Thursday 18 December 2008

An Action Movie to Make Your Day and Thinking about Book Trailers

So over on my friend Addy's wonderful fiction blog about Wilf there's an action movie to watch in case there aren't any James Bond replays on at Christmas.

Action Movie by Addy Farmer

Screenshot from Addy Farmer's Action Movie. Watch it here

Addy's action movie comes as my other writing pal Sarwat Chadda discovers that his publishers have released a book trailer for his forthcoming novel, The Devil's Kiss. Here it is:

Agent Kristin Nelson over at the Pub Rants Blog posted this book trailer for one of her authors which takes the form of a West Side Story themed MTV rap - very interesting, but probably out of the league and budget of DIY book trailer makers like me and some of my friends.

All this adventuring in film-making is interesting and important if you're an author or author to be, as book trailers are now a must-have marketing tool and if your publisher doesn't give you a budget to make one, you might find yourself making one for yourself!

Rather fortuitously, social media consultant Angela Wilson at the AskAngela: Market My Novel blog, posted on the whys and wherefores of book trailers the other day. Her interviewee Sheila Clover English gave these five top tips for producing an effective book trailer:
  1. Determine what you want people to know about your book and include that in the trailer.
  2. Know what your goal is for the trailer.
  3. Create a measurable goal to check how effective the trailer was.
  4. Make the first 10 seconds of the video the most gripping or interesting
  5. Know your audience and get the trailer to places where you will find that audience Read the whole article

As a YouTube dabbler myself may I add my own unprofessional advice:
  1. Keep it short and to the point.
  2. What IS your point?
  3. Make it funny (unless of course it's horror - then make it scary)
  4. Nobody wants to see ads on YouTube - try to have an angle (I've mentioned this before but Meg Cabot's video for her book Queen of Babble Gets Hitched has hook, arc and punchline and a bubbly, hilarious feel very attractive to her readers.

  5. And finally: make the book trailer something people will want to forward to all their friends.


  1. Thanks, Candy - the boys are legends.
    Blimey, I saw Sarwat's trailer - I want to read it NOW. And I really really want to make hundreds of my own and send them to editors instead of letters.

  2. Completely off-topic and I hope you don't mind, but I gave you an "I Love Your Blog Award" at

  3. thanks, addy!

    and thanks, kimberley! how wonderful to be given an i love your blog award! awesome!

  4. oh whoohoo, so my days of working as a scriptwriter and video director won't go to waste after all!

    Thanks for this Candy, really interesting and informative stuff!

  5. i'm planning to jump the gun on all that and make a video anyway for my book. why not skip to the fun part?

  6. if you've worked as a script writer and video director then you're way ahead! all you have to do now is write the book, get an agent, get a deal, get a marketing budget ...

    but otherwise ...

  7. love the post. as always, really informative

  8. Hmmm I've got a trailer but the wheels fell off it...happy Christmas!


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