Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Making a book trailer: 20 Steps I took before, during and after making my first book trailer


1.       I took time and did not hurry the process
2.       I studied a lot of book trailers on You Tube – some good, some not so much, some done by pro teams and publishers, others by authors.
3.       I had a small budget so needed to be creative
4.       I worked with a professional designer, Klaus Hartleben,  who I trust, respect and who designs my kindle covers. Yes, you can do it yourself – all of it – but I am not a designer so I would rather pay someone else to do this bit so it looks as professional as possible
5.       I wanted specially written original music so commissioned a professional composer to do it.  I love Barry Seaman’s music and knew it would be good. Music really enhances the storytelling in the trailer and brings out the emotion.
6.       I chose the words for the trailer – this took time and a lot of careful thought.  I made several drafts before I was totally happy.  Did it tell a story?  Did it engage the viewer?
7.       I picked stock photo images – again carefully chosen.  I did change a few after my original selections.
8.       A book trailer is like a mini film.  It has to intrigue people above all else and engage them emotionally.
9.       I asked the opinions of two people not involved in the process for a more objective view.  It’s too easy to fall in love with your own creations and lose sight of their purpose!
10.    After seeing the first draft of the trailer, (without the music) I got even more picky, and edited words and images again – just subtle changes. 
11.    I made sure the trailer info on You Tube had the book links and my blog links.
12.    After the final version was complete, I waited and reflected for a while, to make sure I was totally happy, before loading onto You Tube.
13.    After it had received around 50 hits, I added it to my Amazon author pages for the UK and US.
14.    I sent it out – in individual messages (not a mass email) – to friends, colleagues and associates, plus all organisations that might be interested. 
15.    I did the same with my Linked in networks.
16.    With Facebook groups, I also sent individual messages – never assume it’s okay to just post on someone else’s page without asking permission.
17.    After a week, I checked my book sales to see what effect the book trailer might have had.
18.    I did the same with my blog to see if any viewers were finding it via You Tube.
19.    Between 20 and 28 October it had 344 views.  I had the search title as Coming Home by Jane Ayres. There are lots of other book trailers for the same title, ie, plenty of other books called Coming Home.  Was mine getting lost? So on 29 October I changed the search title to Norwegian Forest Cat Adventure book trailer to see if it improves the visibility. 
20.    If having a book trailer results in more books sales, I plan to do a trailer for another title in the near future – possibly more.  A book trailer is an investment of time and money.  So is it worth it?  It's too early to say yet.

I couldn’t figure how to embed clickable weblinks into book trailers, and I couldn’t find any that do this.  So if you know how to do this I would love to hear from you! In the fast, impatient world that we live in, with instant clicks to anything we want,  I wonder how many people will want to scroll to the info after viewing the trailer to click on the Buy links?  Any feedback on this very welcome!

I’m happy with the result of all our work with the trailer - what do you think? 

If you enjoy Barry's music you might also like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIyhg8e04cI

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