The web is video content crazy. Everybody’s moving fast and video delivers a message very quickly. Things have to look good, be catchy and leave some sort of impact while travelling through the packed lanes of the information freeway.
Trailers are kin to the bookmark, tote bag, coffee mug et al, but trailers work differently from those “Goody Bag” type things. They are a more direct link to the book, BEFORE you get to it. Trailers cast a direct line from the product (book) to the target (reader/shopper). This connection is via the senses of sight and sound so they need to be dynamic, time-conscious, memorable and really importantly, accessible. (It doesn’t matter how good your trailer is if no-one sees it! Ed.)
To be accessible, trailers need to be actively used. Not rest on their hands, so to speak. So here are some places where it’s a good idea to have your trailer…
1. Your website homepage. As we all know, if you don’t have a website, then you could be behind the eight ball. Your book’s trailer should be on your homepage amongst all the other content you hold dear. And don’t forget the write-up of your trailer. e.g. “Here’s a taste of my latest, Love Is All Around Us“. If you’re getting a trailer professionally made, direct the producer to your website for them to have a look around – they should appreciate it.
If you have a webpage dedicated to your titles then I don’t have to tell you what you should include on those pages… this is a no-brainer, folks. And don’t forget to put the how-to-buy button somewhere super easy to get to.
2. Social media. Hello Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and such like. These places are prime spots for the trailer’s links and especially good for bread-crumbing. Interact with users, use the trailer for giveaways e.g. ‘tell us what dog is at a minute fifteen seconds to go into the draw to win a whatever’. Hosting an event? Use that space for your author talker trailer or bread crumb. Use the trailer over and over in places like Facebook and Twitter.
3. Publisher website. Same deal here as for your own website. If your publisher has a page for your book (which they would) then they should have the trailer visible as an embed… most times it is technically possible providing your publisher is happy to do so.
4. If you’re indie… All of the above – realistically speaking – should be compulsory. You have to get your message out amongst the stream of traffic.
5. Going to a have a booth at a convention or a signing? Swing your player around to face the crowd and play your trailer … on loop if necessary. You don’t have to have the volume up but if your trailer catches the eye of a passerby then you just may have an in. Tablets, laptops and the like are really good for this sort of thing!
6. Author speaking engagements are of course another no-brainer. Trailers make good introduction theatre. Your host may say: “Here’s the trailer for our guest’s upcoming release, Love Is All Around Us.” Most venues have big screens you can plug your device into, thereby creating a bit of entrance impact for you. And that’s always good when you are trying to be remembered for the sake of your book.
7. Blog hops, magazine and E-zine interviews, special online “appearances” and the like are often done by authors. Every occasion you have to “put your shingle up,” so to speak, is one that should be utilised. Interviews for online versions of magazines and E-zines should be able to have your trailer embedded. It would be likely that it would be magazine policy only – not technology – that declines such a request by you as their subject. Blog crawls, guest spots and even those tag events where you’re sharing snippets, covers and all those sorts of cross-pollination activities are a perfect opportunity for your trailer to be embedded. If you’re going to put your cover up, put the trailer up too… it’s that simple really!
Get the most out of the effort that has gone into making or having your trailer made. Trailers aren’t meant to just sit around on your desktop, they have to be shouted from the rooftops just like ever other advertisement.
And come back next month for Common DIY Trailer Mis-hits!