We all know the effect that a well-done movie trailer can have on moviegoers. From the nerve-wracking ones that make your heart pound in that 30 second time frame to the ones that make you want to wet your pants because it looks sensual or it looks funny. The effect is noticeable as you can hear murmurs of “I’ve got to see that movie” or “wow that looks so good.”
A good trailer is key. They’ve got minutes or even seconds to entice you with carefully chosen snips that are in the perfect order to the perfect music and perfect words. They’ve got to show off their materials to woo you and make sure you’ll be in those same seats on the opening day.
But what about for books?
Book trailers are similar to movie trailers that are designed to generate interest in a particular book. It seems a lot of our dear authors are now using it to spice up their book promotions because let’s admit it, marketing is a dubious endeavor.
Evidently someone thought that book trailers are good marketing idea especially for the wired generation where “YouTube-ing” and thirst for all things visual are always present. So why not hook your audience in a different way?
Admittedly, call me bias but YES, I enjoy
watching them making them. It reminds of the different emotions I felt while reading the book. I remember one of my friends mentioned that she hated trailers, in fact hated any kind of image about what might be in the story. For me, I love seeing how another person sees it. It thrills me everytime to know that a reader views it the same way I do. But overall, it’s the words, the music and storytelling that appealed to me. So my question is…
Do you like book trailers? Do you watch them? Do they ever make you decide to buy a book? Which ones have you found to be done really well and memorable?
And for authors, do you find them to be an effective marketing tool? Would you consider having one?
Today, I am so excited to welcome three of my friends and I consider some of the best book trailer makers we have now. Let’s get to know them better and find out how they started in book trailer making.
Welcome to the blog Becca, Heather and Kristy!
Becca: I was on YouTube one day and found a book trailer. It was mostly pictures and the music was slow, it seemed like the thing went on for ages. There were so many words and it went on forever! My background is in film editing (before I had kids) and so I started thinking about it, and thought why can’t I do a movie trailer for a book. At the time I had started the Raine Miller Blackstone Fan Page and decided to try it out with Naked. There was such an amazing response to it, everything took off from there.
Kristy: I actually loved your trailer, Cris and thought I would love to make one of these, it took me so long to learn but I eventually got it. You are still my trailer queen though lol.
Heather: I kind of fell into trailer making. I’ve always loved lyric videos and would spend hours watching them. I began reading quite a bit and joined a few book groups. In Aleatha Romig’s reader group for Consequences, someone asked if there was a trailer for the book. I had recently downloaded the iMovie app and made my first lyric video that I set to scenes from On Dublin Street by Samantha Young. I volunteered to make a trailer and many hours later I was done.
Becca: I watch a lot of Movie Trailers J But my trailers are a little different. I really try to pull the emotion of the book. So it may not be scene specific, but emotionally driven instead. I read each and every book that I do a trailer for. I take a million notes and highlight key elements in the book. Sometimes I put things in the trailers that only the author will catch or someone who has read the book.
Kristy: I normally ask to read the book for inspiration if the book isn’t finished I try and get an in depth blurb.
Heather: Inspiration comes from everywhere! Sometimes while I’m reading a book, certain scenes will just burn into my brain. For example, in Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan there is a sex scene in an alleyway. I knew I wanted to include it in the trailer. The Resistance by SL Scott had a strip tease, I thought that would be visually interesting. Some inspiration comes from watching movies, when a scene just clicks, or listening to music.
Becca: I don’t really storyboard. I use the synopsis as a guide but that’s really all that I do to prepare myself for the project. Authors will have ideas, sometimes, but a majority of the time, they put their trust in me and let me go with the project. I do ask them for muses and if the have specific songs that want to use. I don’t always use their suggestions (maybe due to lack of video of the muse or hardships with use of the song). It takes me about 3-4 weeks (and sometimes longer) to do one trailer. I read the book and sometime re-read it, look for footage and then let it sit. I come up with two to three concepts that I could do and then when I start editing, sometimes all of that will go out the window because it just isn’t working. The one I did for Renee Carlino for After the Rain. I worked on for over a month. I started editing it and it just wasn’t flowing the way I wanted. I ditched the whole thing and changed the music, looked for more footage – started from scratch 2 hours before it was due to her… and I think it’s one of the best trailers I have ever done. I am very picky about the footage that I use and a stickler when it comes to continuity (meaning the characters need to look like the characters in the book, I’m not going to use a blonde if the character is a brunette, eve if it’s like the scene I need) If I don’t feel moved by it, then no one else is.
Kristy: The authors I have done trailers for most are surprises but there are a few the author has had lots of input, I love working like that and getting the happiest message is reward in itself.
Heather: The cover of a book is always my starting point, then I look at the summary. I always ask myself ‘what makes this story special, what stands out?’ That allows me to get the feel for the mood. I always encourage authors to give me as much guidance and input as possible. Some authors have given me music, or pointed me toward certain actors. There is nothing more exciting than talking to an author about the characters and world hey have created. So I love the feedback an author provides.
