Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Book trailers - yes or no?

If I'm really looking forward to reading a book I know I'll like, I won't even read the blurb on the back for fear of seeing something that might spoil the story, so I rarely watch book trailers unless they're for friends' books and they send me the link and say, 'Watch this.'

I have made a couple of videos of me reading an excerpt from one of my books. There's one for Alison Wonderland here and one for The Miracle Inspector here. Though they don't quite recreate the atmosphere of a live reading, they give a good indication of what my writing style might be like for people who haven't read my books. You can hear my lovely British speaking voice, too, if you're curious about that. Actually, I look a bit miserable in both of them. Perhaps I ought to re-record them. But if I do that, I always think that first I should lose ten pounds. Blah blah. It doesn't help to get the writing done.

The print edition of The Miracle Inspector will be published on 4th September and the book will shortly be going out to reviewers. I have made a quick teaser video to showcase the cover and some of the reviews it has already received (it's already available as an ebook).

If you're unsure about the time commitment, it may help to know that it's only thirty-nine seconds long. What do you think? Do you watch book trailers? Do they encourage you to buy a book? Have you made one? Feel free to comment and leave me the link.


35 comments:

Vicki said...

I enjoy book trailers but don’t tend to search them out. Love the one for The Miracle Inspector. Do trailers influence my buying decision? Sometimes.

Back cover blurbs, however, I always read. And if it’s been some time since I bought a book, I’ll refer to the blurb again before reading the book. I’m the same with movies – can’t watch a movie unless I know what it’s about. :)

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, Vicki.

It's interesting that you'd refer to the blurb again before re-reading a book. Mind you, I do tend to forget what happened not long after I read a book, though I retain a strong impression of whether I liked it or not.

I think book trailers can be useful/colourful additions for blog posts reviewing or previewing books. I always expect to see the cover of a book in a blog post these days, too

Vicki said...

Sorry, I didn't explain my self very well. I rarely re-read a book -- too many other good books I haven't read. What I mean is that if I buy the book today, but don't get around to reading it straight away (which with hundreds on my reading pile is highly likely), I'll read the blurb again before starting the book. Hope that makes sense.

Helen Smith said...

Oh, I see! No, I put words into your mouth there. Makes sense. I thought you were carefully getting your thoughts in order before re-reading and I was quite impressed/unnerved.

I rarely re-read books, either. I used to read all my favourites at least five times when I was a child. But there are just too many out there that I want to read, so I rarely go back.

Kelly Hashway said...

Trailers are fun but they don't impact whether I read a book or not. I'm kind of convinced that only writers and bloggers watch the trailers. Still, I want one for each of my books. ;)

Helen Smith said...

Kelly

Yes, I think you're right - perhaps they're a way of authors to talk to bloggers rather than readers.

Me too, though - I'd love a really fancy book trailer for all my books, done by someone else. In a way, it's the same feeling that make me want to have a cariacture portrait done by a street artist - wondering how others see me/my books.

It's always fascinating if an editor writes the blurb for your book. I loved the one they did for Alison Wonderland, and the press release too. It was much better than anything I would have writte to describe the book.

Judi Coltman said...

I have a book trailer for my mystery/thriller. I made it on a whim so it probably looks like it! I find trailers interesting but don't usually seek them out. I use mine in rafflecopter raffles where they require the person who enters to do specific tasks (follow on FB, Twitter, watch Youtube trailer). Has it been a stellar marketing tool? I doubt it, but I like having it!

Here is the link if you like -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ArMOD7kYc

Helen Smith said...

I really liked the trailer, Judi. I thought it was impressive, especially as you'd made it yourself. I find doing things like that quite time-consuming but also quite satisfying creatively (regardless of the outcome, though yours was good). Sometimes it's nice to take a break from writing.

I thought your trailer was nice and short, which is good. You also listed where the book is available, and the price, both of which are useful.

Beth said...

I've seen some really cool book trailers, but unlike a movie trailer, even a good book trailer has never made me want to read the book. That decision is based more on the book blurb and reviews. But maybe that's just me.

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, Beth. I agree, though Iworry about some movie trailers because they seem to include all the best bits, leaving me worrying what's left for the remaining two hours of the film. But, yes, I have definitely decided to watch one based on a trailer.

I think maybe book trailers are preaching to the choir: a way of showing off a nice cover and concept to someone who has already expressed an interest in your book. In the end, it's the writing that will persuade you to buy the book. And, I agree, you find that by looking at the blurb and reviews.

Donna Fasano said...

I do watch book trailers, but rarely go looking for them. Give me a good back cover blurb and that's what will influence whether or not I buy a book. None of my novels have a trailer. I'm woefully behind the times.

S.L. Baum said...

I enjoy watching trailers and I've actually made one trailer - you can find it on my website http://slbaum.com (on the media page). I've updated the cover since the trailer was made and haven't updated the trailer yet.

I don't think the trailer has ever prompted anyone to buy the book. It was fun to make, another creative outlet for me. But I never seek them out so I can't really expect readers too either.

Helen Smith said...

I didn't have the right plug-in to play the video on your site. But I do remember the old cover for A Chance for Charity - I liked it. But the new covers are stunning. I like the way they evoke the seasons. You probably don't need a trailer as the covers, especially taken together, must really draw the reader in.

Bev said...

i must admit that until this post i had never heard or maybe paid attention to a book trailer. they are infact pretty cool. i read the book blurb. i think i must have internal trigger words that either make me purchase or put down the book.

hi i found you and your blog through she writes. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it. i am a beginning writer and look forward to reading your posts

http://www.blackinkpaperie.blogspot.com

thanks
new follower bevi

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, Bevi

I'll go and look at your blog.

