What’s the Mmmph! all about?
Well, I have a slightly mixed message about book trailers, so please DO keep reading till the end.
I pretty well think that most book trailers stink. They are so boring watching a 30 second clip can put me to sleep at the 3 second mark.
Unless you already have a large YouTube audience or a website, my personal opinion is that book trailers are a waste of time and money.
Let’s Talk About BORING First
When most people think about trailers, they are thinking about movie trailers. I have friends in the movie biz and know that many movie trailers cost well over $FIVE MILLION to make. This does not include the 65 million+ involved in the actual filming of the movie (which is where the trailer clips come from). It involves the countless hours of the promotions team and the advertising team and an editor to put together the trailer they think will bring YOU to the theater.
So … let’s see. You just spent $20 on a fiverr video and its great … right? REALLY, HONEST, it’s great?
It is so boring most people won’t last the 3 second test.
Yeah, OK … someone convinced you to spend $500 for special effects and dramatic music. Might be a bit better than the $20 one BUT … be honest. It is probably still bor ing.
The bottom line is you are competing with $5 million and more movie trailers that actually keep you awake.
Here’s a quote from Investopedia.com
The average cost to produce a major studio movie has been around $65 million. But the production costs don’t cover distribution and marketing, which adds another $35 million or so, on average, bringing the total cost to produce and market a major movie to right about $100 million.
You Have To Promote Your Boring Video
Yep. The idea is that your trailer will help sell your book. But now you have to spend time and money promoting your video.
So what if someone actually looks at your video? IF people find your book trailer tedious and boring they are going to assume your book is also tedious and boring and off they go to someone else’s book.
Hmmmmm. If the video is boring and doesn’t sell anything, then what?
You’ll have to go back to actually promoting your book, by building your website, building your email list, building your social media platforms.
So my unasked for advice? Why not just skip promoting your video and focus on promoting your book. Less work, less $$ spent.
OK, I will confess to having seen several excellent book trailers … but that’s out of the hundreds of not so excellent trailers I half watched. ONE of them was produced by a Hollywood actress and was darn good! I bought her book.
What If You Have An Excellent Book Trailer?
Perfect. I’m going to assume you are right.
So here’s where my Mmmph! comes in.
It still might not do you any good, because you STILL have to promote the video. Promoting the video may be in direct competition to promoting your book (time and $$).
Unless you have your own website with a lot of regular traffic.
Unless you have your own YouTube channel with a cruise ship full of followers.
Unless you have decent sized (thousands) social media platforms.
The bottom line is you need the book trailer twosome for it all to work.
- A fabulous book trailer.
- A decent sized (thousands) audience.
So answer the question honestly. Do you REALLY want to go there?
Still not convinced?
I’m a Top Gun fanatic and lasted the whole 2+ minutes. How much did you watch?
Watch this trailer. I randomly picked it off of YouTube and am not purposefully trying to embarrass the author. How much did you watch? I FORCED myself to watch the whole thing … I buy loads of children’s books. NOT this one!
What does a GREAT Book Trailer Look Like?
This one is amazing. It captures your attention and keeps you watching until the very end. If you want a book trailer to work FOR you, this is the quality you need to aim for. And YES, the book is fantastic! The Lost Heir
OH, OK, one more thing. Just to be fair, here’s an article on Why You SHOULD produce a book trailer, along with lots of ideas on how to make it good. If it sounds like a lot of work it is (I was in the video production business for over 20 years). And just in case you are into guessing … YES the article was written by someone in the book trailer production business.
Instead of a Book Trailer?
Focus on your marketing … it is the biggest part of your job as a self publisher!
Marketing is all about Exposure and Sales
Your Marketing Plan is a Road Map To Success
Most book trailers aren’t worth the time of day. As dry as the Atacama. But then, so is the Top Gun trailer. Ugh!
Maureen Murphy says
I loved this “in development” trailer by E. O. Higgins, who used this to help raise funds for the publishing of his book. I think the key is:
* A wonderful manuscript.
* Supporters who invest in a high-quality production. Actors, music, dialog, an interview with the author.
Yikes that’s a long video … not sure about audience retention BUT something similar that is in the 2 – 3 min range would definitely work!