By C. Hope Clark (editor of FundsforWriters) –
I adore trailers, and I was thrilled to have the chance to interview Jerome McLain from BookFrenzyStudios.com about the relevance of book trailers for authors as well as the importance of having a professional one done. My eyes were opened! Hopefully my questions drew out information you, as writers and authors, can use in your marketing. Note…book trailers aren’t necessarily for novels! Enjoy.
1) Visual is a strong attraction for most people as has been demonstrated on Facebook
and other social media. Have you seen video work for books as well?
Yes. Larger publishing companies have entire departments devoted to video and book trailer creation because they realize video drives engagement on the web more than any other content. If combined with a video marketing strategy, book trailers are a fantastic book marketing tool.
2) Can a video take a book from obscure to a sales success?
No. A book’s sales success depends on many moving parts such as launch strategy, content and timing in the marketplace. What a video CAN do is get the book noticed among its competitors. According to Invodo.com, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after seeing a prom video. Placing the book trailer on a webpage that contains book purchase links is highly recommended because the trailer can prompt an impulse buy response.
3) How do you cram an entire book into a thirty second, one minute, or ninety-minute segment? What is the art to a great short video trailer?
I always begin by asking myself: What is the story? What essential book information does the trailer need to convey? Instead of trying to include tons of details, I create visual cues that go along with the basic who, when, where and what of the story. An effective trailer needs a great beginning (to hold viewer attention) and a great ending (to make them remember the book or take action). The real art of the trailer is knowing what to leave out to keep the message as concise and compelling as possible. See C. Hope Clark’s trailer, running at only one minute, yet it smacks with impact.
4) Are some genres more conducive or appropriate for book trailers?
I believe all book genres can benefit from a trailer. It just needs to be appropriate for the tone of the book. For example, trailers don’t always need to be fast-paced and dramatic. They can take a subdued approach and be just as powerful. A popular trailer style used currently is to edit together interview clips of the author discussing the book. So, it’s really a matter of creating a trailer in the style that best compliments the book.
5) Do book trailers cost a lot to do well, or are they like most things, you get what you pay for?
You definitely get what you pay for. Creating a really good book trailer requires time, creativity and technical expertise. Throwing together a PowerPoint slideshow with some dramatic music does not entice many people to buy. It comes off cheap. You don’t need to spend a fortune but you do need to invest enough to look professional. Pricing can range between $500 for a very nice :30 teaser video to $10,000+ which includes live actors, location filming, etc.
6) What makes for a bad trailer?
All bad trailers have these elements in common:
==> no clear or interesting story arc
==> too many book details (if you tell them everything, why read the book?)
==> poorly chosen music (audio is 50 percent of the video!)
==> copyrighted music and or images (this error can prove costly!)
==> unprofessionally edited (images stay up longer than necessary, bad transitions, etc.)
==> too long in length (:30 to :60 is a good rule of thumb)
7) Can authors create trailers themselves with little experience?
They definitely can create a trailer without experience but it will most likely be perceived as amateurish. Online video editing software or DIY video apps allow you to easily create video. But no software or online app can replace the knowledge, skill and talent required to produce a professional book trailer. It’s like an author creating their own book cover: If they are not also experienced in graphic design and typography, it probably won’t turn out well.
8) When should an author decide to do a trailer for their upcoming book?
When the marketing plan for the book is being developed is a great time to consider how to use a promo video/book trailer to amplify exposure and publicity. The trailer can be used to create buzz and awareness on social media platforms as well as a visual “elevator pitch” for the book to the media. Also, sending a professional book trailer out to prospective reviewers creates a great first impression of the book.
9) What’s the one brief word of advice you have for authors who are on the fence about investing in a short video for their projects?
You’ve spent a considerable amount of time writing. You’ve invested in professional editing and book cover design. Don’t let the first impression of your book be determined by an amateurish video.
Find out more:
BookFrenzy Studios provides professional video marketing services for authors including Cinematic Book Trailers, Promotional Videos and Social Media Video Ads. To learn more, visit their website at www.bookfrenzystudios.com