Helen

brenda said...

I have not made one and haven't thought about it, to be honest. I've seen a few, some are good and others not so good. I'd don't know how much they impact sales, but if a writer is planning one - it should be eye catching, good, and rather amazing to attack the attention. My thought anyway.

Helen Smith said...

I think you're right, Brenda.

ANDREW CREVIER said...

I do think trailers can have a positive impact on sales and can help build interest. I would not be drawn to your trailer in the first few seconds, but the quotes that follow have me very interested. Current fans won't need to be won over in this way. They are already going to check out your work. I think that to reach new readers, the very beginning needs to have more impact. Some feel the trailer should be a condensed dramatization of the story, but I don't agree. The mash-up trailer I pieced together for Zombie Guts is rude and crude, many will be turned off by it, but they are not the target audience and trying to get them to read the story would likely generate negative reviews.
Zombie Guts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P_in0UOQmw

ANDREW CREVIER said...

You're trailer has generated +1 sale from me.

Helen Smith said...

Thanks for buying the book, Andrew!

I like your trailer. It's very clever.

I think you're right - for mine to be a proper trailer (as opposed to some stills stitched together on free video editing software when I ought to be writing) it has to have more impact, more movement and, if possible, some video footage. I have noticed that other people have a few phrases explaining the story.

Good luck with yours.

nwrann said...

According to the comments on the trailer for my YA Paranormal Thriller Dark MAtter Heart(http://youtu.be/L1jLuK8Ty8Y) I think I've made at least 1 sale. :) But it's really just another tool in the effort to be noticed.

Helen Smith said...

Your book trailer is fantastic! It's a proper short film with really good actors. I note that you're an independent filmmaker so you've put your skills to good use. I would think that the trailer will really appeal to the YA market the book's written for. Good luck with it.

Andrew Biss said...

Hi Helen,

My trailer for The End of the World has been viewed by almost 500 people, but I have no idea how many have actually purchased the book becuase of it. As someone else mentioned, I think they make a nice adjunct to your total marketing efforts, rather than any sort of end in itself. But I had a lot of fun making it and will make more when I find the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rECcib02NyQ

Helen Smith said...

I like yours, Andrew. You obviously have a talent for it - I like your book covers, too. I read your book because it sounded surreal and interesting, and really enjoyed it. I'm not sure that the trailer would have motivated me to buy it - but it might have made me look up the book on Amazon and download a sample or buy it based on the blurb and reviews, so I suppose all that matters is that readers have a way of finding our books.

Andrew Biss said...

Thanks so much, Helen. Yes, I think you're right - if trailers can intrigue or catch the imagination of someone enough to make them investigate further, then it's worth having one for that reason alone.

Peggy Williams said...

I always read the blurb on the back of the book or the inside cover before reading a book. It helps if I have some schema before starting the story. I enjoy books trailers if they are done well. I tend not to like live action or speaking in them. Since it's for a book, written words in the trailer work for me.

My sister and I created a trailer for my mystery novel, On the Road to Death's Door. The novel is selling quite well, though it's hard to know if the trailer helps or not. Here it is in case anyone is interested:

http://youtu.be/kcr6MZrb9FY

Thanks for creating this particular forum for sharing!

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, Peggy. I like your trailer. It must have taken quite a bit of work. The book sounds like fun - I like mysteries. Good luck with it. Thanks for sharing your video.

J. Anne said...

I LOVE book trailers - or at least I love to look at them. I almost always click the trailer on a book, and if I'm already interested in a book - then I will for sure watch the trailer. It might not make a sale, but it could break one if it's poorly done.

With that said - I absolutely had to have trailers for my books.

You can see them here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz0PWDGoTJY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_LYS0N1OAY

Helen Smith said...

Wow, those are amazing, J. Anne! They're really exciting and defnitely entice the reader to try the book.

Another thing that's great about them is that they make you feel the books would make an excellent TV series along the lines of Dark Angel (which I love).

Helen Smith said...

I just had a look at your website, too, Julie: http://www.iamjustjunco.com/ It's really impressive - it looks like it will take quite a bit of work to sustain but it will be worth it if you can draw people into the story and provide them with some extra material and/or enhance their experience as readers.

I like the photos of Colorado. I would have liked to see some of the donkeys :)

R.Y. Swint said...

I really enjoyed your trailer. I liked how you made it a short teaser. I certainly agree with those who said that trailers are another tool that we use to help us get noticed. I'm not sure if trailer would make/break my decision to buy, though.
I created on a couple of years ago, that is more of an intro than a trailer, but it's gotten some good responses. Maybe I'm on the right track. :)

http://youtu.be/5rOgrlzTpz4

Hope it works. :)

R.Y. Swint said...

*one

Helen Smith said...

R Y - yours is really interesting because it's such a different approach: talking direct to the camera about the book. I'm glad you're getting a good reaction. It's a useful way of 'meeting' and talking to readers when you can't talk to them in person. Thanks for the link.

angel011 said...

I rarely watch book trailers, unless someone points me to one and tells me it's worth watching. A book trailer will neither convince me to read the book, nor to give up on it. I don't know if they really bring audience or not, but I intend to make some, simply because it's a creative thing to do and something I've never done before.

Helen Smith said...

Sounds great. Please come back and post a link after you've done it. I'd like to see what you come up with.