verifies that. To get their attention, your trailer must stand out in some way. It must entertain, educate, or inspire.
Using actual video footage helps. Making a funny or unexpected video even more so.
Focus on grabbing the reader’s attention more than making a sale.
Traditional book trailers acted much like back cover blurbs, telling the inciting moment for the story and what’s at stake. Which is great, especially if you have an exciting story line. The only problem is, few are watching traditional trailers anymore. Therefore, authors are having to make some tough choices: present back-cover-blurb material in order to gain a sale or focus on entertaining and exposure.
I chose the latter, and as a result, the video my team and I created has been shared by numerous people. Not thousands of people, mind you, but many more than would have had I created blurb-equivalent material.
More than that, I had a great time from production to final product, which leads me to tip number three:
Keep it fun.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what you’ll remember most. Life’s much too short to stress and fret, right? My thoughts—find a way to bring laughter into every day and endeavor, and invite as many people to join the hilarity as possible. Chances are, this will help you create the best possible product because relaxed people perform better. And you’ll be creating amazing memories in the process.
Finally, keep it cheap.
The only expenses in my video were hiring the producer (a very reasonably priced film student) and treating everyone for coffee. (Because those around me absolutely must share my coffee addiction. Truly, it’s a must. 😉 ) Everyone else volunteered. Because they knew from past shootings this was going to be a low-stress, fun, and absolutely hilarious good time. Which it was.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you created book trailers? If so, did you find them effective? What would you do differently next time? Any tips, ideas, or suggestions to share? We can all learn from each other! Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below.
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.