Posts Tagged ‘Book Trailers’

Guest Post: Kelly Watts

March 15th, 2013 • by Karen A. Chase • 1 Comment

My American Revolution manuscript has returned from my editor and I’ll be giving it some attention in the coming weeks. While my blog posts may be a little less frequent, I hope you’ll find them filled with more compelling information. This week, author Kelly Watts helps me out with a great guest post.

Kelly Watts moved to Australia a little over a year ago and just recently published her first book, “Sailing to Jessica,” the true story of her four-year sailing adventure with her husband that took them nearly around the world…that is until they met their daughter on a remote Pacific Island.  Kelly…


A Book Trailer: Worth the Effort?

“Where does that fit in your project plan?” my husband demanded when I announced that I wanted to make a book trailer. Paul is a project manager by profession and I had begged him to help me plan my work because I was overwhelmed. Just as the composition of a book includes many elements, so does a book marketing plan. I needed to create a website; put together my social media, as well as format and upload print- and electronic- versions of my book. Before Christmas. That gave me two months. Make a book trailer too? No wonder Paul thought I was mental!  But I had just seen my first book trailer, and it was COOL.

I had to have one.

What material could I use for my book trailer? While I had taken tons of photos on our sailing trip, I only had a handful of videos. Friends suggested holding up placards in front of the video camera, or having someone interview Paul and I. Ultimately I used variations on both ideas. I studied the movie trailer templates in Apple’s iMovie as a guide. I purchased a single-purpose license for the music online. I whittled down my 289-page book into 50 compelling words and created my trailer. I tried not to spoil the story while setting the reader’s expectations–a tough balance for a book that includes two very different reading genres, sailing and adoption.

Was it worth the effort? You decide. On December 16th, I posted my Sailing to Jessica YouTube trailer on my personal Facebook profile to my 200 friends and so did Paul. It was subsequently mentioned on two other blogs.  As of February 14th, the video has had 835 views and brought 1137 visits–935 unique visitors–to my website. I am new to this marketing game, but that seems pretty worthwhile to me…

. . . . . . . .

Today is also the last day of Kelly’s Goodreads Book Giveaway. Enter to win a free copy of Sailing to Jessica and drift away with an inspiring story. 

Prior to writing her book, Kelly has produced and/or written articles for magazines such as Blue Water Sailing and Better Homes and Gardens. She also had a weekly food column in a couple of Midwest newspapers for several years. This is the first book trailer she has made.  “After writing and editing words on a computer screen for so many years, it was fun to combine photos, videos and music to create a visual story,” she said. Her trailer will be a key component in her upcoming marketing efforts. 


What’s not in a trailer?

August 31st, 2012 • by Karen A. Chase • No Comments

By trailer I mean book trailer not a double-wide (What’s not in a double-wide is me in Daisy Dukes drinking a beer.) What authors and publishers are doing with mini movie-like previews of books ranges wildly. Here we’ll review what not to include.

Too many words
Darling, now is not the time to wax on. You have one or two minutes to impress, so the writing on the screen or the voice-over better be succinct. (Please, no authors at home using hand-held cameras saying “I wrote this because…”.) Sum up and sell the story.

As a friend of mine used to say while playing Kanasta, “Chest your cards, girls, chest your cards.” Pitch just enough so readers will want to buy the book. Why buy the cow…

Stolen Stuff
I love Yo-Yo Ma but I can’t use his music. Make sure you have the rights to images, music, videos and even fonts by purchasing them for a small fee from reputable stock websites and sources. The music on Bonjour 40 cost $39 and is it mine to use? Yo-Yo betcha.

It’s tempting to list where to buy the book, reviews, available formats, etc. This is not a used car ad. Most likely the trailer will reside on your website, on Amazon, or in digital press kits with other details, so add a quote or two, but keep the blahblah to a minimum.

You aren’t Ron Howard. Think of these as commercials, and unless you’re selling book trailers or giving credit to live actors, focus on the book.

A great sampling of trailers can be found on BookRiot. Stay tuned for more trailer information soon…

Public Domain images like this one of Ron Howard and Henry Winkler dancing on “Happy Days” can be a great source, too. This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice. Wikimedia Commons is the source.

A book trailer for Girl Unmoored

May 31st, 2012 • by Karen A. Chase • No Comments

Debut author, Jennifer Gooch Hummer, recently worked with me to build a new book trailer for her YA novel, Girl Unmoored. Her novel has been garnering all kinds of awards (see the list below), and so Jennifer was ready to produce a mini-movie about the book. The trailer needed to give an overview of the story, match her book cover and author website, and also showcase a couple reviews and awards.

To find out more about her story, watch the Girl Unmoored book trailer

To build the trailer, first I read the book! Her main character, Apron, has a funny yet very moving way of viewing the world, so we knew the text had to not only match the book marketing, but Apron’s tone of voice. Working with the artwork and fonts from the book cover, I also added a couple videos and music to help it feel like 1985, the time period of the story.

So today Jennifer launches her new book trailer and announces her collection of fabulous awards. Congratulations!

Jennifer’s awards include:
Cross Genre, National Indie Excellence Book Awards
Best YA Fiction, Paris Book Festival
Best Teenage Fiction, San Francisco Book Festival
YA Fiction, and finalist for Best Cover Design and Chick Lit
Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Finalist for YA Fiction and Best New Fiction, International Book Awards

“Love, loss, and the coming of age of one remarkable girl blaze through this haunting debut like a shooting star you’d wish upon. It’s tough and tender, funny and smart, and it frankly took my breath away. I loved it.”
– Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author, Pictures of You

“…infused with love and punctuated with wry good humor… Apron may be adrift, but Hummer’s debut is on track.”
– Publishers Weekly