Okay, so let’s just get this out right off the bat. I LOVE TRAILERS. Love them. Love. Not sure if it’s the unexplored filmmaker in me or what. I just can’t get enough of them. BUT! The question is: To trailer or not to trailer?
Alright, so, what’s the answer. I only wish it were that simple. In my opinion, trailers don’t sell books. They just don’t but if you looked at it from a purely sales point of view, than this post would stop right here because it would be pointless to continue. But let’s explore what trailers can offer.
An author is more than their work. I know that sounds ludicrous but their words are only ninety-five percent of who they really are. That trailing five percent can be distributed throughout their social networks, blogs, images and all around persona. We have to think of ourselves as a product…meaning, we have to market ourselves as if we were tangible. From tag lines, to personality, to websites, to…trailers, the idea of who we are as authors are represented by not only personal appearances but also our online presence.
Which brings me to my next point. As an author, I feel trailers are extremely important for my readers’ all around reading experience. Nowadays, kids need digital interaction. It’s why all my books have playlists, why all my books have trailers, and why you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads with a click of a button. They eat the stuff up. (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I do as well.) Reading isn’t just about the words anymore for the youth, it’s about the experience.
From a marketing aspect, trailers are like little digital promos that help lift your books to the next level. People are going to remember you better when you add a killer cover, killer online persona, and killer trailer to your killer book. It’s a volatile mix and sets you apart from your competitors.
Right now, my current trailer for my recently released book, Callum & Harper, is in production. It’s a huge production, actually. More than I think is necessary but I know some people who know some people, etc. and it just happened to work out in my favor. I’ll post a link to my director’s stuff in a moment to let you in on the sheer talent behind this thing but what I really want to point out is that huge productions are totally and utterly unnecessary.
In fact, I think simplicity is best. Not everyone knows directors of award winning short films and not everyone has an eye for video production (Save for Abbi Glines. Tee hee.) Actually, I think it’s pretty rare to see a well done author trailer. I can’t lie. I’ve seen some pretty bad trailers…even by huge name authors. That’s why, when authors don’t have a lot of money for a trailer budget, they should spend it on just two things. Professional music and videos from stock sites. My trailer for The Understorey above cost me approximately fifty bucks but I own the rights to use the video and song and I will never be sought after for copyright infringement. (Piracy sucks, people. Sucks. Authors know a bit about this.) Plus, the songs and the videos are PROFESSIONALLY DONE.
There’s no reason to whip out the video camera and shakily record the neighbor boy and neighbor girl as they walk down the street holding hands. Unless you have a great camera, don’t bother because it’ll just look like you made it at home…and ya’ did! Plus, it’s more work! We don’t make money off our trailers so we might as well make it easy on ourselves, right? Right.
So! To trailer or not to trailer? My answer is: Trailer! With a few stipulations.
p.s. Here’s one of the amazing videos my director did recently.
The rest of my Indie cast are all awaiting your beautiful eyes. So go…
The Amazing Dani Snell
The Incredible Patti Larsen
The Talented Courtney Cole
The Witty Wren Emerson
The Accomplished Nicole Williams
The Clever Laura Elliott
The Skillful Amy Jones
The Staggering P.J. Hoover
The Brilliant Alicia McCalla
The Resplendent Heather Cashman
The Lustrous Abbi Glines
The Polished Cheri Schmidt
The Inventive Cidney Swanson
The Radiant Rachel Coles
The Gifted T.R. Graves
The Phenomenal Cyndi Tefft
The Lovely Lexus Luke
The Sassy Suzy Turner
The Exceptional Gwenn Wright
The Stupendous Kimberly Kinrade
The Quick J.L. Bryan
The Saucy Darby Karchut
The Magnificent M. Leighton
The Impressive Madeline Smoot