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Archive for October 26th, 2012

Is it time to make a book trailer? Marcie reviews a few of them

We’re very proud to announce that we’ve recently begun working with new author, Jennifer Laurent, to help schedule and implement the Nov. 27 launch of her book on conscious parenting, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. Jenn’s fortunate, in that she’s been able to put together a stellar team that includes publicist Nikki  Pesusich of Coterie Media, a wonderful VA (virtual assistant) named Cassidy Gard, a professional videographer, in addition to her book designer, web designer, printer, and of course, us here at Write | Market | Design. We’ve talked about the importance of a team in the past. Trying to do it all yourself is a recipe for disaster. Surround yourself with the best team you can – chances are you can come up with creative ways to keep the costs down!

As Jenn and her video guy are jotting down ideas for her book trailer, I’ve been busy pulling together some samples for them to look at. Here are links to 10 trailers that seem to cover a variety of book topics, as well as elements of the trailers themselves.

Now, I’m not a professional book trailer evaluator – but I have included comments about each one, indicating the specific components I believe make it work, as well as the things I would do differently.

http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-best-book-trailer-ive-seen-in-years/

This one comes with testimonial. After viewing all of the rest on this list, I’m not sure this is the best book trailer I’ve seen in years. For one thing, the author speaks WAY too quickly – and the thing runs long. I’d say under a minute is a good goal. And for crying out loud, write a SCRIPT for it. Still, the author’s personal story described by the blogger is definitely an asset in this trailer.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyO2k-jApng&feature=youtu.be

This is radically different from Jenn’s book – but incorporates some clever concepts. I like the opening that borrows from a movie preview. Also like the male narrator and the occasional pop-ups with numbers and stats.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar1QYy1Y8Z8

This is a professional trailer from HarperTeen – but it’s proof that even the pros have room to improve. I like the female voiceover – and the fact that she’s reading the text to reinforce it. Sooooo many book trailers I looked at use text and music only – no voiceover. Those are LOST OPPORTUNITIES, as far as I am concerned, to imprint the message with voice, rather than relying on the viewer to read it quickly and correctly and digest it all at once. However, the male voiceover detracts, as the guy sounds so uninspired and bored, I’m wondering how they released the trailer with this guy in it.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaeNWL8rlBI

Again, this one has a clean, strong female voiceover. It’s a  thriller, so the trailer’s got that mysterious feel to it. Not for every book, but creatively done.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6sTyNlJzK8

This trailer does a really nice job of incorporating the book cover into the video – although just once, and fairly briefly. The author also appears in a very nice sequence against a black backdrop. However, she goes too long and tries to do too much with a single video, describing the second book in the series that she’s currently writing. In my humble opinion, that should be reserved for a separate video.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIpRi-lkQt4

Closest thematically to Jenn’s book, this is a clever trailer for a book by a different Julia Roberts. However, they again lose the opportunity to imprint the message by failing to incorporate a voiceover to accompany the words on the slides.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIZ7SbK9ntg

This one has all of the elements I would look for in a trailer, and yet it’s less than inspiring. It’s got footage of the author giving a presentation, a professional female voiceover artist, and the book cover in several places. Perhaps it’s the “broken brain” concept they stress again and again that I find challenging. Overall, it feels more like an infomercial than a book trailer. One thing to be aware of is distilling a complicated theme or subject to just a few crisp, clear sentences.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBgQCz6dI_8

While this trailer use the author to great effect, also incorporating nice imagery to illustrate the points she’s making, it runs way too long, at just about 3 minutes. It appears unscripted – again, a script would really help keep it short!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzXyVfTpu0Y

This trailer takes a Monty Python approach that is rather clever, but it’s crazyLONG at 4 minutes. It also uses images of the people in the book to really nice effect, and has the author as narrator.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLiv99Xpr2o

By far my favorite of the 50 or 60 trailers I combed through last night, this one doesn’t use a voiceover narration and gets away with it because the music works so well. However, it  wouldn’t have ruined the trailer to have a narrator reading the names of each chapter as they flashed across the screen. It’s a little long, but it’s so well done that you don’t notice the length. Of all the trailers I saw, this left me most inclined to further explore the book.

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A FEW FINAL REMINDERS

Every trailer incorporates the book cover – some to better effect than others. Be sure also to include the date the book will be available, as well as a link to your site. In Jenn’s case, I advised her to make TWO trailers. The first will have her specific launch date and a link to the page on her site that describes the bonuses she’s offering to people who buy her book. The second will be more generic, with the timeless note, Available November 2012, and a link to the home page of her site.

Be sure to leave your link on the screen a while, so people will have time to write it down or type it in. Avoid all caps in most places – particularly if you’re using text slides for thinks like advance praise quotes in your trailer.

More than anything, capture the essence and feel of your book – and share the things about it that would entice someone to visit your site to learn more!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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