I was in the mood for something beautiful, so when I saw the image on this trailer I just had to check it out:
As you can see, the imagery used in this trailer is breathtaking. The beautiful pictures show a magical place, and the oceanscapes have all the allure you would expect from the primary source of danger in a fantasy novel. I cannot fault the trailer for its evocativeness.
The text was beautiful, too. I wish I knew what it said. Unfortunately, the words scrolled by too fast for me to read it. That’s a problem. What made the problem worse is that the beautiful script often blended right into the beautiful pictures, making it difficult to read even those lines that were brief enough to be read in the time allotted. The sum result lost a great deal of the overall effect, assuming the words were at least half as provocative as the pictures.
You know, as an author, that pacing is important within your story. Check that: If you don’t know that pacing is important, then you’re not ready to be making a trailer.
The point is that pacing is important. Period. It’s as important in a piece of marketing as it is in a novel, it’s just a lot less complicated in a book trailer. So, it worries me when confronted with a trailer with impossible pacing.
After all, if you can’t hold up a decent pace for a minute, how can you keep the pace for the length of a novel?
Do you see how the quality of your marketing materials impacts what potential readers may think of your work? Breathtakingly beautiful is good, but if it goes by too fast for it to mean anything… What’s the point?
To avoid this reaction, you either need to slow it down or make it clear at whatever frenetic pace you’ve chosen. You can do a voiceover, which also adds a personal touch if the author reads it. You can also do shorter lines, making sure someone who’s never read it before can read it at the pace you’ve set. But you’ve got to do something.