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Bubble Arrow Help for authors timid about technology

Author Book Trailer Face Off

Book trailers are swiftly becoming an essential part of the publishing process.

Authors on a budget have tried creating book trailers on their own. Unfortunately, many of them don’t know where to begin. We’ve all seen cheesy trailers full of clip art, warbling voice overs, and bad animation. They make us snicker, cringe, and vow never to buy the final product.

The quality is going up as authors are becoming tech-savvy. Yet, the process can be disheartening for writers who want to jump on the book trailer bandwagon without being pushed off the shelf by their fans.

Authors who don’t want to create cheesy videos go to the ultimate low-budget level. They star in the video themselves. The results can be hilarious or disastrous. Here are two examples.

Don’t Complain

Score: 2

Could you relate to Jonathan Frazen? He expresses his discomfort with the fact that he has to create a book trailer. He thinks that the world of reading is the much needed quiet alternative to the busy world. He has a view that many authors share. But book trailers aren’t the place to express your manifesto. It’s where you promote your work.

Frazen isn’t comfortable. At all. As a result, the viewer isn’t comfortable either.

Authors, you set the tone for the viewer. Try these tips for your next book trailer -

  • Practice being in front of the camera. The first take will be horrible. So will the third. Just keep practicing.
  • Don’t drone in a monotone. Use voice inflections, as if you were in an actual conversation.
  • Bring a high energy level with you. You should be closer to Tigger than Eeyore.
  • Smile. Don’t glare at the camera. Be inviting.
  • Do something to make you relax. Some people dance, other people tell jokes. Find what works for you.

What were some of the things you liked or disliked about this video? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Use Humor

Score: 6

This husband and wife team obsess over their Amazon Ranking. But by focusing on Amazon, they aren’t seeing the bigger picture.  Authors, don’t bow down to Amazon! Mentioning low sales number is a terrible marketing technique. It’s like screaming, “Hey, nobody likes me!” You should focus on how popular you are.

The authors do make it funny. Instead of lamenting, they make a joke of themselves. Humor is a great element that you should try to include in your video.

Another thing they do right is mention the titles multiple times. That’s a trick that authors should keep in mind while giving radio interviews. But they never hint at what the books are about. That’s a problem. Tease your readers. Give them just enough to make them want to purchase

Here are some of the other positive elements in their video -

  • Multiple shots. Viewers are used to shots changing every 4 -5 seconds. Anything much longer than that starts to feel uncomfortable.
  • Acted out a story. Authors know that in their writing, they need to show, not tell. The same goes for videos.
  • Used B-Reel. B-Reel clips are the “action shots” that are interspersed. They help propel the story.

 

Neither one of these are blockbusters. They aren’t high budget. They are just authors trying to sell their books. What do you think about book trailers? Which ones have you watched? Which ones would you watch again? Let me know by leaving it in the comment section.

If you still need book marketing help, contact Author Media for a free consultation.

 

 

 

About Caitlin Muir

Caitlin Muir knows the power of social media first hand. She's on the editorial team of The Social Media Club, which connects media makers from around the world to promote media literacy, industry standards, and ethical behavior. She blogs about faith, love, and social media at CaitlinMuir.com.

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6 Responses to Author Book Trailer Face Off

  1. My exposure to book trailers has consisted mainly of Ted Dekker’s trailers; his are engaging and dynamic. Each one is different, but they all make you want to read his work.

    • Caitlin Muir #

      I’m a fan of Dekker’s work. He has great practices.

  2. Josie #

    Check out the trailer for Agent 6.

    • Caitlin Muir #

      That’s a really good book trailer. Which production company produced it?

  3. Thanks for these examples, they definitely giving me another way to think about book trailers. I’ve been working on story-boarding my first one and the process is definitely a bit intimidating. It makes me glad for those two film and video classes I took in college though!

    • Caitlin Muir #

      That background will help you quite a bit. Just think of it as a film short that doesn’t resolve. Let us know when your first one is done!

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