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Book trailers… what’s your take? Plus, some ideas to make a good one!

*Note, this is a modified post that originally appeared on my company website, 30 Day Books. 30 Day Books is the publisher of Kathy Lynn Harris’s Blue Straggler and offers book marketing and self publishing advice and help for independent and traditionally published authors.*

 

Book trailers have become a popular way of marketing books over the last couple of years. Much like movie trailers, they aim to introduce the book to potential readers and capture their attention in a novel way (pun intended ;P) 

Much like marmite (UK), or vegemite (Oz), or [insert controversial food item here if you are from North America and have not had the fortune of encountering aforementioned yeast extract spread], people either love or hate this medium of book marketing.

Perhaps because when done well, they’re really good. And when done badly, well their… awful.

 

Our aim with the book trailer for Blue Straggler was that viewers of the book trailer would say YES to the following questions after watching the trailer:

 

– Did it grab your attention?

– Do you want to share it with someone?

– Do you want to watch it again?

– Most importantly, are you going to check out the book now?!

 

 We hope we pulled it off! Here it is…

  

 

 

Here’s a recap of the key elements we tried to keep in mind when putting it together. You might want to think about some of these points when making your effective book trailer.

*Note, this is NOT a post about how to make a book trailer. If you want a great article detailing all that fun stuff, check out the delightful Joanna Penn’s article, Book Trailers: 11 Steps to Making Your Own.*

 

– Length: Short and sweet are the keywords here. 60 seconds is perfect, 3 minutes is the ABSOLUTE MAX. Aim for impact and intrigue.

 

– Energy: If you are anything like me, the Internet gives an otherwise patient and calm person a much-reduced attention span. Bearing this in mind, we tried to keep the energy high throughout, and details to a minimum. 

 

– Rights: Check you have the rights to images, music and anything else you are using.

 

– Keeping the character images vague: This might be a matter of personal preference, but I certainly like to imagine how characters look and sound without being shown prior to opening a book. This goes for book covers too. We purposefully didn’t give Bailey a face so as not to spoil that experience for readers. 

  

– Music: always good for setting the mood.

 

– Don’t include any spoilers!

  

– Tone: Make sure the trailer fits the tone of the book. Don’t make a humorous trailer for a dark thriller and vice versa.

 

– Make it entertaining! Whether that’s through humor, suspense, surprise, or whatever means, it needs to be watchable. This is advertising a form of entertainment (books) and thus it goes without saying that it needs to be captivating. 

 

So, back to the question at hand… book trailers, love ’em or hate ’em? And if you have a favorite, please leave a link in the comments! (Shameless plugs to your trailers welcome and encouraged).

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2 thoughts on “Book trailers… what’s your take? Plus, some ideas to make a good one!

  1. “Keeping the character images vague: This might be a matter of personal preference, but I certainly like to imagine how characters look and sound without being shown prior to opening a book. This goes for book covers too. We purposefully didn’t give Bailey a face so as not to spoil that experience for readers. ”
    This is the best tip you can give to book marketing companies IMO. I like imagining what the character looks like in my head and dislike it immensely when someone forces their ideas on me. This is why I try not to watch movies based on novels. They completely kill it for me.

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