Need to get the message about a new book? One way that you can reach a big market of YA readers (this is the YouTube generation after all) is through creating a fresh book trailer. Book trailers can be a great way to reach a new audience that might not have heard of your new novel through the other marketing and publicity channels that you’re using. No matter what you’re interest in the YA book world is, Book Trailer Talks is a new meme that allows publicists, book bloggers, authors, agents, book marketers, and readers to have their say on a wide variety of topics. Want to learn more about this weekly meme? Check out the first Book Trailer Talks post for more info about what we’re doing and feel free to participate!
This week’s question: What are the elements that you look for in book trailers? Do you think they are common or do you believe that more people who produce book trailers should move toward adding these elements more often?
If you’ve participated in or simply checked out Book Trailer Talks in the past, then I think that you’ll know that I really enjoy this form of viral marketing. There are so many great things about book trailers, but unfortunately, I don’t think they’re always done well and depending on how much an author or a publisher shells out to produce this video, poor results like these could really set you back financially and in your marketing efforts. First, what book trailer producers (and those who are financially backing book trailers) need to do is make sure that they have a firm grasp of their intended audience in hand as well as what appeals to them. This statement might seem obvious, but time and time again, I see trailers that really don’t demonstrate that basic necessity.
On an aesthetic level, I very much prefer those trailers that have the YouTube aesthetic. Whereas big budget trailers might often adhere to the look and feel of a simple movie trailer, including either an original or public domain classic musical score, videos with the YouTube aesthetic might use a lower-quality camera or select kick-ass vector drawings and accompany the images /video with a killer soundtrack. Sure it’s possible that the look, feel, and sound might not appeal to everyone, but if you’re aiming to reach a younger, teen audience, then the public domain classical music just won’t cut it. Occasionally, I tolerate a photo slide show when it’s done well, but I definitely wouldn’t consider it one of my fave book trailer elements.
Another thing that I really appreciate occurs when whoever came up with the concept doesn’t just rely on having the blurb on the back of the book dramatized or merely reiterated through superscript copy. I know that not everyone will agree with me on this, but in fact, I don’t think it counters the traditional idea of ensuring that everything in your integrated marketing communications marketing mix must be related and complementary. Whoever first said that all of your marketing efforts should be related with conviction isn’t wrong. You should do something that is related to the rest of your campaign in some way, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t allow your novel to be shown in a slightly different light. For example, you could use vector images that give a sense of the book without relying exclusively on the book cover’s design. If you don’t make some minor adjustments to the campaign, it’s all too possible that the viewer will get bored, thinking “been here, done that,” which is exactly what you don’t want happening.
Do any book trailers use these elements? Yes, of course, but I think that far too often the need to appeal to the YouTube style aesthetic for YA novels and coming up with a unique plan from the rest of the marketing mix aren’t taken into account. When these things are done, however, such as with the Hold Still book trailer or the Tell Me A Secret book trailer, then the results can be spectacular. They standout from the crowd and have a great chance of making readers take notice.
Next week’s question: Have you seen a new book trailer lately that caught your eye? This week we want to share a new trailer that worked for you, and of course, why?