Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen

The Appeal of Video Trailers
by Nancy J. Cohen

Are you a fan of movie trailers? Do you eagerly watch the newest one for the upcoming Star Wars movie? Perhaps viewing a trailer influences you to buy a ticket you’ve been wavering on? Or you may be a dedicated series fan and watch the teaser for pure enjoyment.

Book trailers have the same purpose. They’re meant to entice you if you are a newcomer to a series or to reward you if you’re already a fan. Some are more elaborate than others, using live actors or professional voiceovers with moving video. Others may simply be a slide-show to music.

I like to do my own trailers. Nobody knows the plot or characters as well as the author. And so first I’ll jot down the basic plot points, which in a mystery include the victim and the main suspects. You have to write the text in verses that can be paired with images from the royalty-free sites. Then I pick a photo to go with each line. The part I enjoy is finding just the right picture to match the characters. It’s like seeing my story come alive. Then the search for music begins. This has to induce the proper mood in your viewers and give them a hint about the genre. For a cozy mystery, this means you’ll want a lighter tone than for a more somber suspense story.

Facials Can Be FatalHere’s what my trailer for Facials Can Be Fatal looks like when I put it all together using Windows Movie Maker. This title comes out Feb. 22 from Five Star and is available now for pre-orders:

View Book Trailer Here: https://youtu.be/6OTw5232Eeg

So what do you think? Did this interest you? Was the timing about right or too long? Did you get an idea of what the story would be about? How did the music make you feel?

If you’re an author, have you tried doing a trailer yet? The benefit, as I see it, isn’t the number of books you’ll sell as a result. I do them as a bonus to readers to share my vision of the story. If you’re a reader, do you watch book trailers? Would you view more if you knew about them?

Comments

  1. I’ve never been a fan of trailers. I want to see the book blurb and sample the writing. When I click on any video, trailer or anything else, the first thing I look at is the time. If it’s over 30 seconds, I don’t play it. I won a free book trailer at a conference, so I have one for my Blackthorne series, but I wasn’t impressed by what the company did. By now, it’s so out of date I’m tempted to take it down.

    • I bought a book once based on the trailer. It was cute and catchy and made me want the book. So each to their own. I feel it’s an extra bonus for fans who want to share your vision, but I select my own photos and music.

  2. maggietoussaint says

    In a land long ago and far away, I got a great deal on a book trailer for my horse rescue romantic suspense. I always meant to learn how to do it, but I haven’t taken the time to come up to speed. There are so many aspects of marketing! I personally enjoy watching book trailers. I’m including my trailer link if you’re interested! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo82_dJl_Zo

  3. I did trailers a couple of times, but for me personally, I don’t usually watch them/it doesn’t influence whether or not I buy a book. I think I’ve voluntarily watched a total of two book trailers and didn’t make it to the end of one of them. I realize we live in a visual world, but not sure it makes a lot of difference to a bookworm.

    • For a bookworm, it probably doesn’t make a big dent in one’s shopping choices. But for series fan, it might be like candy–something sweet to taste in addition to the regular fare.

  4. I’ve done two book trailers, and I’m working on one now for the entire series. These were mostly for fun (and practice), though they are becoming more useful in a marketing sense (Southern Writers online magazine, for example, features a Coming Attractions section of book trailers.

    If you like to see mine, here’s they are:

    Deeper Than the Grave
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEsK5TsW3A4

    Blood, Ash, and Bone

  5. jmjackson054 says

    I’ve afraid I’m in the dark ages on this as both an author and a reader. I haven’t done trailers (although I have have done videos of me reading the first chapter by a nice wood stove fire) — and I don’t watch them.

    But I’ll be watching the comments, and maybe decide I need to change my ways.