Friday, March 2, 2012

Do Trailers (book advertisements) help with sales?

Do book trailers help sell books?
Many have questioned this and so I thought I'd put my two cents in and see what kind of feed back I get. Trailers are just one more tool in the marketing strategy of an authors or writers career, it appeals to some but not to others but so do many other methods.
The trick is to have a good one!
Today I also thought I might give a few tips to help those who want to attempt making one.
Now, there are some who haven't heard what a trailer is, yes that's right, and that's okay because there are many things authors mention that I say 'what the...' to.
A book trailer is much like a movie trailer where you watch a short snippet of what the movie is about and by the end you hope to have captured the interest of watchers/readers. Even if it's to only find out more.
I think a book trailer should be kept short and sweet- maximum of a minute and a half to two minutes- for two reasons-
  • Youtube sometimes takes a while to buffer and the larger your file/ trailer- the longer it will take to load and we lose interest.
  • Short attention spans in general.
These trailers are like I said, merely one more tool to use in your marketing strategy and like all marketing it must be done with care. Choose your pictures carefully- there are many copyright free sights out there. istockphoto for example have both pictures and music available, some are free and some come at a cost but you can make an account and what credits you do not use can be used at a later date.
I took a long time to choose my music for both trailers because I wanted the watcher/reader to FEEL the mood as well as read what the book is about.

Your trailer does NOT need to be like a synopsis where you have to cram all the story in one page. Use one liners, or better, one word that captures the mood or scene. Plot what you want to come across first so it is easier to look for what pictures you want.
My pet hate is coming across a trailer that has a whole lot of text and not enough time to see the picture or god forbid even read all of what the author wants to get across.

Once you have all your pictures and your music you can then piece them together in either Microsoft movie maker, Microsoft powerpoint or apple movie maker. There are probably a whole lot of programs available but these are easily accessed and user friendly.

Once you have published your trailer, create an account and publish on youtube then publicize it on you blog, web, facebook, yahoo, google+, everywhere. Try to go into some competitions. These are all going to get your name and your books title out there which ultimately is marketing and marketing sales for your books!

Here are two of my trailers TAKING BACK HIS WIDOW & NUDGING CUPID

So after that, what do you think about trailers?
Don't be shy, leave a comment. I can see on my stats that you are here. lol


sashagirl said...

I have many book trailers on You Tube and on my websites for my books. I make them myself and my sweet singer/songwriter brother has written and performed original songs for them (except for Egyptian Heart). I have maybe seven. I stopped making them because I got so busy with all my old rereleases. They were fun to make...but, like you, I HAVE NO IDEA IF THEY HELP WITH SALES. And no one else seems to know that, either.
But, as you said, we writers do everything we can to sell our books and just hope it helps. Grin. Who knows? Here's a few of mine:

Warmly, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Suzanne Brandyn said...

I think if a book doesn't come by recommendation, then a Trailer would persuade the reader either way. If she like the story line, and it appeals, and if it is something she is looking for, well then perhaps she may read it.

I think the best way is to read a sample of the book. In that way if the reader likes it well, it's a sale.

I believe the sample chapters are the best tool in giving a reader a glimpse, a trailer perhaps would come second.

Kerri Williams said...

It would be wonderful to have a songwriter at my disposal.
I think everything you do if you do it well will help with your sales.

Kerri Williams said...

Suzanne Brandyn,
Yes I agree with you a sample is ANOTHER good way in marketing but as I said in the post a trailer is only ONE way to market your book and the question you think they help?
I use the sample of a chapter with every new purchase and when I see a post about a new author I check their links and this includes their trailer. Some I do not like but I do go past this and look at their excerpt provided and at that point i head to the store online and try the sample or buy.
Some trailers have my skin produce goosebumps and those I buy out right and it hasn't done me wrong yet but they are few between.
As for overseas conferences I know EP put all trailers on a disc to hand out, so I think it has to help you if you made a good one.
Thanks for you input Suzanne.

Nicole Hurley-Moore said...

Hi Kez,
I don't know if they help sales but I use book trailers. I enjoy making them - well, I find the pictures and my son puts them together for me. They are posted on youtube and on my website.

Regards, Nicole

Kerri Williams said...

Thanks Nicole,
jeez, you guys have some talented sons!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerri,

Your post has come at a perfect time, thank you. Just when I was going 'what the...?" I have to make my first trailer for my debut release with Eternal Press and I was wondering where to start. As to whether or not they boost sales? I guess I'm about to find out! Like most marketing techniques, this is another tool that if used properly could sway the reader either way. It certainly seems to be becoming more popular...until the next social media tactic is released :) Thanks again. Great post.

S.A. Hunter said...

Thank, Kerri & friends. This has been a useful commentary. I've avoided the trailer route as I am too intimidated to make one myself (have ideas, but not the tech skills), and also I was dubious just how helpful to sales a trailer is. I watched yours, Kerri, and I find they do create a "mood". Bottom line, if you have the skill to create them, why wouldn't you add that to your repertoire. Some of our readers are probably very visual oriented and enjoy them. The combo of video and excerpt sounds great.

Natalie said...

Thanks for this Kerri. I knew what book trailers were, but I admit I didn't understand what they were for (except being nice to look at) until I read your post.

Kerri Williams said...

Juanita and S.A
I'm glad it has been a helpful post and really once you have done one you'll be addicted by a different artistic avenue of your books.
If you ever need some help with it or even blitz it and upload one, please let me know.

BLCSDina said...

Hi Kerri-Great article. Don't know if my trailers have helped, and don't even know how I'm doing, but think they are an excellent way to show the reader what the book is about. I prefer them as a reader over the "look inside" feature on Amazon.
Dina Rae

Kerri Williams said...

Thank's Dina. I like them too!