A lot of people know me for the book trailer’s I’ve done in the past and still do. From young adult to adult books, I’ve been scripting, shooting and editing my own trailers for 5 years now.
And while book trailers are a great way to entice readers and get them interested in your book there are other ways to use this visual medium to get your book more eyeballs.
Book trailers are usually the second impression (the cover being the first, of course) and it introduces readers to your book in a quick, visual way where they can find out the mood of your book, the story of your book and the characters of your book in a short amount of time. They don’t have to go search for the synopsis, or spend time reading it (though they will eventually) but instead can and should be hooked by your two minute video right then. They can find out if your book is for them, scary or cute, paranormal or dystopian or contemporary, and if they want to read it.
That said, doing a poor trailer for your book could turn readers away. You don’t want them to think your book is something that it’s not: cheap, old, uninteresting. So here’s a few things to keep in mind as you put together your own trailer to avoid that.
1) If you use photos make sure that they are all horizontal. The video format is a horizontal format so throwing in photos that are not the same shape or size as the “screen” can distract readers. Once their attention is pulled out from your video it’s very hard to get them back.
2) Avoid too much text. OR text at all. Go for voice instead. In fact you can find affordable voice over talent on voice123.com. Have them even audition for your project! Anytime you make the reader/watcher work for it you risk losing their interest.
3) Edit your photos so they match. You don’t have to have fancy editing software like photoshop to do this. Try picasa or any other online editing. When using stock images usually the are never done by the same photographer. Take them into an editor and adjust their contrast or coloring so it matches more.
4) Music. Stray from bad music. Spend time looking for music that really fits your book’s mood and feel. Try looking through stockmusic.net for affordable options.
5) Keep it short and unique. Keep it engaging. Look for new angles to tell your story. Don’t use your jacketflap. The readers will eventually get to that, instead tell another side of your character’s story, something they win’t get from the jacket flap, or just a POV from any one of your characters (or locations).
6) Have fun. If you have fun making it, the reader will have fun watching it.
When you’re done with it what do you do? Well don’t just dump it on YouTube. First put it on your email’ signature. Then share it with the bloggers on your blog tour. Link to it literally wherever you can. “Hey! Look! I have a book trailer.”
But before that, if you want to do a special unveil think about what fun way you can use to get people to it. A game, and interview, a hunt, a giveaway? There’s no limit.
So there it is. How to use video in the form of book trailers to help promote your book. In a nutshell. Tomorrow, I talk about other ways to use video to promote your book.
Got questions? Shoot me an “ASK” or an email. Want some help with your own plans? Shoot me an email, too.
I was recently listening to a photographer, Jasmine Star, talk about her social media approach and I got to thinking.
Social media for authors and bloggers is so different than probably most any other industry and the reason is not because we like to talk, but really because we are such a tight community, small, too. And therefore we are on a lot and we talk a lot and we share a lot.
Now this post might be redundant to many but for those new debut authors or aspiring authors wondering how they can use social media or how to better navigate the waters you’re already treading.
More people are on FB. Meaning if you want to have a discussion or let people know of your upcoming book, FB is a great place to do it. Your readers (prob not bloggers) have 50-100 followers on Twitter. But on FB they have maybe 300 -500. And because of FB it trickles down if shared, liked, commented on, etc FB is great for conversations because all the comments are in one place and everyone can see them in the thread. Have a cool photo or video? Share it on FB if you want people to talk about it.
MY favorite for it’s fast paced stream of conciousness-esque feel. It’s a place to share things from that single moment in time. Just had a really great Tuscan pizza? Have an opinion about a movie or book? That’s where you should talk about it. Most people will see it and move on. Most won’t reply to you. But that’s OK. Even though there isn’t a “like” button doesn’t mean we don’t like it. We do.
Twitter is great for people who just like to talk and share things and see what others are talking about. We’re human and curious and even though we might not engage directly we like to see what others are doing. Even as mundane as what you had for lunch.
Twitter is the place to connect with people and find common ground and get to know them. Ask for opinions, throw out ideas, link to cool things, engage your readers.
Like I said above, people like to see the day to day things you’re doing. Instagram is Twitter but with photos. You won’t get people having a discussion with you on Instagram but they will ‘heart’ it, and maybe say how cool it is, or how they wish they were there. Think of Instagram as your photo diary. I use this medium for events: instead of tweeting a quote by the author, I instagram a quote with a photo.
Use Instagram as often as you like. There’s no such thing as too much instagramming as long as it’s interesting and not redundant. Your dog might be really adorable but there is a 1 photo a day limit on pets. After a while they all look the same. Instead, try Vine (see below).
Think of it as a behind the scenes look into your life. What happens? Who do you meet? What are you eating, drinking, cooking?
It’s new, and for now only on iPhones. It’s a like Instagram but with videos. They are short, I think about 6 seconds or so, but a great way to share things in motion. I saw a lot of cool videos from fashion week. I use it for a look into shoots and events and concerts. My friend Shane Pang uses it as mini comedic episodes and it’s genius. Vine is neat, short and to the point, and there’s no limit on what you can do.
