Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Curious Case of the Book Video Trailer

The specter of self-publishing (where anyone one can become a published author) has, as its dark shadow, marketing walking closely behind. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year through both traditional and nontraditional means. And both sides (the old New York Publishing houses vs. self-publishing) fight not just for your eyes on pages but your ears as well. Witness the explosion of book trailer videos. If you haven’t noticed, just type in book trailers in Google YouTube. BTW, YouTube is owned by Google.

Here is the cool trailer for the book Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

 You will find imaginative videos, stupid videos, good acting and embarrassing bad acting. Some videos make you want to buy the book and others scream “amateur.” There are reasons why some people should never be left near a video camera and there is also evidence that the iMovie software should be deleted from their computer. And for others it is a magical tool. And this goes for some of the big houses as well. At the IBPA conference I attended a few weeks ago, Eric DelaBarre (GO HERE) gave a great presentation on book trailers. He also noted that currently 70% of informational searches on the Internet are toward videos. And I have to admit that for much of my research, such as information on the use of the AK-47 and the M-1 carbine, I have gone to videos. I have watched container ships being loaded and unloaded and enjoyed finding out how to sail an America’s Cup sailboat.

But the trend now is to support your book’s launch with a video. The following are short self-produced trailers that tease the viewer into buying the book.

Here are a few important points about self-published videos:
  • Keep them to less than 2 minutes.
  • KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!
  • Get the best sound you can produce – in GarageBand there are effect tools you can use.
  • Use a great microphone with the video camera.
  • Music helps a lot – but remember that YouTube has copy write controls, use iTunes and download Royalty Free music – there’s hundreds of pieces.
  • Be different and creative.
  • Avoid a lot of still videos (my crutch), shoot your own action footage.
  • Shoot in HD – down load to a smaller file, we all hate waiting for a video to download.
Remember that you are fighting for a couple of minutes of your potential reader’s time. Slow downloads and long trailers are never watched.

Note: If the video doesn’t load, cut and paste the URL into your browser.

And, thanks to Eric DelaBarre, here are three bad/mediocre videos:
              Interesting but too long and questionable acting

               Please not one more image of this girl, it’s too long at one minute.

               Don’t do your own acting – unless you’re Julia Roberts

               Much better at 1:30, don’t you think?

One more – really, really bad:
               Enough said.

Here are three good videos:

            Left me wanting to know more.

               Professional and crisp

And two more:
            Make you want to find out what’s in the book.

This short is by a delightful writer about her stay in Paris for her fortieth birthday:
And here are two that are just wonderful and costs hundreds of thousands, if not millions to produce:
               So cool and engrossing – you sit in wonder

And this one while not a book trailer, this just keeps you watching:
Now don’t you wish you had a bigger budget?

And please, if inclined, check out my book trailers. Even I cringe a bit, but we are all learning.

Land Swap 4 Death

Containers 4 Death

Toulouse 4 Death

1 comment:

  1. Like a film preview, a book video trailer can effectively help you to sell books. The use of effective images, narration, and music can create a sensory impact beyond the mere written word. Think of a book video as similar to an elevator pitch but on a multimedia level.