What to Diss when going DIY with your trailer

Trailers for books are increasingly part of the modern author’s tool box of promotional aids and many authors choose to make their own.  It has a lot of advantages, but it can also have some pitfalls.  So if you are traveling down the DIY route, here are some things to consider…

1. Seen It – which trailer is which?’: DIY often sees the same thing over and over. Music with a still pic, then text, transition, basic effect, still pic, text, transition etc.  The risk with these trailers is that your one can look just like the next one. Use your tools creatively to make your product stand out.

2. Trailers are ads – not cliff-hanging synopses. Synopses are to sell to an editor/agent – trailers are to sell to readers. Consider this: How do insurance companies/mortgage companies/credit card companies try to sell to you in a competitive market? What are the differences amongst what is essentially the same thing? You’re selling your product, along with everybody else on the web – not just authors. Remember the first point above.  There are a lot of trailers out there now. They can easily become a familiar blur. So be creative with your approach.  You are trying to sell your book through the trailer rather than tell the story.

3. Incohesive resources result in a disjointed viewing experience. Jumbled colour schemes, hotch-potch images and title designs that don’t relate to the rest of the material make for a harder viewing experience. Beware of basic effects that try to do what you wish but don’t quite hit the mark or – again – look just like every other indie trailer. With effects, sometimes less really is better. Let’s not forget unfinished pieces of music that end mid-phrase either – it leaves the viewer (more…)

7 Spots Your Trailer Should Be Seen

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.

Happy Trailering!

And come back next month for Common DIY Trailer Mis-hits!


Hello everyone. It’s a pleasure for me to be here giving a little bit of insight into the world of the Book Video TrailerI hope you will be able to get something helpful out of this blog.

To kick off, I’d like to share with you a couple of things about trailers. Firstly, the individual terms “Book Trailer” and “Book Teaser” are registered trademarks to a production company based in America. This may be useful to know when next you are devising any promotional spruik or for a blog guest spot, on your website copy, your social media presence or youtube – wherever your trailer is going to be found.  Book Video Trailer is the term commonly seen on the internet as is the simple term: Trailer.

Secondly, there are a lot of DIY and very low cost trailers on the internet. One of the biggest mistakes seen in these trailers is incorrect credit assertion. This is when resources used in the trailers are either not credited to the artist(s) correctly or not credited at all when they are supposed to be. An incorrect credit or lack of credit can be seen as breach of Terms and Conditions as stipulated by the websites/companies that provide the resources.  In other words, an incorrect or lack of credit assertion can be considered a breach of a legal agreement. Irrespective of whether the resource has been paid for or is for free, the correct credit assertion may still have to be applied if that’s what the terms and conditions say. Read the terms and conditions for use of material and check the website for the credit assertion policy as well. Policies differ from source to source. Some Terms and Conditions clearly stipulate how the credit is to be situated and how it is to appear. Also check that the sound/music you are using is not only credited correctly but open to manipulation. Some sound artists DO NOT allow manipulation. Manipulations can mean different things, depending on the source – another reason to check the fine print.

Matters surrounding your author brand are important to consider. Remember Trailers are to represent your book – your author brand. They are supposed to work as part of a marketing campaign for the hopeful success of your book.


PLEASE NOTE: Information contained in his post is of a general nature only. Seek appropriate legal advice for your own specific situation.

New Year, New Column, New Ways to Promote Your Book…

Once upon a time, books were published by publishing houses.  And in those halcyon days of old, those publishing houses would publicise those books.  They would organise readings and signings and book tours.  They would wine and dine reviewers and send out press releases and smooge up to book buyers on the authors’ behalf and everything was puppies and unicorns and bestsellers.

Except when it wasn’t.

Let’s face it, there was never a time when every author got that kind of treatment – and even if there was, it sure as apples ain’t like that now.  We are living in a brave new publishing world, where you might be published by a big house, or a small one, or a digital one, or by yourself, or all of the above – but whichever you choose, you are going to have to do at least some of the promotion yourself.

Which brings us to book videos, or trailers.  These days, many books sales are made online and the online world is an overwhelmingly visual one.  It seems that we can’t get enough of videos.  YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the internet, accounting for millions of hits daily.  So it’s only logical to try to harness the power of video to promote your books.  I don’t know any authors who wouldn’t want a slice of that market.

But where do you start?  How do you go about it?  What does it cost? Where do you find pictures?  How do you add music?  And what do you do with your trailer once it’s made?

I don’t have answers to those questions – but I have found someone who has.  Gabrielle Battistel is a member of RWA and a writer in many forms.  She’s been a journalist, feature writer, scriptwriter, pet health affairs online writer and blogger and she made her fiction debut in RWA’s Little Gems Anthology (2013 Sapphire Edition).  You may have met her in one of the RWA community gatherings,  either online or in person.

But what you may not know is that she’s also a filmmaker.  She has studied filmmaking and regularly updates her skills from various disciplines through the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), but she informs me that she actually became a filmmaker the moment she saw an edit suite.  (Which was probably quite a while ago, as she has worked in media for 20 years.)

With that background, it seems almost inevitable that she should move into making book videos.  And sure enough, it came to be.  In 2013, Gabrielle established her own audio/visual production service for book video trailers –Trailermade Production (more info below) – and has already made some for our members.

gab image smallWhen I discovered that, I thought that she would be the perfect person for our new column and I am pleased to announce that it took only a very small amount of arm-twisting to get her to agree to share her knowledge and skills with us on the RWA blog.  Starting Wednesday 29th of January, Gabrielle will be posting an occasional column, and answering questions about the business of video book promotion.

Yours in stories,

Imelda Evans (Blogmistress)

If you would like more information about Trailermade, here’s a video about it (seems only appropriate!)

or you can find Gabrielle at:

A New Batch of Little Gems

The results are in for the RWA Little Gems contest, the competition to earn a place in our annual short story anthology.

Once again the Little Gems was a hard fought contest with entries requiring a score of at least 92.7% to gain a place in the Anthology. This year we were able to take 15 stories from the 69 entries with a good mix of historical, contemporary and paranormal. Something for everyone. Congratulations to:

First: Jean Versace

Second: Emmeline Lock

Third: Patsy Poppenbeek

And our other successful contributors:

Cheryl Baker
Gabrielle Battistel
Harriet Jarvis
Delwyn Jenkins
Cathryn Jones
C.A. Main
Dorothy Martin
Jennifer Rae
Ute Rozenbilds
Shayne Sands
Jacquie Underdown
Vanda Vadas

Thanks, as always to Lis Hoorweg, our volunteer judges and everyone who makes our contests possible.

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