Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Art of Marketing: Video Trailers...do they sell more books?

By Andrea Boeshaar

If you're an author with a new release, you know that the decision of whether to purchase or make your own book/video trailer can be daunting. So many writers have trailers for their novels and just as many swear they bring more hits to their web sites and more readers into bookstores.

For myself I have found that purchasing a trailer has been costly, although I'm not sorry I purchased it. My dear friend, Misty Taggart, owns Trailer to the Stars a highly professional company. She created the trailer for the first book Unwilling Warrior in my Seasons of Redemption series I felt Misty and her production company did a great job -- although, sadly, I only have 184 views on YouTube. In short, the trailer did NOT go viral.

For books two and three I played around with http://animoto.com/ and created my own book trailers. They look like I did them myself. *sigh*

So with book 4, Undaunted Faith, releasing May 1st, I debated whether to pay for another trailer. I felt if I did spend marketing dollars on one, I would contact Misty. But, instead, I chose to go a different route. I've placed ads a few magazines. I also designed and purchased postcards via Vista Print. I'm targeting bookstores and libraries and, besides the post card expense comes the cost to mail each over-sized card.

Marketing a new book is not cheap. One writer advised me to spend 10% of advances and royalties on marketing. I'm now officially over budget!

Then, last week, Charisma Media surprised me by having a book trailer created for Undaunted Faith -- click here to view trailer. I was so tickled when I watched it. My husband LOVES it (and he's quite particular). A big shout out to Hamby Media who designed and produced the trailer. I'm extremely pleased with it!

But will it sell more books?

From a marketing standpoint, it will be interesting to see. I plan to use the trailer wherever I can and wherever I guest blog or I'm interviewed online.

In the meantime, will you let me know what you think of the trailer? Does it make you want to read the book? By leaving a comment you will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Undaunted Faith.
I will choose the winner on May 2nd. So be sure to leave a comment.

Click here to watch Undaunted Faith book trailer


Hannah R. said...

That's wonderful! I love your books! It would be lovely to be entered in a drawing.

Jillian Kent said...

Good Morning Andrea,
I love the trailer. And yes I do think a video trailer will help sell more books. My reasoning is purely based on what I call visual attentiveness. Is that even a word? :) I've always been a movie buff and I think anytime we can see something that a book is based on may help increase interest and interest helps increase sales.

I think the music adds to the appeal. I'm glad to see our publisher investing in these trailers. Personally, I think they may be more useful than book signings, but I'm not sure about that yet.

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

Thank you, Hannah. The drawing will be May 2nd.
And, Jill, we will see if a trailer proves a more effective way to sell books than a traditional book-signing.

Greg Mitchell said...

Whoa, I'm still stuck on the fact that the publisher made the book for YOU :p I wonder what their version of my book would look like...

Anyway! I agree with Jillian, about giving people something to "look at". Done right, a trailer can be very exciting.

I'm not sure if my trailers have sold many of my books, but I'll continue to make them anyway. My friends and I have made home movies for years and years. We're all a bunch of hams over here and obviously I'm a big scary movie buff, so getting out the camera and filming some footage for a new trailer is fun for me. Plus, my situation differs from you as I haven't spent any money on them--between me and my accomplices, we've got the equipment and programs we need. I think I'm trying to improve on my trailer-making abilities as much as my writing, though :p It's all part of the same beast--namely, getting your story to as many people as you can.

Greg Mitchell said...

Ah, nuts, shoulda read over what i wrote. That should say "surprised the publisher made the book TRAILER for you" :p

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I tweeted about this post, and I put the trailer on my Facebook profile.

We'll use it when we post your interview, too.

And Jillian, I'll do the same for you and any of the other Charisma House authors who get the trailer info to me.

Kym McNabney said...

Being a visual person, I love book trailers. I watch them if I know of them and they usual persuade me to purchase the book if it’s well done, and the book is one that is of interest.

I recently made a couple of "trailer" on Youtube for my blog to get more people to visit. I believe it's working, though not as well as I like.

max said...

A book trailer is not an end in itself. It's one of many tools we need to use but isn't likely to sell a book all by itself.

Video Books Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uswTZ-pJLYA

Countrysunset said...

Hi there. I loved the trailer. It was very pretty and would definitely make you want to pick up the book and read the story.

I would love to have the chance to read this!

countrysunset40 at aol dot com

Martha W. Rogers said...

I love the trailer and it makes me want to read it. The music is great as are the pictures. I'm not sure about the success of book trailers, but a good one can go a long way. This is one of the better ones I've seen. Misty did a wonderful job on it.

Trailers are another tool we can use to promote our books. I'm impressed by the marketing you have done. I'm looking forward to reading this new one in your series.

Fidzo20 said...

I think book trailers will help you sell more books to people who will watch book trailers. I think they reach out to a different audience a lot of times than magazine ads will.

The cost-benefit ratio is questionable, though. If your awesome-looking video trailer looks great but doesn't go viral, then maybe it wouldn't hurt to do them yourself anyway.

I hope it works out for you.


Mark said...

maybe trailers just need more advertisement - post them on facebook, Twitter, publisher's site, etc. I enjoy them, and they do influence me as a reader. When I post book reviews, I always post the trailer if there is one.

wellady said...

I can't wait to read Book 4! The trailer was so clean and full of words I could identify with, like "hooligan" and "Missouri". If it was a movie, well, that would be ideal, but I am sure Andrea's book will fulfill the anticipation this trailer creates in our hearts.