Book Trailer: An Effective Promotional and Marketing Tool
Book trailers are more than images set to music, nor do they just a recap of the book synopsis. In fact, they are an effect promotional tool that will create interest by going beyond the synopsis to the "heart of the book. Although, book trailers are considered promotional material, they are in reality an advertisement. The difference lies in the length and basic format.
Most book trailers are much longer than most conventional ads, running 1-5 minutes long, while currently most broadcast ad are 30 seconds. It would be too costly to run longer ads in prime time on the local or national level. Even well know writers such as Stephen King, only run 15 second national ads. They are quick in-out ad, which do little more than announce a new book However, book trailers are designed for the internet, where the venues are either free or low cost. Length is not a consideration; therefore, they can be more detailed both in content and style. The quality both in the writing and production can make the trailer an asset or a major liability. Being clever and unique can create a buzz about the trailer, which will in turn increase sales. However, if the trailer is merely random images set to music, it will make the author look amateurish.
The message has to do more than recap the synopsis. It has to be in itself a creative work that creates layers of interest. Whether as text or a voiceover, the message needs to tantalize the readers into buying the book. In the case of fiction, the trailer is a vignette with a beginning and middle, but the end is left hanging as a question. Its purpose is to introduce the lead characters and plot, while building up the conflict of the story, so that the readers will want to answer the question--what happens next? In non-fiction, most books have more of a targeted audience. The text will want not only to provide the author’s credentials, but also put forth her or his thesis, while hinting why it is different from ever other expert in the field. Both formats will want to provide reviews, ordering information, and run credits back to any person or site that provided resources for the trailer.
Multi-sensory devices such as videos, still pictures and voiceovers, all coordinated with music as the video trailer create layers of information that combine into a single effective ad. The video transitions and effects have to be appropriate for the message and match the audio portion of the piece. Both can create a sense of movement in still photographs, making them look more movie like. The availability of digit cameras makes adding live action shots easy and inexpensive. In addition, there are sites on the net that inexpensively offer video clips. There are also sites that music can be download for free, if they are given credit and a link back. The music needs to create a sense of the book beyond the words. It can add drama, intensity or humor depending the style of the music. It is just one more way to enhance the feel and add depth to the trailer.
By coordinating the whole package to roll out in a logical, concise format, the trailer becomes a thought provoking, interest creating marketing tool. However, if written and produced well, it doesn’t have to be elaborate or highly technical; sometimes the simple direct approach is the most effective, if done professionally and with creative thought.
I have produced the following trailers not no only for my books, but for others authors as well. I am available for hire by emailing: Tirgana (at) yahoo (dot) com. Here are some examples of my work.
West Across the Board
Behold Your Mother
Nict For Ure Selfe (Not For Ourselves)
Ammie Wants to be on Oprah
St. John of Midfield
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