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A good book trailer can raise the level of awareness for a novel or anthology in a big way. Providing it’s well-made, it leaves viewers feeling good about the author(s) and/or the work itself. People with no previous interest in either that writer (or even the book’s genre), not only watch it, but some of them go on to share it on their own blogs. 
 
Of course, it has to be good for that to happen, so the question for anyone thinking about making one has got to be: “What makes a book trailer stand out from the crowd?”
 
I have my own thoughts, which I’ll share during the week, but for now I’d love to know what you think. 


Poll #1509211 WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON BOOK TRAILERS?

How do you feel about book trailers?

Can't get enough of them
5(10.4%)
If there’s one in front of me, I’ll watch it
25(52.1%)
Meh, trailers, shmailers. Who cares?
16(33.3%)
Never seen one
2(4.2%)

Have you ever sought out more information about a novel or anthology as a result of seeing a book trailer?

Yes
19(39.6%)
No
29(60.4%)

From the list below, please select anything which YOU feel is an important ingredient for a book trailer:

It should make me smile inside
1(2.6%)
It should scare me
0(0.0%)
It should make me sad
0(0.0%)
It should make me laugh
0(0.0%)
It should surprise me
2(5.1%)
It should have good background music
2(5.1%)
It should have a lot of description
1(2.6%)
It should only have very little description
0(0.0%)
It should leave me with unanswered questions
6(15.4%)
Something else, which I’ll say in the comments
5(12.8%)
   

 
If you’ve seen a good book trailer, or have one of your own, feel free to add a link to it in the comments section.  I’ll cut & paste it into the second part of ‘What’s your take on book trailers?’ when I post it during the week.  
 
In the meantime, have you ever seen a bland, or even a bad, book trailer? If so, what do you think was wrong with it?   As always, please don’t name names unless you liked it.


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Comments

( 80 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Jan. 9th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some of them can be a little bland.

Btw, that icon always makes me smile. I always liked K9 :)
musingaloud
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
I guess I don't really know where to see book trailers at! I've seen a few, mostly from LJ people that have done one for fun/promotion. I'd probably watch more if I knew where to see them at, because as long as they're short, they're kind of fun to watch. Keep 'em short but sweet, I says, though.
musingaloud
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Short, meaning don't make the delay time too long when the words scroll across. That gets boring.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jan. 9th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
karen_w_newton
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
The trailer should give me an idea what the book is like— if the book is funny, the trailer should be finny; if the book is suspenseful, the trailer should be suspenseful, and so on. It's like the book cover only more so.

I know trailers are a hot idea right now, but I haven't spent much time worrying about them. I figure there will be plenty of time to worry about the trailer after my agent sells the book. Right now it's like picking out bridesmaids before you have a groom.
jongibbs
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
'Right now it's like picking out bridesmaids before you have a groom.'

Hehe, good point :)
sandrawickham
Jan. 9th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
Best book trailer I've seen was for JC Hutchins Personal Effects Dark Arts. Professionally done, looks like a movie trailer, conveys exactly the genre, style, etc of the book and leaves you wanting MORE! (I'll see if I can find the link...can't find it, might not be available anymore, but trust me, it was awesome.)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sandrawickham - Jan. 9th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jan. 9th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
jennifer_brozek
Jan. 9th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
For me, book trailers should intrigue me. A bit about the plot and leave me with questions. Music is always a plus.

Here's my anthology book trailer for the GRANTS PASS anthology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPV3xTdVf6Y

I have heard the complaint that the words cycle too fast but I like it.
jongibbs
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
I remember promoting that trailer before the anthology came out. I thought it was very well done.

Thanks for sharing :)
tracy_d74
Jan. 9th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
First, I tend to come across trailers after I purchased the book. Trailers I've seen tend to act out the blurb/synopsis of the book. Some people have friends or families talk about the book, write songs, or act out scenes. Those are great fun. In trailers I want to know about the book. I want to feel like if I miss this book I will be missing out on something great. They tend to lead me to the author's page where I find an author interview. I think Michelle Zinks Prophecy of Sisters (trailer/author interview) made me buy her book sooner than anticipated. But I think I like interviews with authors more. Typically if I'm ho-humming about a book, if I see the author speak about it, it helps me decide what I want to do (buy now, buy later, or pass).
jongibbs
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
If it's done well, I think a book trailer can leave its viewer with a vivid impression.

Mind you, it's just as important for that vivid impression to includes something memorable about the book it's promoting.
(no subject) - tracy_d74 - Jan. 9th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tracy_d74 - Jan. 9th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jan. 9th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tracy_d74 - Jan. 9th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
i_amsherlocked
Jan. 10th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
Have you ever seen the trailer for Maggie Stiefvater's (m_stiefvater)novel Shiver?

jongibbs
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)
It's a great video, and an excellent example of what I was saying about how a good book trailer can entice people who wouldn't normally be interested in that sort of book might not only watch it, but go on to share it on their own blogs -I know I've linked to it from this journal before.

Thanks for sharing:)
(no subject) - i_amsherlocked - Jan. 11th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
kimberleylittle
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
I love book trailers and this is a very cool discussion as I'm finishing up my book trailer after working on it off and on for months now. I didn't want scrolling text so I hired a professional actress for the voice-over (a friend of a friend actually) although I wrote the script. My music friends who have their own new music company are writing original music and doing the special effects. I can't wait to share it with the world - but I'm nervous, too. It's been fun to make, but a TON of work. In fact, my images are so specialized and were so difficult to find on istock and Tetty, etc. that I ended up making several on my own that I needed - creating my pictures and becoming a little bit of a photographer so it's been an interesting experience to say the least. Eager to hear your personal thoughts this week!
kimberleylittle
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
That should be Getty, not Tetty. Ha!
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jan. 11th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kimberleylittle - Jan. 11th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jan. 11th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
bosleygravel
Jan. 12th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Check this one out (a NZ Book Council Film) or something. Very nice work, though I'm not so sure it sells anything very well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_jyXJTlrH0&feature=player_embedded

I do like book trailers, but I like minutia, and little bits of this and that. In my mind, it's kind of an odd and perplexing concept -- to try to sell a book based on some predetermined imagery -- when half the fun of a book is that you get to imagine that sort of stuff yourself. But they seem effective enough as a marketing tool.
jongibbs
Jan. 12th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
That looks great! As you say, it's not promoting a specific book, but it's very well made.

'...it's kind of an odd and perplexing concept -- to try to sell a book based on some predetermined imagery.'

You know, I've never thought of trailers as trying to sell something (though I'm sure people have bought books on the strength of the trailer alone). I've always assumed the job of a trailer is to make people aware that a book exists and that it's worth checking out.

Thanks for sharing :)
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