When book trailers first started getting noticed in the Christian book market—back around 2008—they were the new, interesting, and MUST-HAVE element of marketing plans. But folks, it’s been 5 years. Chances are you’re not wearing the same shirt you wore five years ago. So why are you using the same marketing techniques?
Book trailers are not as effective as they once were for several reasons…
Quick production: a slideshow of free stock images and a bunch of text on screen does not equate a good presentation. As my mom always said, “it’s better to show up late, than to show up ugly.”
Cheap production: Trailers cost money. Or rather, trailers should cost money. The first trailers—and the really good trailers—were seen as an investment. But today, people cut corners to keep costs down. Listen up, folks, you can’t hide cheap.
Length: What was the title of that movie… Gone in 60 Seconds? So is your reader.
Revealing the big reveal: The point of a book trailer is to give just enough fuel to fan the fire… not to reveal the plot. I don’t want to finish a trailer and know the names of every character, much less the entire story.
Market saturation: Remember the old saying, “if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you too?” Apparently the answer to that—at least where book trailers are concerned—is “yes.”
It’s easy to see the problems. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to fix them. If you must have a book trailer, stick to the facts:
- Plan ahead; don’t rush the process
- Invest in hiring a bona-fide video producer
- Keep it short
- Keep it a mystery
- Make it unique
If you can figure out that last one (so that your trailer doesn’t look like everything else on the market) then kudos to you. Pat yourself on the back. Then give me a call. Cuz I want to pick your brain. Actually, don’t give me a call. Because I’d rather spend my time brainstorming, searching, thinking… and hopefully finding… the NEXT big idea in book marketing. What would the book market look like if there were no more book trailers?
Now THAT’s something to think about.