You’ve seen the enticements on TV when a slew of new movies are soon to be released. The ominous TV voice, spewing forth enticements for you to venture out and watch the next blockbuster film– beckoning you like a siren’s song –triggering the overwhelming desire to relinquish hard earned cash for 2 hours of visual and auditory entertainment.
The Book Trailer
YouTube is an excellent online arena for just such announcements. But they are not limited to movies. In fact, book trailers are becoming quite popular and turning people into published authors. These visual and auditory enticements are designed to create interest in an upcoming novel and encourage people to buy the book they promote. However, unlike the abundance of visual images easily captured from a film, the author or experienced videographer must convert written words into an enticing collage of visual images.
Good Example of a compelling book trailer:
Great voice narration by Neil Gaiman,
excellent book excerpt, and unified graphics.
Visual and Auditory Complements
The trick, as with any form of advertising, is to create the ideal combination of visual and auditory elements that convey the meaning of the novel without revealing too much of the plot. While I have heard you should avoid defining a characters’ looks as readers’ prefer to visualize them when reading the book, this argument has exceptions. After reading Harry Potter, and then seeing the movie, it did not prevent me from remaining novels in the series, despite knowing what Harry, Ron, and Hermione “looked” like.
So how can one produce and promote an book through YouTube?
Choose an event in your novel that will stimulate people into wanting to purchase your book.
Before you put pencil to storyboard, decide on what scene in the book you want to communicate without revealing too much of the plot or story.
To better understand the length and quality you should strive for, view several book trailers on YouTube. Watching other trailers will provide ideas on what you should and should not do. The average book trailer runs from one to three minutes and can include the author reading a passage to an elaborate mini-movie.
Children’s Book Trailer:
“Two Ghostly Tails” by Sumi Fyhrie
This trailer did not use voice narration,
but has fun sound effects and wonderful music to build the suspense of the book.
Bright, colorful and sharp, engaging illustrations. A little more than :90, but perfect for children. Length: 1:45
Children’s book Trailer:
“Wherever You Go”
Book Trailer by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Perfect example of use of time, illustrations. Engaging, delightful. Excellent. Length: 1:23
Children’s Book Trailer:
No voice narration, excellent illustrations and graphics; annoying music, too long.
Music annoying after 1 minute; needed narration as there was too much copy to read; too long for a book trailer. Length: 3:17
BOOK TRAILERS | VIDEO
Aimée Marie Bejarano | Facebook
Aimée Marie Bejarano is a Christian Author of inspirational, historical fiction, paranormal, science fiction, horror and urban fantasy novels. She’s a country girl living in the great state of Texas.
All elements of the video must work together as one cohesive unit.
Avoid mixing different artistic styles and mediums. Jumping from a child’s crayon drawing to an Etcher illustration or real photograph will only produce an amateurish product. And, although most people do not like the sound of their voice, your readers would. It personalizes the composition, and the audience feels a personal connection with the author. However, if you are still uncomfortable, then you can always hire someone to read the excerpt.
“FOUND” Book Trailer:
This trailer did not need voice narration,
excellent use of photos and text – a little amateurish, but caught my attention.
I found the music perfect for this trailer, and though it did not include
narration – it was easy to follow the storyline. Length: 0:59
I watched several book trailers and found a few compelling enough to consider purchasing the book. But many others had confusing design elements and extremely annoying music. One book trailer introduced a mother and child, showing a blond woman and child in one scene, and then a dark-haired youth in the next – supposedly the same child. The entire trailer was as exciting as viewing photos of a neighbor’s vacation to the largest ball of twine amusement park.
A book trailer can be an effective and low-cost way to promote your book.
To avoid amateurish results take your time in creating the video. And if in doubt, hire a professional or ask for help. You put a lot of hard work into the creation of your book, don’t wrap it in day-old newsprint.
If you have created a book trailer and would like our critique, please drop us a line. We’d love to highlight your work!