Friday, May 25, 2012

What Am I Thinking?

by Peg Brantley, Author of RED TIDE

My first book has been out for almost two months. I'm still trying to figure out how to let people know about it without being obnoxious. It looks like the least obnoxious options involve a lot more time. By far. I have a list of several advertising possibilities but I haven't had a chance to really investigate them. And I'm betting they all take money.

I have worked through the initial edits of my next book but know there's still work to be done before I  ask beta readers to commit time to helping me make it even better. Time.

A wonderful group of writers who seem to have some traction, Indie Chicks, invited me to join them. Before they had a chance to reconsider, I told them I was in. A blog here and there (they have very precise requirements which I'll need to learn), participation in an anthology (just agreed to a travel anthology—due June 1st!) and support for my fellow "chicks"—all good stuff. All manageable. But there's the time thing again.

I'm working to find a balance. Really. I am. I understand that there will always be something more that could be done while my eyes are still open. Really. I do. (Actually I thank God every day for giving me a husband who is as independent as I am and supports what I'm trying to accomplish.)

And then (cue mysterious, threatening music) this past Wednesday morning I decided I want to create a trailer. (the sound of lightning striking the earth punctuated by thunder) Right now I'm more interested in video clips than I am still shots. For still shots I'd be hanging out at Morgue File or Dreamstime. But because I'm focusing on videos right now I've spent hours at iStock. Add more more hours at Free Music Archive and Incompetech. Since the music was free I downloaded a bunch then had to figure out how to get it to my iTunes library. At this point I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Time. Big Time. But I think it will be enormously satisfying to do this. Right?

So far I have spent HOURS on this project and have a solid THREE SECONDS of trailer to show for my efforts. I'm using iMovie and it's probably the easiest out there, but I still run into questions I can't find answers for.

Writers, have any of you created your own trailers? Any advice?

Readers, do you enjoy trailers? Do they annoy you? Do they encourage you to check out a book?


  1. I hired someone to create a trailer for my first book. And loved having one to show/upload to my website, but I haven't spent the time or money on one since. Are they cost-effective? Who knows?

  2. As a movie worshipper from childhood, I love (good) book trailers and learned to create my own with a Savvy Authors class. I used still images and PowerPoint. My book is set in 1897 Paris so I could use a lot of fabulous public domain images. Finding a cast of characters was the hardest part as so many models look phony. I hope yours comes out well. Bonne chance.

  3. L.J., that question of cost effectiveness is what made me decide to try and figure it out on my own. Some people swear by them, others aren't so sure. But I have heard that there's a certain amount of satisfaction at having created something so visual.

    Thanks, YvesFey. I'm kind of thinking of it as a movie for Twitter.

  4. I've never watched a book trailer and am not eager to do so. I'd rather create my own visuals for a book I like, rather than having someone else impose their ideas on me. I hope, for your sake and that of other writers using this promotional tool, that I'm in the minority! I imagine younger readers/viewers would be more into this, so why not go for it? Unless it seriously cuts into your writing time, of course!

  5. Peg, I'm not a big fan of book trailers. I've only watched a handful, but I can only remember one that really made me want to read the book.

  6. Marlyn, the world is waiting… what trailer?

  7. Jodie, I know what you mean. That's why in the trailer I'm making, there are no people. And I hope the rest is generic enough (but visual enough) that it will have the right kind of impact. I'll be curious to know what you think.

  8. I love book trailers, Peg. I've never had one annoy me, but I have decided that maybe a book just wasn't for me a few times. Mostly, though, they do encourage me to give the book a try. :)

  9. lol, Peg. I posted it on the blog some time ago when I reviewed the book: CEMETERY GIRL by David Bell.

  10. Hi,
    I never watch trailers. I'm like another poster. I like to visualize my own scenes. Dee

  11. Nissie, thanks for your response as a reader.

    Marlyn, I'll be checking out the trailer. Thanks.

    Dee, thanks for your input too.

  12. I do think book trailers have an effect on sales, but like everything else, it is one of many pieces in the pie. My experience has taught me that no one element (besides of course, something with huge national exposure) will draw a significant number of sales. But it falls into the category of branding--an all important element which contributes to an author's exposure and success.

  13. Good point, Drew. I hadn't thought of my trailer in terms of branding. I thought of it in terms of this one book.

    But I finished it and kind of like it. Now if I could just figure out how to email it so a few people can see it and give me feedback…

  14. Hi Peg -- I enjoy books trailers that tell a lot in a short amount of time. Two minutes or less is best, I think.
    I haven't tried to do one yet...I'm guessing it takes a lot of time to put a good one together.

    If you're looking for blogs that would be happy to have you do a guest post, I have openings from July on. You know where to find me.

  15. Thanks, Pat. I'd love to guest on your blog.

    I think my trailer will be well under two minutes. I keep tweaking it based on some wonderful input from people with amazing ideas.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.