Trailer Time: A Fresh Beginning?

I found a trailer that seems to fit my mood. Take a look:

First, I have to briefly address the tug-o-war between what we feel we must do and what we are called to do. Granted, nobody knocked me down. Nobody made me crash. I did it to myself by ignoring my own body and what it was trying to tell me. Still, I could get angry. I could give in to the feelings that bind me to this earthly plane. I could look for someone else to blame – anyone to blame. Or…I could let go of what has passed and move onto what is ahead. Revenge or destiny…which would I choose? I choose destiny.

Now, from a marketing angle, I’ve just shown that this trailer is engaging because it asked a question and elicited an answer.

While this trailer is a bit on the long side, it strikes me as a teaser trailer. This is a trailer that gets attention and builds engagement, instead of selling books. When you’re just getting started, this is often all you can do with a single trailer. Considering the length, it may have tried to do too much as it is.

You see, there are steps in the marketing process:

  1. Get attention. We are inundated with marketing messages all the time. It takes a lot to get our attention. It takes even more to be memorable enough for that attention to last. “A lot” and “more” don’t refer to length, but to impact. A teaser trailer should get the audience’s attention and stop. Lengthwise, we’re looking at 30 seconds – 45 max!
  2. Build engagement. Once we have the lasting attention we want, we have to build off of our previous message. This is the point where you entice your viewer. You promise something bold and deliver quickly, and then you make an even bigger promise. This kind of trailer leads to something more substantial, but you’ve only got about a minute to do it.
  3. Sell your book. This is the kind of trailer that reaches out to an audience that knows (or that will feel like they should know) who you are and why you matter. This is the time to highlight where the product (i.e. the book) is available, that it’s available now (at least for pre-release sales), and that it’s definitely worth getting. This is the trailer that could last for 1 to 2 minutes.

If you watch all the way to the end, you’ll see that this trailer tries to accomplish all three of these objectives. The impact of each of these attempts is diluted, however, because it’s all being done at once. Keep in mind, here, folks, that it takes multiple impressions to make a sale. Once you make those impressions, and do so successfully, you can get a real sale at a price that’s really worth your time. It just takes some effort to get there.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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8 Responses to Trailer Time: A Fresh Beginning?

  1. acflory says:

    As I was reading this post it suddenly hit me that I’ve never bought a book because of its trailer. Never. I’ve gone to movies because of a trailer. I’ve even bought a game because of a trailer [and was very disappointed with it], but never a book. I think part of the problem I have with book trailers is that by necessity, they have to be someone else’ take on the story. They’re pre-digested somehow, even in a simple teaser.

    Are there any stats on how effective book trailers really are?

    • I’ve never found a reliable stat. Most book trailers, if properly used, don’t try to sell books. It’s about gaining awareness. It’s about getting readers to consider the possibility. The sale comes from something a bit more personal.

      • acflory says:

        Yes, that makes sense to me.

      • The best thing to do is to think about why you buy books as a reader. Sure, we make spur of the moment purposes. We try something new and unfamiliar. But, the bulk of our purchases tend to be spent on writers we “know” in some way or writers that have been recommended to us. I’ve spent a lot more money buying from writers I found some way and loved than I have on writers I’ve just tried out on my own. Of course, the fact that my favorite kind of stories are multi-book epic fantasies has something to do with that.

      • acflory says:

        I’ve become a little more adventurous in my reading since getting my Kindle, but by and large I have to agree with you – Almost all the indie writers I’ve read over the last 2 years have all been recommended to me somehow. Some I met socially, some I read in other contexts, but all have had some connection to me.

      • And that’s my point. Not only are we likely to read people that are recommended to us, we’re even more likely to read and recommend people we actually know in some way or another.

      • acflory says:

        Yeah, the personal connection is powerful, even if the connection itself is tenuous.

      • Ah, but not everyone realizes that it is tenuous. Consider those people who decide based on a source of entertainment that they want to marry the provider of the entertainment. ~shivers~ Some people really don’t realize just how tenuous it is.

        Then, in other cases, it’s not nearly so tenuous.

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