Rhonda Kay sez--
Based on recent trends by small e-publishers as well as
Big Six, book trailers are becoming the “must-have” accessory for all new
releases. Even Amazon threw their hat in the ring last month by promoting a
book trailer contest for a novel published by one of their new imprints. The
idea is definitely out there, floating in the cosmos, that book trailers are
the Next Big Thing in literary marketing and promotion.
But do they sell novels?
Now, as both authors and readers, we’re struggling to make sense of the new paradigm. With the changes from traditional publishing to small press or independent electronic publishing, authors must think about marketing, distribution, promotion—a host of things we’ve never before had to face on our own.
Here’s the catch: a writer can pay for a very effective, professionally produced trailer, upload it to their favorite hosting site, wait, and see absolutely no boost in book sales.
The reason? Book trailers are not a magic bullet. They are one more tool in the arsenal of a motivated seller. They will do you no good at book signings, local fairs, or personal appearances unless you’re prepared to have the trailer playing in a loop on a nearby screen. You can’t put them in someone’s hand, autograph them as giveaways, or slip them between the pages of library books for the next reader to find.
However, what a trailer will do is draw the attention of a reader browsing the internet, trying to make a choice between your novel and another beside it on the screen. If your novel has an effective trailer and the other one doesn’t, I’m willing to bet the money lands in your account, not the other author’s. A well-done trailer offers a glimpse into the world of your novel, at the conflicts and the very faces of your characters. It can cause potential readers to become invested in your story long before they turn the first page.
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Out Related Media"
For example, Ania Ahlborn's novel Seed--you can see an embedded video, which is the live action book trailer. The producer of this trailer, Vikas Wadhwa, is a super nice guy who I hope will lead the charge in live-action book trailer production.
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Bio: Rhonda Kay is a writer and machinima director living in Southwest Virginia with her husband and a herd of animals. She has penned three novels, but the emerging market for book trailers has kept her too busy lately to even think of publishing anything. An active member of both the writing and machinima communities, she is a strong advocate for the use of 3D animation as a storytelling medium. She blogs here.