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Are book trailers effective?

Today I am tackling the importance of using book trailers as a part of a book-marketing plan, and are they worth it?

The question about needing book trailers came up yesterday from a fellow writer. Let’s talk about it!

To answer the title question, perhaps video doesn’t have quite that much power, but are we more inclined to look at visuals versus long text?

Just take a peek at the ever-popular Instagram and you tell me!

As a consumer, I get bored easily, so if anyone makes something cool and short to watch, I usually check it out. Especially if everything else I see on a page has no color. I am like a butterfly and I see the bright yellow or red, I zoom on over to see what it is.

First of all, book lovers are people who frequently USE their imaginations. But, they are also people who use social media.

More and more as modern people, we are all finding our products, services and even our life-mates online. How do you find what you’re looking for in the ocean of the Internet?

To me the Internet will always be visually driven, first and foremost. When we are online, a fabulous photo or even a bright splash of color will certainly grab our attention.

Because I was curious about video and how this language translates to book readers, I viewed hundreds of book trailers. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do when writing and producing my own.

Some I watched were fantastic, some, fair-to-middling and other’s well… y-e-a-h. I am quite sure you have seen the, “yeah” batch I refer to with great chagrin.

I wondered as I watched and researched this question, what did each author want to say, was it engaging? Did it turn me off for some reason or did it make me go crazy wanting to read the story? Were the authors’ part of the process or did they farm it out to professionals? It’s pretty easy to see who was involved in the process and who wasn’t. It’s a complicated question to answer, but I will try.

I believe as a creative, you should consider all possibilities. But, I also think you have to look at each book or project individually and think about what visuals would grab your ideal readers and give them just enough of the story to excite them. Ask yourself honestly, would my potential readers even look at a video before deciding on buying this particular book?

If you are targeting a younger or a tech-savvier market, the YA crowd especially, you might want to think about doing it. My teenager watches YouTube constantly and I am pretty sure this is the norm for the majority, under the age of thirty-five. They have grown up with visual stories available at the touch of a button.

Do people over the age of fifty + watch product videos or head to YouTube or Vimeo to learn how to do or buy something? No, actually the numbers from my research say overwhelmingly, they don’t.

In order to answer this question, you must know whom you are talking to and if they will even be interested in a video, before you decide on the investment and time of making a book trailer.

Another point to consider is this, are you an Indie?

Indies that sell over 200 copies of any book are RARE. Do the math: If your book is $2.99 and you sell 200 copies. If you are selling on Amazon you might clear, $388.00, if you are selling with the 35% profit ratio. That’s not a ton of profit for a LOT of work.

If you are traditionally published, you stand to make more money and sell a lot more books. So, the numbers change in your favor, of course.

In order to really look at whether or not you need a book trailer, you must look at your bottom line. My suggestion is to think about making one midstream. If you are turning a profit and getting incredible reviews, say 25 or more in a progression, it might be a great time to consider making a book trailer. It will make you stand out and excite people if its done well.

But, what if you only have a few followers, and no one except your great-aunt Sophie seems to care about your books? Please, please, please do not spend the money, because a book trailer is more for people on the upswing of the arc. Keep in mind a professional book trailer can cost upwards from $ 350-5,000.00 and take 3-6 months for delivery.

If no one out there is looking at your words, ideas or thoughts…trust me on this; they won’t look at your videos either. Sorry to be so blunt, but this is my personal experience and I am sharing it with you, because the one thing I know about being a working writer and wish everyone else out there knew, is that without real, honest support, and genuine community, we won’t make it.

Good luck with whatever you decide and if you’re curious about my book trailers, or books, take a peek at my YouTube Channel

If you like what I’m doing, wont’cha help a girl out? Subscribe to my YouTube channel and let’s chat about it. I love to connect with like-minded writers and always appreciate a great conversation, especially about books, reading, innovation and the many challenges we all face in our writing life.

Until next time, find your Peace, Love, Hustle, then Read or Write. Xox Bibiana

Author Bio: Bibiana is a small-town girl from the Midwest who left home at an early age and traveled the world. Eventually settling in a historic village near Savannah, Georgia. She made a nest, created a family and built a dynamic career with a passion for culture, travel and private aviation.

She earned an M.A. in Fiction Writing and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University CW.

Bibiana writes novels, short stories, podcasts and screenplay adaptations.

She sincerely hopes that you are entertained, and swept away, because after all...a story doesn't come alive without you, the reader.

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