Becca: I think they are very effective and I have data to prove that they are. We live in a visual society. We are moved by what we see and what we hear. Reading a synopsis is fine, but seeing and feeling the synopsis can take it to new heights. I have trailers with thousands of views and I have trailers with only a few hundred but the effect is the same for the author using it. Having your words brought to life in a way that someone can see, is powerful. And if it reaches one person who falls in love with their words and starts to spread that love to other friends…its worth it.
Kristy: For me they do, I think they bring the book to life, even if you don’t agree with the casting as a reader I still think they have a huge impact, I know myself a trailer if I love it will make me buy the book.
Heather: Depending on the book trailer, they can be very effective marketing tools. Just as in any visual, the quality and appearance is of utmost importance. For example, is the trailer visually stunning? Does the music fit and is it enjoyable. Is the trailer too long? Can you read the font and is it up long enough to read? Is the trailer a tease for the story to interest new readers, or is it a summary that gives spoilers for fans that have already read? A good book trailer that is viewed can directly impact sales. On the flip side, a boring, poor quality trailer could also turn people off. Mine are fan made for fun, so if for some reason an author didn’t love it, I would take it down or they wouldn’t share it.
Becca: OMG That’s like picking your favorite child! I have done over 157 trailers… well the two mentioned above don’t count (but they are two of my all time favorites)
- Kindle Alexander – Always. Not all of my trailers are movie type trailers. I do traditional type also and this is my favorite of my traditional trailers. I loved the book and love this trailer just as much!
- Michelle Valentine’s Rock by Body This was one that I read the book and did the video within 2 hours. It just came to me in a blink of an eye.
- Gina Maxwell’s Fighting for Irish
I love this one because I shot the entire trailer myself, on my go pro camera and my phone. I flew to Wisconsin, the cover models for the book were at my mercy for a weekend and it was so much fun. I had all kinds of things go wrong (my usually video camera broke, I had flight delays, limited shooting times) but with what we had to work with, it turned out pretty amazing. I was the camera person, the makeup person, the costume person…And I got to get in a shower with Adam Von Rothfelder! LOL. My goal is to one day open a studio to shoot movies and trailers for authors J Here is the outtakes from our weekend that are fun to watch (http://youtu.be/QPhJeEjetIQ)
Kristy: Before We Fall by Courtney Cole, Reclaiming the Sand by A.Meredith Walters, & Vital Sign by JL Mac
Heather: Consequences by Aleatha Romig, The Resistance by SL Scott & Hollywood and Vine by Olivia Evans. I included Consequences because it is the trailer that started it all, The Resistance for it’s overall flirty, sexy feel, and Hollywood and Vine for it’s steam!
Becca: OH I have so many dream projects. I would love to be able to film each and every book, giving them wings to something bigger and better. Since I am such a visual person, when I read, I see the movie playing in my head. How I would shoot it, who would play what parts, what I would do to make it come alive.
My dream project is with Rachel Van Dyken and getting her Eagle Elite Series made into a television series. It’s something I have been working on for a while now. It’s a great series with mass appeal to both men and women (Mafia Action plus Romance) that would be perfect for the CW/WB or HBO/Netflix/Amazon. The series has a steady and fanatic following that I think would translate amazingly to the small screen.
Kristy: Oh gosh this is a hard one, but I would love to do a trailer for Kallyspo Master’s Series of books.
Heather: I have always wanted to make a full trailer for On Dublin Street by Samantha Young. I hope someday to have the free time to do it. I have trailers in the works for Madeline Sheehan, Leisa Rayven, and Amber Johnson. Each trailer takes me anywhere from 40 to 60 hours (I’m really slow) so I don’t get to make as many as I would like to.
I absolutely agree to everything that you said. Thank you girls for gracing our blog.
If you wish to view their works or if you’re an author and would like them to do a book trailer for you, below you can find their Bio and contact details .
Becca Manuel graduated from the Art Institute of Houston in 1992 with a dual degree in Music and Video business with an Editing Major. She has worked for several companies including MTV, Warner Brothers, NBC, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Bongo Comics working behind the scenes in graphic design and production. Becca is married to her DH for 18 years and they have two kids – ages 12 and 8. She lives in Houston, TX. What started out as a hobby with friends has turned into a full time passion.
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Kristy (Book Addict Mumma) is a lover of romance and all things bookish she loves a happily ever afters, but enjoys the thrill of a cliff hanger and the heart ache of a non-happily ever after.
She runs the blog Book Addict Mumma and also B.A.M Promotions.
Kristy is studying for a degree in marketing and is the Personal Assistant to New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author A.Meredith Walters.
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Heather Maven is a wife and mother of four. She is passionate about the stories she lovesand translates that passion through book trailers. You can almost always catch her on social media (she’s addicted) or with a book in hand.
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Cris is also does book trailers for some of her close author friends. You can check out her YouTube Channel to view some of her works. Her latest trailer is NEVER NEVER by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher.