Movie trailers pull us in with drama, comedy, even fear, and get us longing to go to the theatre. Film producers have long understood the promotional value of "previews" or "trailers" to entice the public to a particular movie. As a promotional medium the trailer has always proved a winning formula and a crossover to the literary world has been inevitable due to the recent changes in the Internet.
Put simply, a trailer for a book or novel should be a short preview to illustrate how the book will keep the reader turning the pages. It is true that trailers work better for some titles than others. Books that have really powerful and broad images associated with them are obvious examples of dynamic presentations, but there is no reason why a short promotional video cannot be created in some form for every piece of literary work.
YouTube made major headlines in 2006 when Google bought the video giant for $1.65 billion.YouTube is incredibly popular. The success of YouTube and Vimeo illustrates that people are indeed looking for web sites that have some video content and are indeed marching in droves to the web to watch video. This is a genuine phenomenon, which in turn presents an inexpensive yet effective advertising opportunity to help authors increase traffic to their web sites.
Youtube.com has become one of the Internet's most watched websites, woth more than 1 billion unique users visiting YouTube each month. One of the reasons that online video has proved such a phenomenon may be because of the spread of broadband - but this is surely is not the only reason: YouTube, Vimeo and Vine are all about sharing video experiences, combine this with the fact that clips are searchable due to the inclusion of meta tags during uploading and the formula is explosive. The whole business of video sharing is set to grow even more rapidly especially with superfast broadband and 4G becoming available and affordable to almost everyone.
It is easy to embed your movie into your own website pages so that it displays in your site. As YouTube and Vimeo host the actual video file on their server, they take the bandwidth hit every time someone views your trailer. Without this, your service provider might soon be asking for an increase in their subscription fees should your trailer prove popular. A worse case senario would be that you even exceeded your bandwidth limit and had your site closed down temporarily.
Should a video be lucky enough to reach the front page of YouTube it really excels in terms of viewing figures. Admittedly, with the huge amount of new videos being uploaded this is difficult to achieve, but who would have imagined that "Charlie Bit My Finger" would have been seen more than 170 million times since its posting in May 2007?
After uploading your book trailer to both YouTube and Vimeo, you still have the option to increase web traffic further by hosting the promo on your own website as well. By adding descriptive content or surrounding the video with on-page relevant text, it is possible for a listing on the major search engines.
With over 100 million videos being watched a day, it is very important to gain top ranking on YouTube, however there is conflicting advice around the Internet on just how to reach the top spot.
Some suggest that the key to getting on the front pages is not by the number of views but by the number of people that have marked it as a favourite. One thing is for sure: the exposure a particular video gets from YouTube is directly related to its traffic and its ratings. High-rated and high-traffic videos are usually featured on the main pages.
As the YouTube network is flooded with content, they allow users to include a series of basic meta-information, including the title, description, tags, language and video category. This optimisation is imperative. The YouTube Website gives the following advice when uploading movies:
When you upload your video, we require you to choose at least one category and enter at least one tag to describe the content in your video. Adding this information helps other YouTube members find your video, so if you want an audience, help them out! The more accurate the tags are on each video, the easier it is for everyone to find cool videos to watch.
Make your tags as descriptive as you can if you took a video of your friends at the beach, you might want to tag it like this: party beach surfing. Each tag is separated from the others by a space.
To increase web traffic to your book trailer once your video is online an optimized, you should first publicise on social media - maybe even asking friends and family to politely to vote and leave comments on YouTube. Next on the agenda could be bloggers and other book-lover websites, many of whom pass them on through their own email lists.
The book video makes it possible to reach the broader, Internet-savvy reading audience who might skip the traditional newspaper book review section.
The main goal of your Book Trailer should be to have a video that is something people would find entertaining enough to leave YouTube and visit your web site. The ultimate aim is to give the viewer a hint and leave them wanting more. Even possibly leaving them so intrigued, they'd want to go out and buy the book.
It can be said that in this highly media-saturated world, there is only a limited attention span and we must use this time by pulling the viewer into the world of the author. The product that we’re selling is not a car, washing machine, a perfume. It is, in and of itself, storytelling.
So how does one go about trying to capture the spirit and feel of a 400-page book with complex characterisation and delicate themes and in a 60-second video without imposing a lot of key elements — like the look and feel of characters and settings?
Firstly it is really important to remember that readers want to imagine what the characters and settings look like for themselves; by trying to emulate this too much you may just take away the fun of reading the book in the first place.It is also important to keep the book trailer short; otherwise you are likely toand half minutes are the maximum length allowed by movie theaters, so their experience shows that’s long enough.
Another production technique that is also to have some sort of cliffhanger at the end of the video, or possibly even interrupting the video in the middle and displaying a message that reads: "For the rest of this video, visit MySite.com." There are lots of tricks of the trade to learn from the movie industry regarding trailers. The most vitally important element for any book trailer must be to remember to include a plug for your web site in the video itself.
The YouTube phenomenon which leads to other large companies launching their own video sharing website does not come as a surprise. It can be estimated that this surge of people wanting to watch video on their PC, phones and tablets will continue to increase substantially. So is there an Oscar or a Lizzy Award for the best LitVid of the year?
There are the Book Video Awards - a joint initiative run by Random House and The Bookseller Magazine. Students from the National Film and Television School are invited to submit proposals to create a video trailer from a selection presented by Random House. The Book Video Awards combines emerging literary and film talent, and gets the results out across an unprecedented digital network.
The future is here! Why just post your book video on video sharing sites? Why not post your book video on plasma screens at airport bookstores, In author press rooms , on your book’s Amazon.com page and also in email pitches to bookstore buyers and media?
U.S. company, Circle of Seven Productions, a company started in 2002, has been evolving over the last few years as a leader in the book video business and has rapidly become the leading producer of Book Trailers and Book Teasers.
In the near future it may prove that the days of judging a book by its cover will draw to a close. Authors and Publishers are starting finally to tap into the MTV generation, and realise that now it is possible to make your literary choices in advance online by watching a book trailer or video promo. The changing consumer habits in the world of technology are a wake-up call to the publishing world –the same wake-up that the music industry is currently experiencing. The introduction of book trailers is not desperation; it is evolution.
Books, more than other products, rely on word of mouth because they don't usually receive the huge prerelease marketing budgets that CDs, movies and even video games enjoy. Anything that promotes reading is good. It's good to see authors and publishers are not just waiting for people to walk into bookstores and discover a book: they have to go out and grab people where they're spending their time and bring them back to the books - this is just the most compelling example of how to do it.