Book trailers aren’t a new phenomenon, they’ve been around awhile and have taken on a few forms. One trend I see recently is the do-it-yourself book trailers or the independent author book trailer. It’s believed that any video about an author’s new book is another way to market and obviously a good thing. I don’t think this is the case. A poor video, or low quality book trailer is more detrimental to sales than having no book trailer at all. It cheapens your product. It’d be better to use the time promoting a book through more familiar channels.
This use of poor video applies to businesses across the board. If I’m looking for a lawyer, a plumber, a business to handle my PR, or anything really, and I come across a poorly lit, hard to hear, cheap looking video with strange font for graphics and a person who obviously has never been in front of a camera, I simply won’t trust my business or my time to them. It’s simple. If they don’t care enough to present themselves in the right way, they probably won’t value value me and my time. This may be unfair to say as they may not have the resources but then they shouldn’t go the video route.
Now, if book trailers are done properly, they can be an incredible boon to the author. There is very little that can compete with a well done video to wet the appetite of potential readers. It gives them the visuals, the mood, the information all in that special way that only video can achieve. Book trailers have been responsible for doubling and tripling sales and bringing a new author into the spotlight. Book trailers are done by most of the popular authors who have the resources to spend on marketing. Obviously, the most successful people see a benefit. It is proven to be a great marketing tool and will only continue to evolve.
So where does this put the small author, the new author and the independent author without publisher backing. Truthfully, it puts them in a tough spot. Video production is expensive, if it’s to be done right. Done right means a production company must:
1. Take the time to learn about the author.
2. Take the time to learn about the book be it non-fiction or fiction.
3. Pre-plan the best strategy/route to take when teasing the book.
4. Deciding on style such as a graphics only video, should it be interview based with the author, perhaps a dramatic scene as though it were a film.
5. Create the spot and review it to be sure all parties expectations have been met.
6. Keep it all within a reasonable budget.
The above is not easy to do but possible. We like to think a good book trailer can be done for a fair price and would love to talk to some authors willing to take a chance. The exciting thing about book trailers is the creative forum it allows everyone to play within. Authors are creative people, video companies like us here at FiveSix are full of creative people and coming together can make for a fun shoot.