There’s a clear choice…To Trailer, duh! Not only do readers love them, but indie authors love making them. It lets us dream a little, gives us a visual image of what our work might look like on the screen.
Fellow YA Indie Carnival Author Suzy Turner has a great book trailer site…the YA Trailer Park (love the name). I highly recommend it for readers and authors alike.
In my experience, there are a few things to consider when creating a professional book trailer.
Set a budget and stick with it. You don’t have to sacrifice quality. There are plenty of online resources to help you create a professional looking trailer for little expense.
Think about your book/series brand and your brand as an author. Echo colors and patterns used on your cover. Don’t forget the purpose of the trailer is to sell books. ALWAYS use a picture of the cover in the trailer and list where the book is available to purchase.
Use actors/images that reflect your vision of the characters including appropriate age. I’ve seen trailers that use actors that are clearly 20-something for characters that are supposed to be middle or high school grade. You miss the target when this happens. Don’t settle.
Don’t forget to match the look and feel of the trailer to the look and feel of your books or of your writing style. For example, if you write dark vampire romance novels, you don’t want to have a pink and flowering background. Now, that’s an extreme example, but I think you get my drift.
If designing a trailer for a single book in a series, consider the trailers made (or to be made) for the other books in the series. Link all the series trailers by a common thread whether it be music, images, background, or something else. By making the branding consistent in all trailers, it will help potential readers easily identify your other work.
Don’t Give Away Too Much
Tell about your book without handing over the family secrets. I’ve watched trailers that outlined the entire plot. Where’s the fun in that? Needless to say, those weren’t books I bought – I already knew what happened, why waste my time. Think of a book trailer like a movie trailer. It’s meant to entice the viewer to read the book. I never…let me say that again NEVER include spoilers in my book trailers.
Keep in mind your intended audience when choosing music and images. An ill-chosen background song can be the death of a trailer.
Before creating your trailer, take a look at what other authors in your genre are doing. That will give you an idea of what your audience will expect. Is it better to have a video trailer or text that tells the story over a dynamic background? I’ve heard arguments both ways. My opinion for what it’s worth, readers are going to read trailers if there are words. That’s what they like to do.
How long should a trailer be? I’ve seen trailers that are 30 seconds and I’ve seen’em at over 4 minutes. Mine run about 1 minute each. It all depends on the information you are presenting. If you are having trouble keeping the momentum up, it’s too long.
Here’s my fave trailer, Midnight Child arrives Feb. 17th.