Book Trailer #2

When I woke up this morning, a second book trailer was the furthest thing from my mind, but I had some free time and — like the first book trailer — was able to put this together really quickly, in less than a half hour (with a little help from my tech guru, my oldest son). As I often discuss in this blog and in my classes, indie authors need to take advantage of whatever tools they have at their disposal to market their books. A little creativity goes a long way in social media circles. So put on your thinking caps! This video was put together using Microsoft PowerPoint and YouTube and cost me nothing but a few minutes of time. Would love to hear your thoughts!

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Building Your Brand: Create a YouTube Trailer

On Monday night, in a lesson about marketing, I was discussing with my continuing ed. class at Hofstra the various social media networks out there and how to maximize them when promoting your brand and your work. When I clicked onto my YouTube page, it suddenly seemed so uninviting and, well, unhelpful when compared to my other social media pages. While I’m not a big fan of book trailers, specifically, I do believe videos — of author events, appearances, interviews — can help build a platform. YouTube is kind enough to give you space on your landing page to upload a channel trailer, and it’s a good idea for authors to take advantage of this facet of the page to give viewers a quick glimpse of who they are and what they do. Last night, when I should have been writing — or sleeping — I composed this one-minute video on Animoto that I think does the trick for my needs, at least for now:

Although anything goes with this kind of thing, my advice is to keep your trailer lively, keep it short, preferably under a minute, and keep it professional, showcasing high-quality photos, videos or commentary. You only have a few moments to capture a viewer’s attention, so put your best foot forward.

Do you have a YouTube trailer? If so, post it or the link in the comments. I’d love to see it!

Book Trailers #2

When I first wrote about book trailers back in November 2010, they were a growing trend in independent book promotion. Now they’re pretty standard as part of a marketing strategy, as many indies and traditionally published authors have them.

That is, except me.

Last week, my writer-friends in the Long Island Writers Group were urging me to do a book trailer for Baby Grand.

Truth be told, I’ve been hesitant. Here’s why:

  1. A professionally done book trailer costs $$$$. Over the last few years, I’ve seen tons of book trailers, many of them not very good or effective. And I really think a bad book trailer reflects poorly (just like a film trailer would) on its book, which might be incredibly good. So if I were to do a book trailer, I’d want it to be professionally done. That means it’s going to cost me some $$$$, which leads me to…
  2. Are they worth the investment? I know that lots of books have book trailers, but I’m still not sure how effective they are in actually the selling the book. I can’t think of anyone who says, I’m thinking of reading Book ABC. Let me look for the book trailer first (and they have to find it!) and see what I think. Most people just hop on over to the book’s Amazon page and take a look at the book cover, synopsis and reviews. At least that’s what I do. I rarely look at a book trailer, even if there’s one right there on the Amazon book page or author page.

However, I do have to say that there have been book trailers I’ve stumbled upon that I found to be quite effective — meaning they made me not only want to read the book, but go and buy the book.

Here’s two of them:

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Book Trailers

A growing trend in independent book promotion is the “book trailer”: a video advertisement for a book, similar to a movie trailer. I’ve seen everything from “talking head” book trailers, where the author discusses his or her book, to animation, photo montages set to music and full-production trailers. If you’re marketing your novel, you may want to think about creating a book trailer. You don’t have to spend a lot of money — I’ve seen some very well done simple videos. Creativity goes a long way.

Here’s a terrific trailer for a book titled Meet the Annas that I stumbled upon on YouTube. Yes, it’s put out by a publisher, Coral Press, and not a cash-strapped author, but it’s rather simple. Just a few photos, music and narration. It’s effective — sets the tone for the novel, provides a review and makes the viewer curious to find out more. Just what a trailer should do. Be aware, though, of copyright issues. I’m assuming Coral Press has the right to use everything shown, but it’s important to remember you cannot use any materials that are not your own — music, photos, film — unless you are granted permission to do so. There are far too many people crossing legal lines on the internet either naively or just hoping not to get caught. The last thing a first-time writer wants is to be accused of lifting other people’s creative material.