Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Make the Best Trailer and They Will Read

So last time you saw a title like this, it was for movies.  We all love movies and if you don't then, well, I mean, come on, not even Bambi, Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice...Zombieland?  Maybe Shaun of the Dead?

Stop, you're making me go on a tangent trying to figure out what you might like so I'll digress.  (Sorry, moving on.)

Now, here is a chance to see how, or if, a trailer for a book can have any impact on a decision to read a book.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

Possession by Elana Johnson

From watching the trailers, are you able to tell what genre it is?  Does it spark your interest?  Please share why it does or doesn't "do it" for you.  :-)  What do you think a movie trailer should encompass?  Feel free to share.  This is how we learn and pick up bits of nuggets for things that worked or things that could be improved upon.


Miranda Hardy said...

I'm not a watcher of book trailers, but the one that stuck out the most was Hush, Hush. It did make me want to grab the book, again.

Maria Zannini said...

Book trailers aren't generally effective in selling me books.

But if I were to see Leviathan in the store I would definitely pick it up and check out the narrative.

The trailer was original, clever, and professional. This has major motion picture written all over it. It's got that high concept element that agents are always talking about.

Angelina Rain said...

There have been times when a good trailer got me to buy the book. I HATE reading blurbs so a trailer lets me know what the book is about without having to read that long boring blurb.

Hush, Hush grabbed my attention. I've always been a sucker for fallen angels.

Angela Brown said...

@ Miranda - I really enjoyed that one as well.

@ Maria - I agree. There's so much that could be done with it and the trailer sets that tone for any production company interested in it.

@ Angelina - Hush, Hush is the popular one thus far :-)

Shilpa said...

I am really not sure how effective book trailers are. If I want to see my books in action, I would see the movie. Book trailers most often don't capture the book for me. Again, not every video is tastefully done. I find professionally made book trailers affect me in a minor way. I always go for the synopsis and cover page, ofcourse! :)

Sangu said...

This is such a great, timely post for me! I've been working on a trailer and asking myself all these questions - personally, I find that a great book trailer makes me more excited for the book, much like a good movie trailer makes me want to watch a movie, so I'm hoping to play up that aspect!

Francesca Zappia said...

I have to agree with a lot of the others--book trailers generally do nothing for me. If anything, they can make an awesome book look tacky.

In fact, I honestly can't think of a book trailer that I saw and liked. I know there have been some, and I'm sure they were ones that didn't have still frames overlaid with text. The more movie-trailer-ish it is, the more I like it.

Olga said...

I'm really not impressed by book trailers. Although I can see certain qualities that might express the author's creativity.

Krispy said...

I'm in the book trailers don't do it for me camp. Some of the good ones can interest me in a book, but usually the jacket copy does a better job. These are pretty good ones though. I loved the Leviathan one the first time I saw it.

Shelley Munro said...

I don't generally watch book trailers either, but these ones were all short and very slick. I didn't watch Leviathan since I've already read it. It was easy to tell the genres, so they were great in this respect. Like other commenters, a book trailer has never induced me to purchase a book, but I think if it's combined with other forms of promo, a trailer can't hurt.

A book trailer needs to nail the central conflict rather than give a taste of the plot. It definitely needs to be short & to the point. A teaser.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

This is a very interesting question you pose. Of the three trailers, I liked the one for Leviathan the best - I thought it got the idea of the story across in the best way - even though of the three it's probably the one I'd be least likely to read! Possession I've had on my TBR list for a while, but I found the trailer hard to follow - I think it would have been better with just the girl talking. All those words flying around - I didn't have time to read them properly and still concentrate on what the girl was saying. Hush, Hush is a book whose description appeals to me, but I didn't think the trailer was as effective as it could have been. It felt rushed, and I didn't get as much sense of the characters as I would have liked.

That said, I have made trailers for 5 of my books (and when i say made, I mean made myself with my daughter's help on imovie) and if anyone wants to pass judgment on them, you can view them on YouTube channel slhill1 :)

Angela Brown said...

This is EXCELLENT! I'm loving the feedback. And Sangu's comment is why each and every comment here is so important. With each person who expressed their thoughts, it gave her - and anyone else looking to do a movie trailer - an idea of what may work or what doesn' to approach it and or what to avoid. This is the stuff I love.

Ciara said...

Leviathan is one of my all time favorite trailers. I enjoyed the book, but the trailer was even better. :)

Angela Brown said...

Cool Ciara. That's a first for me :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The story is clear and enticing for Leviathan, but not crazy about the animation.

Melissa Pearl said...

Love this blog. There's some very cool stuff here :)

I am a total movie fanatic. I download movie trailers all the time. So book trailers, to me, are a spectacular idea. They definitely provide an emotional aspect to the book.

The Hush Hush trailer is awesome.

Thanks for sharing :)

Angela Brown said...

Partial correction to my earlier comment - BOOK trailer (teehee, sorry).

But this is cool. Alex pointed out something really interesting. I remember most of those pics from the book, Leviathan, and honestly wouldn't have thought they'd use them as they did for the trailer. But great minds think as differently as colors of the rainbow, each one brilliant in its own rights.

I'm a visual person, so book trailers give me something extra to help me weigh my decision. But the blurbs do tend to kick me over when it comes to decision time.

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