Guest Post: Do Book Trailers Sell Books? by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Do Book Trailers Sell Books? by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

There’s been a lot of discussion about book trailers on this blog and elsewhere on the ‘Net, and the question is: Do book trailers sell books? As an author who has no access to knowing where book buyers come from or whether they bought because of a trailer, I am very interested in the answer to this question. 

Personally, some trailers have led to me buying a book. I bought Mothering Mother by Carol D. O’Dell based on her book trailer and info. The info drew me in, the trailer sold me. I’ve seen awesome trailers and some that are just not that well done. 

Derek Armstrong and Kam Wai Yu, of Persona Corp fame and now Kunati Books, were the original creators of the book trailer. That was years ago. Technology has changed and trailers have become more complex, more attractive to readers and far more acceptable. 

Book trailers vary in style. Some are text only with dramatic music. Those can definitely be appealing, since nothing else distracts the viewer. Other trailers are live video—and showcase actors. Unfortunately, many look like amateur videos and the acting can be…well, let’s say, uninspired. 

Recently I watched Dean Koontz’s Odd Passenger “webisodes” (or Internet movie chapters) on YouTube. It is basically four short book trailers that, combined, tell a creepy story. The acting won’t win any Academy Awards; however, it’s solid enough and the camera shots are professional enough that I was hooked. Reel me in, Odd! I’ve ordered the latest Odd book because of these webisodes. 

So now, I’ll be brave and share with you the book trailer that Kunati Books made for my latest novel…Whale Song. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment and tell me what you think. Does this video intrigue you, tease you, leave you wanting more? Does it make you want to order Whale Song? Have you ever bought a book because of the book trailer? Enquiring minds (mine!) wanna know. 

 

Buy Whale Song on Amazon.com.

 ~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River, and Divine Intervention

http://www.whalesongbook.com

http://www.cherylktardif.com 

Kandide and The Secret of the Mists

Our book club has taken an odd turn–

This fall we will read Kandide and the Secret of the Mists, a book meant for 9-12 year old readers (let’s just say we are all a wee bit older than that).  It’s all faeries and magical worlds and enchanting adventure, not my usual interests!  But one of our members is a friend of Diane Zimmerman, the author, and she will be attending our meeting in person.  That’s a rare opportunity and one we did not want to pass up.  Ms. Zimmerman is also a professional magician at the Magic Castle in LA- pretty cool! Several of us (myself included) have children that fall into the 9-12 age range, so we’re going to ask them to read the book along with us and include them in our meeting.

The trailer is quite good!  Check it out:

 

 

Click HERE for a Promo Code to save 25% on Kandide!

Has your book club ever read something completely different like this?  If so, how did it go?  

Guest Post and Giveaway: Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of Mrs. Lieutenant

Author Phyllis Zimbler Miller talks about her book, Mrs. Lieutenant, and how she’s had to become proficient at online marketing and html! Please leave a comment here by June 30th for a chance to win a copy of Mrs. Lieutenant. Oh, and that is the real Mrs. Lieutenant at a Coronation Ball in 1967. What a lovely up-do!

I’m reading Stephanie Chandler’s new book “The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform” with the subtitle “Leveraging the Internet to Sell More Books.” It’s one of several such books I’ve read as well as numerous teleseminars I’ve listened to along with attending John Kremer’s two-day marketing event 10 Million Eyeballs.

All the advice is excellent – and if I could replicate into 4 to 6 copies of myself, I’d be able to follow all this terrific advice in the next, say, two to three years.

And yet the truth remains that an author has to self-promote or get completely overlooked. In 1992 when the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION that I co-wrote with Rabbi Karen L. Fox came out, she and I had to do all our own marketing. At least now, thanks to the internet, this is easier to do – as well as harder because there are many more opportunities to chase.

Just the “simple” question of my blog for MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL: How do I attract people to the blog? Where else can I post the blog? Is what I’m writing on the blog of any interest to anyone else? And, oh, could I somehow magically learn html so I could add fancy “things” to my blog?

Yet I do believe that authors self-promoting through blogs is very important. Only perhaps very important on other people’s blogs – blogs that have been around longer and have a loyal following. In fact, I’m on a virtual book tour this month through Pump Up Your Book Promotion – and I’m really enjoying writing guest posts and being introduced to some great blogs.

In addition, I’m co-sponsoring “Tell-Your-Own-Story,” a contest for military spouses in connection with season 2 of Lifetime Channel’s ARMY WIVES television series. The contest is HERE, and Lifetime is contributing prizes.

MRS. LIEUTENANT is told from the point of view of four women (read a chapter from each HERE. These women in the spring of 1970 come together because their husbands report for Armor Officers Basic at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, during the Vietnam War.

