Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend Chat: 3 Reasons Why Book Trailers Don't Work



Every week I receive and search for great book trailers to promote on Christian Fiction Blog. In the beginning I was excited about what I found. It was a new concept, so I was game. However, after a few months of posting book trailers and reading others I've come to a conclusion. Book Trailers Don't Work and here's why:

1. Most Book Trailers aren't viral.
Let's be honest. When was the last time you embedded a book trailer video onto your blog or passed the video to your email friends or Twitter buddies? Probably never. Unless you have a dear author friend with a trailer who you want to help out the answer is probably not one time. Until these trailers can spark many watchers to want to share it with their warm market, then it is a waste.

How do you make a book trailer viral? In my opinion

2. Book Trailers are too long.
First thing is shorten the trailers. They are too long. Anything over a minute online is too long. This post is too long until I cut out the fluff. Keep the trailer short and simple.

What must you include in a short book trailer?

3. Book Trailers aren't commercials.

If you notice a movie trailer, the better ones are shorter , to the point and mysterious. But most importantly, they tell you when the movie drops, title and buzzworthy actors, directors and producers.

In short, I am a fan of a book commercial. A short and sweet video shot of your book. The hook should be its focus. Just like most commercials. If it's short and crisp and marketed effectively these videos would get the word of mouth/email bounce around and chatter it deserves.

Above is the best book commercial I have seen. The music matches the theme. The video is under 30 seconds. Long enough to etch an idea about the book, and catchy enough to share. How has your book trailer submitting experience been?

5 comments:

Nora St. Laurent said...

Funny you should be talking about this subject. I ran a survey with my three book clubs for an organization. They gave me a list of book trailers and I shared them with my ladies.

Only a handful of people actually went to the book trailer. The other half didn't even bother. Another segment said they couldn't get them to work. I was in that crowd.

The majority thought that if they wanted to check out a book they would go to the book store and read a bit of the book.

thanks for bringing this topic up.

Nora

Ty said...

These are some good points! I've noticed the same things. I usually will only post a book trailer if it's exceptionally well done.

Michelle Sutton said...

I saw Ty's post about your post. (Talk about viral, tee hee). Anyway, I read it and then watched the video and maybe I'm stupid but it looked like a brief commercial for a library, but I didn't get the story being orally given and what the point was. Care to enlighten me? :)

Dee S. said...

Thanks, Nora

I've seen many trailers. If I didn't have this blog or did what I do, I know I wouldn't be watching book trailers to decide what book I want to read.

However, I do think the book commercial is helpful. I do watch the James Patterson commercials on tv. Haven't been motivated to by, but I watch.

So I feel you.

Ty, would love to know your favorite book trailer picks.

Michelle, correct this is a book trailer promoting a public library. I like it, because it is short. It shows books and the music fits the tone of the story. I have seen some book trailers I like, but that book commercial has been successful for that library. It has been passed around, which is what a book trailer's goal is supposed to be. In lieu of passing on book reviews, readers could email their reader fam and friends and say hey check out this book. But the trailers that you see aren't making this happen.

Read a nice blog post about you and your books on Claudia's blog. Congratulations, girl!

REC said...

Book trailers work. Perhaps not for you.
Trailers go viral all the time. I'm not sure what trailers you're looking at, but I do analytics and metrics for the performance and effectiveness of book trailers on a daily basis. It's my job.
Every week millions of people see book trailers and are inspired to buy, or at least inspired to watch.
Traditional readers are not the target audience of a book trailer. A book commercial, however, is more likely to be what a traditional reader will watch if they watch a video at all.
The difference?
Commercials inform.
Trailers entertain.
Traditional readers have already established a process of selection for books they will read. If they watch a video they just want the facts. They will determine purchase in other ways. They'll consider adding a book to their process of selection if the facts in the commercial interest them.

Book Trailers entertain. They encourage reading of a book to occasional readers, young readers and people who may not normally pick up a book, but would consider it if it seemed to have some entertainment value to them.

Book trailers are more of a branding tool, though sales have been noted to go up during the time a trailer comes out. Booksellers, clubs and specialty (genre-based) sites use them and have fun with them. Schools now use them as teaching tools with some fantastic outcomes!

Transit TV started using trailers when they noticed that their customers read on the bus. Each trailer that plays on Transit TV (transit buses in 5 major cities have flatscreen tvs) is seen by 10 million riders. A captive audience no less!

Reader's Entertainment TV is getting ready to change their website and add Christian/Inspirational books and Children's books in 2009. There is a transition from mature themed books to a more family friendly feel that will happen over the next few months. I hope to see it inspire reading and give people a place to go and have fun watching books.

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