Please note a change has made 06/19/2012: PitchYourWork.com requires that an author must submit their own work to the website.
They are called book trailers and rapidly growing in importance to marketing a book. What is a book trailer? My book trailer for, “Be Still,” is in the Daily Motion link to the right of this screen for your viewing pleasure. A book trailer is a commercial for your book much like watching previews at a movie theater or on television.
Have you ever heard the expression Don’t judge a book by its cover? Well why not? I look at a cover and if it grabs my attention then I read the jacket and form a decision from there. But what if a reader isn’t standing in front of a book at a bookstore? What if he or she is on the internet? Sure there are book reviews to be read, but some are very diverse and there are usually several at opposite ends of the review spectrum.
Have you ever sat for a movie and seen a movie trailer and thought, that looks exciting, or, that looks stupid? Same with a book trailer except this is obviously for a book.
What a book trailer does is give a reader a visual glance at what your book is about. It is like taking your blurb or pitch and putting it on screen. It can be fast paced, slow paced, dramatic, humorous, filled with video streams or still photos, or be as simple as a picture of the book with a voice over. In creating a book trailer the sky is the limit, but so is the cost. Some people pay up to $15,000 to hire professional actors, use sets, and film on location, which is all fine and good if you can afford that, but I’ve seen James Patterson commercials where he stands there holding his book only and that is just as effective. It all depends on what you as the writer desire to show the world.
Can a writer double as video producer of a book trailer? Why not! As writers we tend to see our story as a movie playing out before us, right? Why not put that on video and let the world see what you see? This effective tool gives readers the chance to jump into your story, and if done correctly, and geared toward their genre, hopefully lead them to purchase your book or spread the word. One writer was asked how she would do her book trailer, something she had never heard of before, so she researched book trailers and from spending the day watching them, purchased four books she was very interested in then went off to create her own.
With Windows Movie Maker (WMM) you can easily create your own book trailer. Search royalty-free-videos and purchase to your hearts content (make sure you give credit in your review section and remember the infringement laws), search royalty-free-music and find something there (also give credit), drag and drop to WMM and play. There are more expensive movie making programs, I enjoy Sony Vegas but my trailer to the right was done on WMM to start. I have received rave reviews and people asking which program it was done on. I hear gasps when I say WMM. The program doesn’t have to be snazzy, its your vision that has to catch their attention.
Go to YouTube and search, “book trailers,” see how many pop up, then sit and watch a few. My personal belief is that anything running 6o – 90 seconds is best, and anything over 2 minutes is too long. This is a very effective tool for product placement to all you authors. And, it keeps a running tab of how many people have watched the video, so you know how many people have been exposed to your story, your name, and your book cover.
Where are book trailers placed? YouTube, Daily Motion, Metacafe, your personal website, book website, Facebook, Twitter, press releases and more. Get your exposure out there. If you are self published I would not suggest paying thousands of dollars because the trailer is given to you and you place it on YouTube. It is your responsibility to publicize it, so as an unknown you may get a hit a day or a thousand a day, but don’t break the bank unless you can afford it. This is product placement not guaranteed sales. It is a weapon in your marketing arsenal not the atomic bomb of publicity.
Research!!! If you need help in creating a book trailer please contact me at booktrailer@tanialramos. I can give you tips or suggestions or help you create a low cost book trailer. Period themed books are a bit more difficult, but don’t hesitate to find out what we can do. For trailers with paid actors, exclusive locations, and wild effects seek a reputable company and look at book trailers they have created. But if you are on a budget, for under $200, I can create a simple book trailer, BUT, I can also create ones like mine for about $500.
What I offer: I will place it on YouTube, Facebook company page, as well as one standard press release through PRlog all standard and inlcuded in the price. And for $100 extra, Twitter exposure for one week, Daily Motion, Metacafe, and two days press release on PRlog on top of the standard package. The video is yours and you have the right to market however you see fit beyond our services (according to the standard contract). This fee can change at anytime but not while you are under contract. Once a contract is made the fees can not change on you without acquiring a new contract.
See the book trailer for, “Be Still,” now available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkQ5DJdQ7HU8&v=kQ5DJdQ7HU8&gl=US