Friday, October 28, 2011

Author Alert: Consider Author Created Versus Professionally Created Trailers...

I  joined a group, Book Marketing on LinkedIn recently and chose to get involved with the topic, "YouTube book trailers seem trendy at the moment. Has anyone tried one? Do they work at all?" Knowing that many of the authors with whom I interact have either shared their trailers or mentioned they would like to have one in my interpersonal discussions or in my Reviewers Roundup group, I thought I would share the post by Charles Weinblatt. Note that you can visit the entire activity by clicking the link at the beginning of this paragraph.

Weinblatt provided links to two separate he created (the top one) and one that he had professionally done (bottom). I watched the shorter one first, as his first link, and was pleased to enjoy this 30-second blurb which he says he created in about 2 hours... I also enjoyed the second one since it gave me more info about the book...but of the two, I would say that the shorter one solicited my interest more. Please note that I'm not saying this would be the same for all books--I'm just saying it about this particular book trailer comparison...

If interested, I suggest you go through the whole discussion activity... In the meantime, I'm pleased to share this author-created trailer as an example of what is possible for those who have limited resources for their marketing...

My thanks to Charles Weinblatt for sharing this information...

Sharing this info is purely at my initiation and does not endorse the products used or the named book, which I have not read...nor, in fact, have I previously known Weinblatt, the author... I am also linking related articles which are provided for information only...

However, here's my personal thoughts as a reviewer...I love book trailers! Here are a few issues/thoughts I've had:

  • If you're going to use lots of narrative to tell the story as opposed to pictures, PLEASE give the reader the time to read what you've provided!
  • Personally, in my opinion, the pictures you use should represent if at all possible, the characters in your book; e.g., if the book has an African-American main character, then the pics should reflect that. I realize that "stock" pictures may not always be available, but I think if you are getting the trailer professionally done, then they should be prepared to supply appropriate character pics. I bring this up because many years ago I read the work of an African-American female author whose books featured a really dynamic female character, who was white in the trailer. She had me preview the trailer as an early reader of her book and that was the first question I had. The response from the creator did not satisfy either of us, although she accepted it at that time.
  • Trailers that gain my greatest attention are those that include music that is appropriate to the genre of the book. If it is a thriller--bold, exciting music is called for. If horror or suspense, get the idea...
  • As a book buyer, I want to learn enough about the book to help me make a choice whether to buy it--30 secs might be too short; but it shouldn't be too long either...More importantly, however, for me, it is whether it is "excitingly done"...and keeps my attention, no matter how long it is! If you don't think your trailer does that...when you get it drafted, try to get some early reviewers to help by gaining comments. In my opinion, somebody who has already ready your book is best; on the other hand, if I hadn't read your thoughts about whether you have enticed me could also be relevant...

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  1. As I said on LinkedIn, I get lots of positive comments on my book trailer/videos...

  2. I've never made a trailer, but if I did, I'd definitely design it myself. There are so many multi media options available now. I agree with you, Glenda, that you have to tailor it very carefully, making sure to use the right ingredients to reflect the content of your book. Actually, this post has inspired me to think about designing my own adverts for the Unbound Boxes micro stories. It can be done well, by an author, Cynthia Echterling has a great self made advert for her Help Wanted Human series. Thanks for the inspiration, Glenda. I'm thinking of ways to advertise, whilst maintaining artistic integrity. *brain ticking*

  3. Valerie, I note that one of the trailers have a wmv extension...Could you share the difference and also whether these were personally or professionally created? First one I viewed is beautiful...going out to see the others and share!

    I should point out that since I entered the LinkedIn discussion late, I did not go backward to check out earlier comments before this...

  4. Valerie, just had to come back to comment further. Your artwork is simply wonderful for all of your trailers...Fantasy and scifi must be the hardest trailers to create (or the easiest is you have such great artistic support!) Thanks for sharing here!

  5. Cheryl, from what I've seen with your computer, graphic and artistic could go into business creating trailers! LOL But I'm happy to have set you thinking about your own work!

  6. *Blushes* Actually that's an idea! :D

  7. Wow! What an interesting post! I had the chills with both trailers- and they both captivated me. I like the short one because the length seems great. Thanks for sharing!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Also, my co-author, Stephanie, liked your fb page today. Please like us back at:

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out how to fix it. :)

  8. I haven't been to that LinkedIn discussion yet--it's on my to-read list. But thank you for this insight into it. I don't watch many book trailers so it was fun to see and compare these two. I'd certainly prefer the first--being short, it gets over my unwillingness to spend lots of time on it; if I'm interested I might read or watch more, but as a teaser the first one works great. (Also, family don't appreciate me playing long noisy things while they're waiting for the computer.)

  9. Jess, thanks for your feedback and follow...I hopped right over and signed up to follow your blog and FB fan page... I note that you aren't published, but I did see that you had already won an award! Congratulations!!! I did skim your site and saw some Harry Potter terms...sounds interesting!

    Best wishes on getting your book to the right publisher!

  10. Sheila, I love trailers and nobody here, except cats, so I can listen at will...but I clicked to one yesterday and it was 7 minutes and started with the author reading an excerpt...NOT a trailer in my opinion and I stopped in less than a minute...wish I had had the nerve to write a true comment, but didn't know the author... Probably if I had been told I could hear an excerpt by clicking, I would have been more willing to take the time...