Because of my passion for the message, and the drama of the subject, I really wanted a book trailer for my latest release, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. So I went on a quest, hunting for the most enticing book trailers, hoping to glean insights and ideas.
When I searched on YouTube, high-profile author websites, and via Google searches, I was surprised. There wasn’t much out there, and what was, frankly, with few exceptions, didn’t entice me to read the books they represented. Especially those filmed for my genre of creative non-fiction.
For transparency sake, I’ll confess. I turned most off before I finished watching.
But quality wasn’t the only issue I had while doing my homework. When I looked at pricing models by those who offered the service, I was appalled at what some of them wanted to charge. (No wonder there are so many self-made book trailers.)
But I knew I wasn’t gifted in the creative realm of film-making. I needed the help of a professional. So what to do???
It was around this time my niece got married. A couple of weeks after the ceremony, she invited an intimate group of close family and friends for a wedding video party. The videographer was there, and he unveiled his masterpiece. I was VERY impressed. His creativity in weaving the footage into a story, really captured my attention, and held it.
When the party was over, I waited until everyone else had left, and asked my niece how much he charged. The price was right. This young creative was building his portfolio, and although he was smart enough not to give his services away, he didn’t price himself out either.
I asked the videographer, Daniel Thompson Film and Photography, if I could speak with him.
“Have you ever filmed a book trailer?”
“I’m not sure what that is.”
I explained. Then asked if he would consider working with me to create a trailer for Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. I outlined what I wanted.
“I’ll provide you with plenty of information, much more than you’ll ever use, and I’d love for you to take it from there, use what you need and discard the rest. Don’t be afraid to get creative. You’re the expert, the professional in this field, not me. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job.”
So I emailed him a document, full of information. (If you want a copy as a sample, just email a request to email@example.com).
We did a couple of filming sessions, one at a book signing I had at Barnes & Noble, per his suggestion. And though I don’t like to see or hear myself, I think he did a great job of making the trailer feel warm, inviting, and allowing the flaws of imperfect hair, makeup, etc., add to the real-ness of the message.
He also included things I wouldn’t have thought of. A few touches of dramatic flair. Flipping through the pages of my book. Looking up toward Heaven. A closeup of me autographing. Little things people respond to. You can watch it here and tell me what you think.
If you’d like to create a great book trailer, and this area of creativity is not your forte, plus like me, you need to squeeze dollars, I have some suggestions:
- Hire Daniel, he’s amazing!
- If you live too far from Daniel, (I’m sorry!), find your own local creative, who’s building a photo/video portfolio, and willing to experiment.
- Check with local colleges, or even high schools, asking the administration for referrals to a young, talented person who might do a great job.
Through the process, I learned secrets from a professional about how to create an enticing book trailer. Slapping something together isn’t enough. Make sure it draws people in, and makes them want to read your book, not turn you off. I can’t take credit for mine, but I am happy with the outcome. It isn’t perfect, but in my opinion, it is enticing.
Have you used a book trailer? If so, what was your experience?