Book trailers can be an additional weapon in the arsenal of authors who are exploring unconventional options of promoting their book. Their function is pretty much similar to movie trailers. They generate curiosity about the product and provide a sneak peek into what readers can expect.
Some authors with deep pockets or the backing of a strong publishing house may have high-budget, jazzy book trailers with sound, music, professional actors, special effects, animation, the works. Then there are the low-budget, home-production kind of trailers that avoid all the hype and focus on communicating the message in a simple, funny or emotional manner. If you have a little bit of creativity and some technical expertise with basic movie making software, it is not too difficult to create a book trailer. In place of professional performers (actors, musicians, production guys), you could just reach out to your friends and family members to see who’s got skills that can be used in your home production. You could use your video camera or the basic software available on your computer to add the lights, sound and action.
Some trailers can go viral if potential readers find something that compels them to share it on social networking sites, blogs, discussion forums and their personal sites. But just like their movie counterparts, the magic formula that separates the successful ones from the pathetic is anybody’s guess. Another risk is if the trailer raises the expectations of the books prospective readers beyond what the book can deliver. Beyond the initial spike in the interest, future sales for the book could take a hit. The reverse is also true. What if readers judge your book not by the cover (or the content), but by the trailer that precedes it. It could go either ways there as well.
The real impact of book trailers on the sales of books can vary considerably. In the long run, most books sell due to word-of-mouth publicity. But book trailers can help in creating the initial awareness for a soon-to-be-released novel or a non-fiction book.
I tried my hand at creating one for my book. Check it out and let me know if it works for or against the book. The voiceover is in Hindi and the humour (if you can call it that) is contextual. But if you don’t understand the language, don’t worry. The script, labels and text are all in English and the format might be familiar 🙂 So you’d still get an idea of what’s happening in there.
If you’ve come across any interesting (the best, worst, funny, stupid) book trailers on YouTube or Facebook, share it in the comments.