I wrote the novel because of the experiences I had as a new army officer’s wife – I wanted to share this specific time in women’s social history. And, yet, I do think the novel has much relevance for today, especially as the U.S. heads into a Presidential campaign in which race will undoubtedly be an issue as well as the current unpopular war.

I’m hoping book clubs will discuss MRS. LIEUTENANT, and for that reason I wrote book group discussion questions and provided these as a download off the home page of my website. (SPOILER ALERT: Skip question 7 until you’ve read the book.)

Recently on a podcast interview I was asked what I hope to achieve with my book. The answer: besides entertainment and a window into a past era, the opportunity for people to consider their own prejudices from the safety of a book’s pages.

A former Midwesterner and “Mrs. Lieutenant,” Phyllis Zimbler Miller lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She got a B.A. in Journalism from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School. She’s the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION and, besides working on the sequel to MRS LIEUTENANT, she currently writes three blogs: www.mrslieutenant.blogspot.com, the teen and young people advice blog www.flippingburgersandbeyond.blogspot.com, and her newest blog www.dogooderscrooge.blogspot.com. She’s on an intense self-directed course to learn internet marketing, and her biggest addiction is clicking the “buy now” for books she sees on Amazon.


Note from Lisa, Books on the Brain: I haven’t read this book yet, but check out the reviews at Fizzy Thoughts and Planet Books.

Guest Post: Judging a Book by its…. Trailer?

It was nice to learn that I was not the last human on the planet to discover book trailers! Yesterday’s Janeology post and trailer sparked a lot of discussion in the comments, so Karen Harrington, author of Janeology, offered to share a piece she wrote for her blog a while back about book trailers.  Thanks, Karen!

Judging a book by its…trailer?                       by Karen Harrington

Do you recall that great line from Sunset Boulevard where fading silent movie actress Norma Desmond defends her role in the movies? She cites her looks, her expressions and says, “You can’t write that down.”

It’s true. There are feelings one can convey through a look that the best writers would find hard to describe. So it’s only natural that the trend towards using cinematic features is now in vogue for bookselling. Book trailers arguably have the ability to convey dramatic elements of a story in ways a book jacket cannot.

Author Brenda Coulter disagrees that this is a good method for books however saying that most trailers are simple slideshows with a soundtrack. She also dislikes that so many of the trailers cannot be viewed by a huge percentage of Americans due to dial-up connection. Now, to be fair, Ms. Coulter wrote her opinion two years ago. The method has come a long way, baby!

The trailer for Ann Patchett’s latest novel Run shows an aqueous blue background with bubbles continuously floating over images of people, houses on the rich/poor ends of the spectrum and selected descriptive passages from the novel. The singular piano accompaniment to this trailer creates an inviting, if not subtle, undercurrent of mystery and secrets. You could probably view this trailer in a library.

By contrast author Caro Ramsey’s novel trailer for Absolution comes at the viewer full stop, with ominous images of knives and crosses bouncing across the screen in a shaky hand-held camera style, all set to an eerie single violin Silence of the Lambs-esque piece that would likely get you summarily shushed by a librarian.

I am intrigued by the very way images, music and ideas come together in less than five minutes to give a potential reader a sense of the book. And this new view into book trailers made me wonder: would we choose books the same way we choose movies – from a two-minute glimpse? Would you rather go into Barnes & Noble and scan several short videos to make your selection? Or do you prefer to scan the New Release table and thumb through the pages in hand?

Much like the current political environment where the key slogan of the day is “You Decide,” you can decide for yourself by viewing the trailers above, or even the one created for Janeology which is filled with haunting scenes of water imagery and dark family secrets, scored with music that will make your neck hairs stand at attention. (Fortunate author that I am, this trailer was created by one of THE inventors of the novel trailer art form, Kam Wai Yu, who has been developing this art since the 1980s.) 

Karen Harrington is the author of JANEOLOGY, the story of one man’s attempt to understand his wife’s sudden descent into madness and murder.

Janeology by Karen Harrington


It’s strange the way books come into our hands sometimes.  There was no way I was NOT going to read this book, because the author has the same name as my sister!  I ran across Karen Harrington’s name at Pump Up Your Book Promotion where she did a virtual book tour in May, and before long I was emailing the author to tell her of this odd coincidence with her name and wish her well with the tour.  She offered to send me the book, which I’ve been referring to as JANE-ology (Jane is the mother’s name in the book), but perhaps it’s Jay-Nee-Ology, which is more similar to geneology and would also make sense for this story.. I’m not sure.  Anyhoo, I started it yesterday and whipped through the first 60 pages-  let’s just say I *think* the kids had dinner and took baths before going to bed!  

Janeology has a book trailer, much like a preview for a movie.  Is this a new thing, or am I just stupid? Don’t answer that.  Let me rephrase it:  Am I simply the last to know about book trailers??  Anyway, it’s quite dramatic– check it out!