Aliza Weinberger, Ava Sykes Novel - The Blood in the Beginning, Book Trailers, books, Catherine Ryan Howard, Cathy Yardley, Chuck Wendig, Harry Potter Book Trailer, marketing books, MonkeyMe Films, novels, publishers, semiotics, Shawn Wilder, Shirin Najafi, The Miriam Black Novels, visual versus textual
Book trailers are relatively new on the marketing scene. They’ve been around since 2006, and present an interesting dichotomy of semiotics: Using audio/visual to promote the textual. The jury is still out on whether it can work.
You may have seen my latest trailer for the New Ava Sykes Novel – The Blood in the Beginning. Do you feel a sense of the story watching it? Yes/No? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Why book trailers?
The variables are many, including the inescapable fact that information is now transmitted in speedy, cinematic and downloadable bites. It’s almost like going back to the picture book mentality, that stage of reading where we relied on the visual to trigger understanding of the textual. Only this is so much more controversial.
A trailer, in a way, violates a book’s very construction.
But on the other hand, for a reader who doesn’t have time to “spend leisurely afternoons in bookstores or reading extensive book reviews,’ as Najafi puts it, a two minute book trailer can give them a feel for the author and their newest release.
Or can it? Again, I’d love to hear your take on this.
Running on low budgets and using cheap stock footage and sound tracks can create a result that could do the novel a disservice. Going first class and spending thousands on the clip can result in a trailer that gives away too much story or worse, amps the reader for something the book is not going to deliver.
Cathy Yardley‘s crit on book trailers include:
- They don’t get a lot of views
- Low return on investment
- They can’t up your SEO
Hmmm. Not too inspiring, but there are some trailers that really rock it. I don’t know if they sell books, but as a medium on their own, they are rich in value. And it’s value that will encourage people to view and share. Catherine Ryan Howard puts it like this:
People aren’t using social media because they love being sold stuff. They’re using it … to find entertainment, information and connection.
If you want your book trailer to promo your book, or bring attention to a new series/author, it might pay to keep this in mind. Is it entertaining? Informative? Creating connections?
Book trailers that work for me:
I am fortunate to have Shawn Wilder at MonkeyMe Films as my beautiful Pisces sister AND a fan of Ava Sykes. She’s read multiple early copies and knows the story inside out. When it came time to play with trailer ideas, she had them, buy the truck load.
The combination of voice and text in the Miriam Black trailer is utterly engaging, but more like an audio book than a trailer, perhaps. What do you think?
With Harry Potter trailers, Scholatic’s budget probably wouldn’t have been an issue. And there were the films to pull from. It has a Disney feel. Probably why my inner child likes it so much.
There are many great book trailers out there, but in an article that pulls no punches: Aliza Weinberger explains why book trailers often make readers cringe:
Because most are terrible.
Is this true, do you think?
I’m not going to show any examples of trailers in that category, mainly because I have so much respect for authors who are out there writing books and promoting them in every way they can.
And, trailers, for better or worse, are art forms. What sparks me might get the brush from another, and vise versa. So . . . do no harm. 🙂 I won’t start a rotten tomato contest here, but if you think we can LEARN something from one that doesn’t work (for you) please feel free to link to it in the comments.
I also want to see what you do love, and of course, what you think of Ava Sykes.
So what’s it to be? Book trailer or non?
Share your thoughts. There are emerging writers and published authors out there that want to hear them!
Thanks, and happy dark moon.