In response to a link posted by @SandyAppleyard on Twitter, I decided to make my own book trailer for The Dead Famous using what little film making skill I have (i.e. none).
My first step was to read through the post describing what a trailer should contain adn what structure it might take. I then went on to youtube to see what other trailers looked like and wa not exactly surprised, but was curious at the varying quality of clips that were out there. Some such as the one for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters looked as if it had been fun to make, got me a little interested in the book (even though I was already aware of it) and it gave me all the information I needed to know about the book. It told me that it was a book that was not to be taken seriously, was tongue in cheek and was now available to buy from all good etc etc.
The link for it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jZVE5uF24Q
I would only criticise one element of it, that the credits at the end were hardly necessary and, if anything, distracted from the trailer’s point, that it was an advert for a book adn not a film for film’s sake…on the other hand it has so far received over 370,000 views so judge from that what you will.
On the other side of the trailer spectrum, we have Secrets of Surrender. I have to be honest, the music sounds like it’s stolen from a 1980’s tv movie and the trailer made with Windows movie maker BUT it has still received over 17,000 views and the comments are very complimentary. It can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpDLfFKyzv4
So, what I have learned:
Know your target market; if you’re writing a romance book and think your audience spend all their spare time watching the Hallmark Channel or generic tv movies, make a trailer to suit.
Keep the information brief and to the point: Book Title, Author, plot premise, where to buy the book and when it might be available. I can only suggest that any other information is fluff and probably not necessary (if you can think of anything else that should be included, please respond to the blog, I usually am wrong about most things and happily accept criticism).
Keep it short or, at least, if it is going to be more than about 1 minute, then make sure it holds the viewer’s attention for that time. Go in, give your message, get out.
I’ll end by saying that the trailer I amde was with a camera and a mac book and looks very home made, it is also probably too long and was amde with iMovie rather than movie amker (probably not a giant leap forwards!) but it was a great deadl of fun making it and, after I’ve hacked it to pieces, I’ll post it to youtube for someone to criticise and rip to pieces. That person probably, I don’t know, has a blog or something and just spends their time ripping on other people’s work while creating nothing but literary poop on toast themselves anyway.
Don’t you just hate that?