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Book trailers have been a hot topic among authors and book publishers in recent years. And for good reason. With so many people consuming video content on YouTube and many other websites — and doing so from desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets — it makes perfect sense to communicate with readers and potential buyers using video.
But a lot of authors have the wrong idea when it comes to creating video clips that promote their titles.
Some think they have to spend a ton of money on slick production to do it right.
The truth: Going the expensive route might impress some people, but it isn’t necessary to be effective.
Other authors put together video clips that are simply blatant sales messages: “Just published: The new book from Joe Blowhard! Buy Now!”
Reality: Unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, this type of announcement message will fall flat and lead to few sales.
There’s a better way, especially for non-fiction authors wanting to gain traction in the marketplace. This video promo for Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson is a prime example of an effective book trailer:
Why this book trailer works:
- It actually teaches you a small lesson based on the subject of the book. If the topic of “where ideas come from” intrigues you, there’s a good chance this video will leave you feeling like you learned something. It might even inspire an “Ah-ha” moment of your own. And that’s your real goal with any form of book marketing: to get a reader to think and feel something when they are exposed to your message!
If you get to the end of this four-minute video and think, “Hey, that was pretty cool,” there’s a good chance that Steven Johnson and your new awareness of his book will occupy a favorable spot in your brain. And that’s exactly how audiences are grown and author careers are built.
- It uses a good combination of audio information and visual stimulation. Obviously, a lot went into creating this video and coordinating the spoken-word elements with the time-lapsed artwork. You don’t have to go to that extend to be effective, but you should think of creative ways to meld audio and video to share a story or make a point related to your book.
One low-cost option I just came across is YouTube’s new feature that allows you to create animated videos, slide shows, and other clips in your web browser – all for free. Visit www.youtube.com/create for details.
The bottom line, when it comes to creating video book trailers for non-fiction books: Share something of real value based on a section of your book, and do it in a way that will please the eyes and the ears of anyone who takes the time to watch and listen!
What are your thoughts on effective book trailers?
For more book promotion and indie author success tips:
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