Wednesday, 30 May 2012

To Trail or not to Trail

What a journey this writing has been! It seems not so long ago I was pondering how on earth I would find an agent when none of them seemed interested if I wasn't already published, and none of the publishers would look at a manuscript without it came through an agent. It seemed such an impossible hurdle. Thankfully I'm well past that, and very grateful to have a great publisher. 
However, being a published author seems an ever increasingly complex journey that has involved learning about e-books, social networking, advertising and promotion, blogging, web-sites, online selling. I could never have imagined all these aspects of writing when I started.
I suspect that I'm not the only writer who LOVES writing and finds all this extraverted, self promotional, time consuming stuff much more difficult. What a dream it would be to be able to exclusively spend time writing! However, I can't deny the wonder and joy that it is to get positive feedback about my stories, or to see my covers on FB, or to see reviews of my work on sites for readers and writers and book sellers. It's been fantastic to get to know a group of writers with the same passions and goals and struggles and to be encouraged and supported. So all of the difficult stuff has been worth it. It's stretched me and challenged me and I've learned heaps.

So now, as the prospect of yet another leap, into producing TRAILERS, faces me, I must look back and remember that all the steps have taken me in a good direction. 
I know some of you have done trailers and they're very impressive. I love the idea of seeing something of my story done pictorially - even moving pictures! In fact wouldn't we all love the idea that our stories might one day be made into movies - even mini-series, on television? What a thrill that would be. No harm in dreaming! With God there's no end to the rainbow! 

For now I'd love to know what you think about trailers. Are they an effective way to get our books noticed? Will they help us stand out amongst the thousands of new books that come out week by week. Do trailers produce results? Do they sell more books? Are they worth the cost and time and brainstrain? What's the best way to go about producing them?
I hope this yet another experience in the world of writing where we can share and support each other. 
Love to hear from you, my fellow writers and readers. Carol Preston  


  1. Hi Carol,
    You've expressed my sentiments exactly. We like to compare our lifestyles to people like Jane Austen, who did get the opportunity to do nothing but major on the actual writing, but that's not an option for those of us living in the twenty-first century.
    About trailers, I'd love to make one but so far my husband and teenage son have tried to talk me out of it, saying that as we'd probably make an inferior one, we'd do more harm for ourselves than good, by having the dodginess reflect on us.
    However, from feedback I've already seen, I'm certain I can predict the comments to come on this post will try to convince us that having a go is well worth it and we must move with the times etc.

  2. Go for it girl!!! Then you can share what a great boost it has been. Just don't spend too much money so that you lose any profit.

  3. I totally agree with you Carol. How wonderful if we writers could spend time exclusively on our writing. Perhaps in heaven we will! :)

    Don't know much about trailers but I would say 'Go for it'! Always new territory to conquor isn't there? May it open up a few new worlds for you,

  4. I'm utterly with you regarding the marketing side of things. Even broader questions have occurred to me, such as 'Is there any objective evidence that blogging (etc) is cost-effective?' I don't think it's ever been measured!

    I do think that, if you're going to make a trailer, it had better be done well. If it's not of the same quality as your writing, I could see it being detrimental (in which case you'd be better off without it). Getting it done professionally could cost $$$.

  5. I'm a reader. I read books. That means I'm perfectly happy to make my decision based on the back cover blurb and maybe a couple of reviews. I don't need the all-singing, all-dancing YouTube experience.

    But I'm not normal (my husband assures me of this). And while I'm not going to be persuaded to buy or read a book based on a great video... a non-reader might well be.

    So while you can't base an entire marketing campaign around a book trailer, it might be a part of the overall plan. A book trailer has the potential to tap into a different segment than other forms of book promotion.

    Is it cost-effective? I have no idea - that will depend on the projected finances of your book. But if you are going to invest in a book trailer, you need to make sure that you will earn enough addtional sales to make the expense worthwhile.

  6. Hi Carol,

    I don't buy a book on a book trailer. I read the blurb, the first page and then I make my decision. If it doesn't grab me on that first page, I don't buy. A great book is going to make sales. If you're doing a trailer, I believe you have to do a good one to make it worthwhile. The few I've viewed haven't influenced me whether I should buy the book. Personally, I'd prefer to spend the time writing my next great book.

  7. I have seen some great book trailers, some not so great. I don't quite have the knack or know-how to do one, so at least for book one I will leave it. Like Laura said the blurb, cover are more my choice for buying a book.


  8. Hi! Coming to you from Crystal Mary! I hadn't ever thought about trailers as a form of advertising. I always felt like I was weak on promotion, but God has pushed me to write, and pushed me to do things I never thought I could do - SO, I know He will guide and direct you. (Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye.")

  9. My young pastor assures me that I must have a trailer to tap into the vast number of people that trawl YouTube. Fortunately he is gifted in that field and there is a clip nearly ready to be released. I love Rose Dee's clips. Carol I'm sure the trailers will help push us into the younger generation and the overseas readers.

  10. Thanks for your comments. Very interesting responses. I'm not surprised most seasoned readers are happy to make choices on book covers and blurbs. It's what we're used to and we get very good at knowing what we'll like. I guess the idea of trailers is for the future reader. Lots to think about.

  11. I have the same struggles, Carol. I am periodically frustrated with not having enough time to write. But it is what it is and I am determined to make the most of it.

    RE - Trailers. I now know a bit about producing them (I did two at the same time). They are exhausting. BUT - They certainly did enhance the Koorong online launch - so totally worth the time, effort, and money I put into them. I say go for it. My advice is: use the resources you have and enlist help. You would be surprised by the skills people in your life have, and are willing to share. I'm here if you ever need to run ideas by someone. xx

  12. An American friend and writer gave us a good site for trailers but can't remember what it is right now. I will get back to you all

  13. Carol, I've heard mixed things from authors concerning book trailers. Some say they help with sales, others say that they make little difference. The question is whether you'd get a good return on your investment for the time and money spent. I think it also depend on genre and target audience. I assume it's nearly essential for YA authors to do trailers. I do look at book trailers, and the ones that are done well and capture the essence of the story will inspire me to take a closer look at the book. A badly done amateurish trailer would turn me off looking at the book.

  14. If you're not normal Iola then neither am I, because I too read books by covers and descriptions on books or the occasional review so long as it doesn't tell the whole story as some are prone to do and which I find annoying. I don't go and look at trailers and have never considered making one. Wouldn't know where to start. I am not a techno person.