Today I'm going to talk about the 2012 RWA National Workshop, Deciphering Book Trailers.
The speaker was Jeannie Ruesch.
In addition to being an author, she also owns a design firm called Will Design For Chocolate (which makes me hungry just looking at it!).
I went to this workshop knowing nothing about book trailers. I'd never even watched one! After the workshop, I really think it's something fun and interesting to do for your book promotion.
It can get expensive, though, so I haven't done it yet, and am not going to spend a bunch of money for a professional to create one for me. I will have to invest time to make one myself, so for now it's on the back burner for me.
Here are some of the book trailers she showed at the workshop:
Death of a Cure (notice not too many details/cryptic)
Jonathan Fields (incredibly powerful)
It's hard to summarize the workshop, since she went through each video, showing what worked and what didn't, but here are some general tips:
•create an emotional response in viewer. Push their buttons. Make them feel.
•set up expectation/anticipation
•You have 10 seconds at most to hook them.
•don't try to squeeze in a whole synopsis! It's not a query letter. You're setting mood, expectations. Trust the reader to fill in the gaps.
•"You have to respect the fact that imaginations are deeply private."--Peter Mendelsund, Knopf book jacket designer
•Don't tell the story! Create an emotional connection, pull them in, make them want to find out what happened. Leave them wanting more.
•Short sentences--none longer than 5 words. A power word in every sentence.
•Use the images. Don't just have an image of kissing to illustrate the word kissing. Don't be so literal. Use an unexpected twist. An example was a video for a suspense book that first showed a woman tied up to convey, duh, a woman held captive. But when the image was changed to images of a dark, scary place/a hand coming out of the darkness/shadows, it was actually more effective than a literal image of kidnapping. Look for that compelling image, not the most obvious one.
A final word, not from the workshop, about all this marketing jazz: http://youtu.be/OFki2O8-28s
So, have you made a book trailer? Do you want to? Have you ever seen one? If you have seen some book trailers, which ones have you liked/found effective?
Next time, on November 14th, I'll either be talking about Christmas books (if I have mine done!), or non-Kindle publishing outlets.
Until then, happy writing, everyone. :-)
author of the Pajaro Bay romantic mystery series