Sometimes you just can’t say why…
I can tell you with certainty that this trailer worked. I even put the first book in my Amazon queue (not that I have time for any more leisure reading at the moment). The question is: Why? And how can you do it for yourself?
I definitely like the premise of the series. In a way, it reminds me of my first novel (you know, the unpublishable one), which also uses fairies as primary characters, cultural corruption, and even exile—so part it might be the need to read it to see if it’s too close to my own story for comfort.
I also like the fact that she advertised the entire series in one trailer, successfully. I like the fact that she “showed” us the characters and told us enough about their stories to pique interest while also maintaining coherency between the many characters introduced in the trailer. I like the fact that she used supporting quotes, though they went by too fast to read or absorb. I like the themes suggested by the characters’ problems, too. And I even like the fact that this introduction won’t “spoil” the plot as it is introduced in the book, because there’s no way I’m going to remember who goes with which challenge.
I don’t like the frenetic pace of the trailer or the way the author tried to fit so much material into just over 3 minutes. I think she should have included less or taken longer (it’s a toss-up). And I don’t like the comparisons she chose, because (in my opinion) Lewis, Tolkien, and Lackey (the only authors of those used to make the comparison that I’ve read) have drastically different styles, leaving me wondering what these books are really like. I also didn’t like the rather dire problems mixed with such a happy, frenetic song—but, in a way, it works with the theme, so maybe that was a good choice after all.
Still, the question remains: Why did this trailer work? It’s clear that this trailer was thought-out and worked hard to achieve its goal. All the piece were there: strong images, strong sound, characters, plot, theme, setting. The amounts were small, but that’s all you need. Supporting quotes add credibility. Good, high quality production does, too. Put those things together and, if you appreciate the premise, then the trailer works.
So, what do we learn from this? A successful trailer takes thought, creativity, and planning. You need to find a way to communicate your premise through characters we can care about that also suggests plot, theme, and setting, using quality “ingredients,” meaning strong visuals and strong auditory stimulation. You need to support your credibility and invest in your production—which doesn’t mean the trailer needs to be quite this elaborate, but it does need to be good. Coherency and style add to the overall flavor.
If you can do this, then you can find your audience and sell your book!