Have you seen any Book Video Trailers recently?
I have, and in general, I'm not a fan. Don't get me wrong, there are some good ones, and certain genres (Thrillers and Mysteries) suit a dark movie-like trailer. However, most don't suit the Hollywood style, and they often leave me frustrated.
However, I do love the medium of video and believe visuals are an amazing companion to a book. We feed off of our eyes, so an attractive video can do wonders to a story. As you can imagine, I was caught between a rock and a wall. I'm a writer who wants to utilize video, but can't stand the thought of producing another average trailer.
Hmmmm, what to do, what to do...
The Book Video Trailer: Turner Style
I looked at various trailer websites and services, and scoured the web for trailers that inspire me. Like I say, I found some great examples. A few include:
A few months back I ranted about book video trailers on my own website. I expressed my dismay and how I would do things differently. I did this for two reasons: 1) to rant for the sake of ranting 2) to commit myself to following through.
For you see it's easy to hate trailers but then get lazy and create one anyway. I didn't want to do this so I made my dismay public. There was no turning back.
I decided I would create three types of video:
1. The Trailer
I love storytelling and I love extending emotions whenever I can. As writers we are better equipped to share stories than most, so why are we trying to replicate movie trailers?
I wanted the reader (aka the viewer) to feel something toward ME as much as Beyond Parallel (that's my book by the way). My desire is for them to join my journey, not simply read the book and have it dwindle away on their Kindle.
I decided to create a video that would have ME talk about the book, shoot it in a way that linked with the story, and put my heart and soul into it. It's a little rough around the edges, but it's one of the reasons I love it. Here it is.
2. The Reading
I didn't want to stop at a single trailer, so decided that I'd create five readings in the lead up to launch day; each one focussing on a different part of Beyond Parallel.
I shot them in the same style, read them myself, and again made them rough and ready.
I wanted to take people on a journey, slowly introducing them to the characters, style, and story. They may not have the same impact as some trailers, but the emphasis on the journey is something that excites me.
Here's an example of one of these readings.
3. Crowdsourced Videos
Beyond Parallel is still new to the world, so I've done this yet. However, I don't want the journey to be over. I feel I've created a style and platform that allows me to continue the video experience long into the future.
I can do future readings, get fans to crowd source certain aspects, and record exclusive content.
I keep mentioning journey, and the third type of video is the one that comes tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. This is how I feel authors should utilize video.
The Future of Video
This method won't be for everyone. I'm sure some people will read this and totally disagree. That's fine.
For those who are intrigued by a new style, well, this is the post for you :)
As writers we crafty stories for a living, and video is an extension of this - should we choose to use it so. I don't simply want my videos to capture attention, but grab the reader and keep them part of the festivities for as long as possible. I don't think the standard trailer does this, but I'm excited about what my videos could achieve.
Will they go viral? Hmmm, probably not.
Will they be the catalyst for thousands of sales? Hmmm, probably not.
Will everyone love them? Hmmm, probably not.
I'd love to hear your thoughts though, and if you have a book poromotion video you'd like to share, please do so in the comments section. I hope a few of you can point me to some great examples.
About the Author
Matthew Turner is a strategic marketing consultant and author of fiction and nonfiction. His new novel, Beyond Parallel, debuts this month.