A blog and Twitter and Instagram all wrapped into one. It’s where teens are now and they reblog everything and anything that they like. It’s a place for fandoms. So share your own fandom experiences and likes, share your gifs from last night’s New Girl episode or just write a blog-like post about your upcoming event or book.
It’s the place to connect over TV and movies and books unlike the other social media platforms.
Like that big cork board in your office where you pin everything you’re inspired by as you get ready to write your next book, Pinterest is much the same.
You set up boards of different themes and pin things in that vein. Have an inspiration board for your WIP, post pics or quotes (did you know you can post quotes?) It’s a look into what inspires you and what you’re interested in. Don’t want to share too much? You don’t have to, Pinterest is ambiguous as it is fun.
Bottom line is: it’s not supposed to be a chore. It’s one thing I talk to my clients about when coming up with marketing campaigns: Have fun. be interesting but most of all be engaging. No one likes being sold to or talked at.
Check out the smexy trailer for YA author, Marlene Perez’s debut adult urban fantasy series, Strange Fates.
Want to know more?
The first in a line of three exciting new urban fantasy novels blending elements of Greek myth and forbidden romance against the backdrop of Minnesota’s magical underworld.
Brooding, leather jacket-wearing Nyx Fortuna looks like a 20-something, and has for centuries now. As the son of the forgotten fourth Fate, Lady Fortuna, he has been hunted his entire life by the three Sisters of Fate that murdered his mother.
Fed up and out for revenge, Nyx comes to Minneapolis following a tip that his aunts have set up a business there. His goal to bring down his mother’s killers and retrieve the thread of fate that has trapped him in the body of a twenty year old unable to age or die.
But when a chance meeting with the mysterious, dangerous and very mortal Elizabeth Abernathy throws off his plans, he must reconcile his humanity and his immortality.
For more info on the author & her books: www.marleneperez.com
I’ve been working in the kidlit-sphere for almost 4 years now, and much like publishing, things have changed so fast and so much since I started in 2009.
I’ve also seen social media grow and explode where when in 2009 authors were recommended to at least have a website, now they are recommended to have just about everything. Since 2009 I’ve also learned a few things one which is that social media (though a tricksy little thing) if used in the right way can really help an author and their book. I’ve learned that, especially for my work, it’s a must.
Book trailers aren’t enough anymore. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have one! For teens who are so visual, and so reliant on media, it’s a must for an author. But it’s not enough in the sense that you can’t just make it and expect that it will do your book good. It has to be part of a larger campaign. It has to be integrated with marketing and social media and publicity of some sort.
It’s what I recently did with Jennifer Armentrout for her Daemon Invasion campaign where we organized street teams, in person events, teasers, and more with the release of the book trailer. The book trailers (both for Obsidian and Onyx) got over 7K hits in just a weekend, word of mouth spread on her book, and with the release of Onyx she hit the USA Today bestseller list. We were extremely lucky, Jen and I, to have a great team behind us and incredible fans to drive this campaign forward. Now, I’m not saying this will definitely happen again since it was specific to Jennifer and her book and fanbase, but it shows what a concentrated effort can do for a book. How social media can help.
So since the beginning of the year I had been thinking how things could and should change in relation to book trailers. And starting January, VLC Productions’s trailers will be in packages where the trailers will be paired up with online marketing.
So authors, you will now have more choices since I’ll be offering book trailers with marketing and author promotion efforts (even with a publicist) for any all of your needs. Think of me as your all-things-YA-author-concierge.
So what does that mean? All this will take place officially in January but if you think your book can use some of this extra attention, feel free to email me at vlcphotoproductions[at]gmail.com. And if you have any questions you can email me or drop me a question in my ask box above.
Either way, I am excited and look forward to these upcoming changes and the fabulous projects ahead!
VLC Productions is growing fast and with it I’ve added some great new team members!
One of which is my very own publicist, Shannon, to help me get your book seen more. She and I are busy coming up with awesomely fun schemes to get readers to interact more with your book.
Secondly, I’ve added a crazy talented motion animator, Jessi, to help me with picture book trailers, middle grade promos, and everything else she’d let me throw at her.
So, I’m super excited to be working with these ladies, and my awesome interns to bring your books to life in new and exciting ways! Don’t hesitate to email me and ask me any question you might have or if you’re thinking about this and want to know more information!
Get in touch with me at vlcphotoproductions[at]gmail.com!
Book trailer for @Kristi_Cook’s MIRAGE!
Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.
News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent…for if she can’t, two people she loves will meet a violent end.
In the midst of Violet’s fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life—and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and—worst of all—whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.
Check out the creeptastic book trailer for Kimberly Derting’s third Body Finder novel, LAST ECHO!
For more information, visit: http://kimberlyderting.com/
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/HvfCn5
Books A Million: http://bit.ly/HEDSPh
Check out the trailer for Caitlin Kittridge’s Nightmare Garden!
So go watch it, reblog it, share it and love it!