Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book Trailers: Take Two

A while back, I blogged about book trailers, what they are, where they are, and asked how popular people think they might become. Today, I bring to my blog author Dara England, who creates her own book trailers, to further discuss this fantastic idea of book publicity.

So, I guess the best way to begin is what introduced you to book trailers, Dara, and how were you inspired with yours?

What introduced me to trailers? I'd say I learned about them from two sources simultaneously. I belong to a writers forum where trailers are occasionally discussed. Also, some fellow authors from my publisher's Yahoo group chatted a little about them and I just sort of followed their conversations and taught myself to do what they were doing.  For my trailer, I was inspired by anything that looked antique or old, because that was kind of a theme of my book.

What do you think about book trailers showing in movie theaters in the previews slot? And how well do you think this trend will catch on in the future?

I think it's a smart way of getting people who've already shown they're willing to spend dollars on entertainment hooked into reading. I'm not sure how well it will catch on, of course. 

We have to keep in mind that a lot of movie-goers are at a movie because they've opted for that over staying home and reading. All the same, we know there are a significant number of people who enjoy both forms of entertainment (such as yours truly). ;)

I've heard of at least one big name author grabbing some air time on television for her upcoming release, but I haven't heard whether it boosted her sales. I'd be interested in learning more about that.

So would I, if you find anything out about that let me know. You make your own book trailers . . . had you always planned on that? Are there actual companies that do this for business? If so, did you get a quote for the going price of having someone like this do it for you? I'm just curious. Anyone can create a book trailer, yes, but I wonder if the quality/appeal of it makes a difference in sales. My guess is it does, but I also think any publicity out there will help.

In the beginning I thought of hiring someone to make my book trailers. There are people out there who do this. I got a couple of quotes but everywhere I went the lowest estimates I was getting were between $50-100. Some cost more. I knew I couldn't afford to go that route and so decided if I wanted to do trailers I'd have to make them myself.

It's hard to tell exactly how much book trailers effect sales but naturally high quality is desirable and the more professional looking the trailer is, the better.

So let me ask you this, how long did it take you to put your trailer together, preproduction (finding stock photo's, etc.) included? Windows Movie Maker, the program you use,  is pretty self explanatory but do you have any tips for those of us interested in going this route? (For anyone who wants lots of fanciness and more options with your editing, I suggest Adobe Premier Pro or CS3). And for those who just don't want to deal with it by themselves but still want the option of someone else doing them, what company would you suggest or how would they go about searching for one? I know I definitely plan on having one done, I can already picture it in my head.

Altogether, my first trailer took me about a day to finish. Keep in mind it was all new to me and I had some things to figure out, so the going on that one was slow. These days it takes me closer to two hours to create trailers--more time is needed for selecting the images and music. 

My only tips are to keep your theme in mind, coordinate your colors, and don't get too fancy with the scene transitions and extras. Experiment, yes, but keep in mind that you want the transitions to be smooth and the finished trailer to be easy on the eyes.

For those who don't want to create their own trailers but prefer to hire someone else, here are a couple links to check out. I'm not sure what the pricing from these designers might be but I believe they create excellent quality trailers. 

And finally, here's a link to my own trailer for my new paranormal romance BROUGHT TO LIFE. 

You can learn more about BROUGHT TO LIFE at:

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Dara! Everyone be sure to pick up BROUGHT TO LIFE at your local bookstore, and if you have any questions or thoughts about book trailers, please share!


  1. Sweet! I really enjoy making book trailers (though what I make qualifies more as fan-vids). Hopefully the book trailers in movie theaters will catch on -- it'd be a great resource! Especially if it got tacked on to a Harry Potter movie ;)

  2. No kidding! I think when we talk book trailers in movies, we'll be shelling out a ton more money and time than Windows Movie Maker, and it'll probably be the big blockbuster books doing it more so than debut's or middle's. We can always hope for the under dog though.

  3. Thanks for the links, I've been looking into book trailers.

  4. Surely book trailers couldn't be worse than the Dental Assistant School commercials they have on during daytime TV! I imagine anything on TV would be a bit pricer, though?

  5. Tara, it's all about Narrow Casting. Now a days, audiences are getting more defined, more specific. Once upon on time there were only 3 channels broadcasting, now there's over a hundred or more. The audience has become segmented. If a book audience is very clearly defined and you can find programming with your demographic/target audience, it might make sense to run a television ad. But as far as the cost, to see any benefit you'd want to do a national ad, which can run in the millions, which leaves this possibility to the blockbuster authors.


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