I'm not sure how the modern phenomena of book trailers came about but here they are. Here's what I came up with:
Do they work? I haven't really thought so to be honest, but I was uncertain enough to make one myself for my debut, Crossing Oceans.
First, of course, I watched as many as I could and tried to decide what did and didn't work about them. Most of which I thought did nothing to make me buy a book. There were one or two that I thought were well done, so I tried to dissect what I thought worked about those few.
*They had a good music score (one that I didn't recognize as one of those freebies you can get off the web that everyone seems to use.)
*They were very short. Like around a minute. I tended to zone out at about the minute mark as I watched longer trailers.
*They raised at least one question that I wanted to know the answer to.
*They promised a good read (often in the form of a tantalizing endorsement).
*They had voice overs, not just words on a screen.
*And lastly, they had animation, not just still pictures, so the trailer ended up looking more like a short movie trailer than what most book trailers were presenting.
So, now I had my basic formula. I set about writing a short script, trying out Windows Movie Maker since it was a free and easy to use program I already had.
Next I asked my super talented husband, Adam to score me a song for it. He came up with something I absolutely love.
Then, I went on I-Stock and downloaded a few still images I thought would work and a few short movie animations. (All in all it added up to under a hundred dollers.)
It took me a few days to put together and my first attempt resulted in the rating of "Cheesy!" from my wonderfully honest and genius critique partners, Ane Mulligan and Jessica Dotta. But, my sixth attempt produced this:
At the time, I didn't yet have any endorsements, thus my filler quote of "This novel doesn't suck." Never did I dream that would stay there forever because my laptop completely died, taking with it that work in progress.
Happily my publisher was working on one of their own:
So, tell me, is my trailer effective? Does it make you want to read the book? If so, why? If not, why? What, in your opinion, makes a trailer work or not. Please share your thoughts for us all.
Here's what I came up with: