Wednesday, May 10, 2017

So You Want To Be In Pictures...

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the chances are you’ve seen one book trailer at the very least in the past year. If you are an author, you may have tried your hand at creating one, or if your talents don’t tend to gravitate in that direction, then you may have paid someone to turn your book into a video trailer. So today, I thought I'd talk about book trailers.  

What is a book trailer and why should I care?

According to a previous article on the subject by bestselling, author Allison Brennan, book trailers are the hottest new thing in promotional tools for writers.

Book trailers are a short visual commercial that gives the viewer and idea what a particular book is about, including the tone of the book as well as its genre and main characters.

It doesn’t matter who you are:  

Most authors will tell you, finding a surefire promotional tool that works 100% of the time is like finding the goose that laid the golden egg.  It just doesn’t happen, folks.  In fact, for the most part, promotion can be a game of trial an error.  

As an author myself, I created my own book trailer for several of my books. Here’s the latest for Deadly Memories, my June Love Inspired Books, and one of my older ones for Forgotten Past, my first Love Inspired Book.




I’ll let you be the judge on which is the best.

Authors such as Barbara Freethy, Brenda Novak, Sylvia Day have turned their bestsellers into videos. Marketing expert and author M.J. Rose has been using book videos to promote her books since 2001 because, “The impact of imagery is greater than the impact of words.”

 But does it work?

Sheila Clover English is a firm believer that Book Trailers are the wave of the future. Do book videos sell books? “According to booksellers and authors, they do,” Clover English says enthusiastically. “One major bookseller called us to say that airing one of our videos increased their on-line traffic 50 percent. Independent booksellers are even dedicating on-line pages to books that have book trailers. You can watch before you buy. Borders Group, Inc. has featured some of the trailers both on their site and in their on-line newsletters.

Christine Feehan’s Web traffic has increased 700 percent since she started showing the videos on her site.”

“Several booksellers have told me they enjoyed them,” JoAnn Ross (No Safe Place) said. “Did that make them order more books? Again, who knows? I can foresee the day when chain bookstores will run book videos in their stores, the way Blockbuster runs movie trailers. If I were an independent bookseller, I’d have a computer monitor set up on my checkout counter, running all the book videos I could find today. What better way to get customers talking to you about what kind of books they like to read? Which, of course, opens up the opportunity to hand-sell more books! And isn’t that what we all want?”
So, recently, I decided to put on my investigative garb and conduct a little survey on the subject. I did a flash poll where I asked both readers and writers alike to comment on these two questions:


Are book trailers an important factor in you purchasing of a particular book or do they matter at all to you.


And the results?


Well, they are as wide and varied as most things are in the publishing world.


Of those who responded to my poll, I learned that most would watch a video if it is easy to access and if they had the correct connection (if you are trying to view a video with dial up it can be very frustrating).


But did it make a difference in whether or not a possible reader would buy the book? From the responses I received, I would have to say, no. 


So what have I learned from all this?


For me, I’ve learned that book trailers are useful, and yes, there is a target audience for them, but I wouldn’t put all of my promotional money or efforts into that single basket.


The most successful form of promotion for any writer starts first when an author sits down to write their book. Write the best book you possibly can, write what’s in your heart and the chances are you will find your target audience.



All the best…


Mary Alford

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