Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Trailers Revistied



I've heard from more than one source that the overriding message coming out of Thrillerfest last week was that publishers expect authors to do ever more self-promotion. We hear this all the time, but the voices of the publishers are becoming strident. So in response, I decided to make a book trailer for the upcoming trade paperback release of What Remains of Heaven.

Long-time readers will recall that I did one for Why Mermaids Sing three years ago. At the time, I didn't actually expect it to have much of an impact on sales. My real motive was to make my publisher happy at a time when they were very unhappy about the state of my hometown post-Katrina. But I stumbled across that trailer the other day and was stunned to see that nearly 4,000 people had watched the video in the last few years. Now, I suspect most of those who watched it were already readers, or maybe they clicked on it by mistake, but what the heck. If it makes my publishers happy...

Of course, in the intervening three years I had totally forgotten how to make the dang things, so the learning curve was steep. By the time I finished it (many bleary-eyed hours and much muttering later) I decided to charge ahead and make a couple of more while I still knew what I was doing. So I also made trailers for Where Shadows Dance and The Babylonian Codex.

The Babylonian Codex turned out by far the best, in my opinion, largely I suspect because I had photos I could use for it. The historical mysteries' results were less satisfactory because I could only use the cover. I tried interspersing prints of old London but somehow they weren't right, so I fell back on the cover. And my editor couldn't send me the cover art minus the title, etc, because I'm told it's illegal to use it that way, so I was restricted to the actual cover with all that pesky writing, which made it even more difficult.

More to follow!

12 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the movement and great music in this one.

liz fenwick said...

I like it but have to say that book trailers aren't something I search out but I do think it's a way to reach the 'younger' market. I watch all mine practically live on you tube searching out all manner of things...also trailers came up in MIRA session at the conference - they one the showed was from a YA crossover book...The growth of them I will watch with interest.

lx

Steve Malley said...

Nicely done, miss. Nicely done.

I hadn't even given a thought to trailers...

Lainey said...

You did good!
Looking forward to your Babylonian Codex trailer

Barbara Martin said...

Well done, Candy.

I suspect the publishers want their authors to promote more due to the lagging economy.

cs harris said...

Thanks, Charles.

Liz, I actually don't pay much attention to book trailers, either, except out of curiosity to see what other writers are doing. I wonder if they do appeal more to younger readers?

Steve, thank you. With your artistic background I'd think it would be a great fit.

Lainey, thank you. I do like the Codex one better.

Barbara, thanks. Yes, sagging sales are a reason. The problem is, bookstores pay so much more attention to promotion by publishers than by authors. They like to know that a publisher is behind a book, pushing sales.

Kate Sterling said...

Cool. That VERY nicely done given your restrictions with using only the cover!

I look forward to seeing the rest.

le fleur said...

Great Job; especially with the limited visuals you had to use. One way I look at books is by comments in Amazon.com.

cs harris said...

Thanks, Kate.

Le fleur, this one was tough. I admit I look at Amazon comments, too! Which is a scary thought, as an author.

orannia said...

I've only had access to fast speed internet (called broadband here :) since December, so book trailers are a mystery :) I like this!

le fleur said...

Yes, if I was an author, I would be very scared to look at comments in Amazon about my books. But it would also be very edifying to know what people truly feel about them and how I could improve on them because people don't hold back on their comments!

Firefly said...

Must admit, I do like it! However it is not something that I would expect to see or, for that matter search for. I find that there is nothing nicer than spending hours in a bookstore, whiling away the time reading the synopsis of a book on the front & back flaps!!