Book Promotion Trailer – Good idea or waste of time?

Recently I took the plunge and made a promotional trailer for my book Get Clean, and I thought I’d talk a little about it.

The idea is simple, create a video and put it on YouTube to raise awareness of my novel in those who would not normally have seen it. Which, as any published authors out there will understand, is a good thing, as marketing and promotion of your work is key to success (after writing a decent novel of course).

An obvious problem I had from the outset was lack of funds, and, oh yeah, no experience and no industry standard equipment to work with. But, all that aside, I had a general idea as to how the video would work, what I wanted it to convey, etc.

After serious thought, and lack of other options, short of a bank loan, I decided to use my smart phone to record the video. ‘What?’ I hear you say, but really, the cameras on phones nowadays are pretty good, and for all intents and purposes, it would be of sufficient quality.

So at this point, I knew what I wanted to film, and I had the camera to film it, now I just needed an actor to play the part of my lead character.

My mate, Dave, has already been my model for the front covers of Get Clean and Son of a Serial Killer, so he was the obvious person to phone. His interest in my work meant there was a good chance he wouldn’t mind embarrassing himself for the cause, that and he’s a little crazy already.

Dave agreed to do the book promo video, and it was all systems go.

For those of you who don’t know about Get Clean, it is a story that is based heavily in the world of cocaine abuse, and I wanted to show the sad side of this, as well as a little bit of the humour that I’d put into the book.

This humour will not be to everybody’s taste, some may find it shocking, and some may find it disgusting. But I did want to provoke a reaction, ‘no publicity is bad publicity’ as they say. It was also important to show the negative effects of cocaine abuse, as this is a key part of the story.

Dave was a real good sport, he did as he was asked and although the shoot took a little longer than we’d hoped (I missed the first half of the football that day), with a little help from my friend and the use of a phone, I had the ingredients of a book promotion trailer.

Dave went on his way, sheepishly, to tell his fiancée about his awkward contribution to my marketing efforts, maybe hoping to soften the blow for when she eventually saw what her man had been up to that day.

After the football had finished, of course, I jumped onto the laptop and used the trial version of NCH Video Pad Video Editing Software (another freeby!) to edit and mix all the video clips from my phone.

I added a little soundtrack that I created all those years ago when producing music was a big passion of mine (you see, I’ve always been creative!), part of the reason I did this is that I didn’t fully understand the laws about using somebody else’s material, and thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

Am I happy with the book promotion trailer for Get Clean? I guess that I am, yeah. Is it going to win awards of any sort? No, none whatsoever.

But the big question is, will the video directly help in sales of my novel? I’m not sure, and I’d say it is still too early to say if the video is a success or not.

I will say, to this day, the video has had 269 views, and I haven’t noticed a significant rise in the number of sales, aside from a recent promotion on Amazon which helped to blur my stats! Also, only two people have liked the video, which isn’t encouraging, although nobody has disliked the video – which leaves me a little confused!

I should also add that using the same video clips, I made a second book promotion trailer that didn’t have Dave’s embarrassing scene, but did include text of genuine comments that the book had received on Amazon.

Please take a look at the videos, and let me know what you think, maybe if they aren’t too risqué then share them for me on twitter or facebook, or even just ‘like’ the trailer on YouTube – Any help is always greatly appreciated.

Have you made a book promotion trailer? Was it successful? Anything to add here? Don’t be shy, let me know!

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