I found a professional trailer for us to watch this week:
I advise watching it once as a potential reader and then watching it again as a discerning marketer. Did you notice what they did?
The trailer starts within the context of war. The war is waged. The war is won. The main character is dominant. To the victor go the spoils—and the spoils include a princess as his bride.
The context shifts to this bride. We see repeated flashes of her that are erotic in nature, without being pornographic. The implication is that it’s not enough to be able to take her. He wants to win her, not just own her.
The context shifts again, this time taking a dark and dangerous turn. Within the king is a power, presumably one that was tapped into during the effort to win the war. Now that the war is over, this power is trying (presumably) to dominate the king. Questions arise as to how much the war was the king’s victory and how much the war was the latent god’s victory. Forces are working against the king. Undermining him and tempting to lash out? Leading him astray? We’re not sure, but the new queen seems to be in peril.
These shifts in context build to the real point of the story: Can the bride he won through war and domination save his soul from annihilation, and thereby save the people of both lands from the unleashed power of a (presumably) evil god?
Forget for a moment whether or not this story interests you. Look at it as a discerning marketer:
- The visuals, text, and voiceover work together effectively.
- The visuals are (or seem to be) originals that directly relate to the narrative of the trailer.
- The text is bold and evocative.
- The voiceover is compelling, not irritating.
- And the trailer tells a narrative that (presumably) supports the narrative of the book. It gives us an in and reveals character, plot, and stakes in a way that (if you like this sort of thing) intrigues and interests the viewer.
- Finally, we learn the title (The Winter King), the author (C.L. Wilson), where it’s available (everywhere), and when it becomes available (July 29, 2014). Most importantly, we know where to go to learn more (www.CLWilson.com).
The components are professionally done, which always helps. But I’ve seen professional trailers that just don’t work. This one does. The shifts in context within the trailer, which should occur in several places within the scope of a novel, make this a very effective, very appealing marketing tool. Honestly, it looks more like a romance than a fantasy, but I’m still intrigued—at the very least, I’m wowed by the trailer!