Monday, May 16, 2016

Thoughts on Book Trailers

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The Blood in the beginning - An Ava Sykes Novel #booktrailer

 Hi Everyone,

What's your take on book trailers?

I'm still unsure ...

Book trailers have been around since 2006, and present an interesting paradox: They use audio/visual media to promote the textual. The question is, can it work.

Book trailers evolve for multiple reasons, not the least because information is now transmitted in speedy, cinematic and downloadable bites. It's almost like going back to the picture book mentality, that stage of reading where we relied on the visual to trigger understanding of the textual. Only this is so much more controversial.

puts it like this:
A trailer, in a way, violates a book’s very construction.
But does it?

For readers who don't have time to "spend leisurely afternoons in bookstores or reading extensive book reviews,' as Najafi puts it, a two minute book trailer can give them a feel for the author and their newest release. Maybe. Running on low budgets and using cheap stock footage and sound tracks can create a result that could do the novel a disservice. Going first class and spending thousands on the clip can result in a trailer that gives away too much story or worse, amps the reader for something the book is not going to deliver. Cathy Yardley's crit on book trailers include:
  • They don't get a lot of views
  • Low return on investment
  • They can't up your SEO
Hmmm. Not too inspiring, but there are some trailers that really rock it. I don't know if they sell books, but as a medium on their own, they are rich in value. And it's value that will encourage people to view and share. Catherine Ryan Howard says:
People aren’t using social media because they love being sold stuff. They’re using it ... to find entertainment, information and connection.
If you want your book trailer to promo your book, or bring attention to a new series/author, it might pay to keep this in mind. Is it entertaining? Informative? Creating connections?

Book trailers that work for me:

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The Blood in the Beginning - An Ava Sykes Novel
I am fortunate to have Shawn Wilder at MonkeyMe Films as my beautiful Pisces sister AND a fan of Ava Sykes. She's read multiple early copies and knows the story inside out. When it came time to play with trailer ideas, she had them, buy the truck load.

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The Miriam Black Novels by Chuck Wendig
 The combination of voice and text in the Miriam Black trailer is utterly engaging, and dark, but more like an audio book than a trailer, perhaps?

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Harry Potter Book Trailer
With Harry Potter trailers, Scholatic's budget probably wouldn't have been an issue. And there were the films to pull from. It has a Disney feel. Probably why my inner child likes it so much.

There are many great book trailers out there, but in an article that pulls no punches: Aliza Weinberger explains why book trailers often make readers cringe:
Because most are terrible.

I'm not going to show any examples of trailers in that category, mainly because I have so much respect for authors who are out there writing books and promoting them in every way they can. And, trailers, for better or worse, are art forms. What sparks me might get the brush from another, and vise versa. So . . . do no harm. :)

I won't encourage a rotten tomato contest here, but if you think we can LEARN something from one that doesn't work (for you) please feel free to link to it in the comments. I also want to see what you do love, and of course, what you think of Ava Sykes.

So what's it to be? Book trailer or non?

Share your thoughts. There are emerging writers and published authors out there that want to hear them!


Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing urban fantasy, paranormal romance, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at, the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter.

She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month and runs Save the Day Writer's Community on Facebook and


Camille S said...

I watched all three Kim. “The Blood in the Beginning” was a clever trailer. Ava Sykes could be interesting.. If it was a trailer for a film it may work for me. It didn’t draw me into reading the book. And for me the ending felt flat with the content of the last speech bubble.
I looked up Chuck Wendig as soon as his trailer was finished. I will be reading The Miriam Black Novels now. The story + the words were great, voiceover perfect and for me it actually worked as a trailer for a book.
HP?? Why? Impossible for me to evaluate at this late stage.
Thanks for the post.

Kim Falconer said...

Thanks Camille.

Great comments. I appreciate your insights.