Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
After the last blog post on using video as an author, I received some questions from a reader. Figured it would be more helpful to answer them on the blog than through email. (If you have a question on any of the platform topics we’ve discussed, feel free to email me.)
In your opinion, are book trailers effective? Like any online marketing tool, book trailers are as effective as you want them to be. Left to their own devices, they won’t receive many views (unless they become viral hits). But paired with an aggressive promotional plan, they can reach new readers in ways that blog posts, Tweets, and message board threads cannot.
I’ve encouraged a few of my authors to not think of their book trailer as a sales tool…but instead as a method of generating buzz and discussion around their book.
Book trailers can be expensive, with rates starting at around $500. Should we plan on that as a necessary expense? No, they aren’t necessary. No one is going to make you have a trailer (unless you promised in your proposal that you’d have one). If a publishing house really wants one, they may even put it together for you. A good rule of thumb is to think of your readership. If you write fiction for young adults, then yes, a book trailer may be a worthwhile investment. If you write historical romance, then not so much. Think about your audience before taking the book trailer plunge.
I’ve never looked at one to see if I want to buy a book. Are they put in your website, on Amazon page for your book? Or are they simply on YouTube and you put a link to it on your emails and marketing materials? The videos live on YouTube or Vimeo or a similar video uploading/sharing site that is easy to access. You then link to them or embed them on your site, blog posts, comments, Amazon pages, Goodreads page, etc. Of course you could and should get more creative than that…people won’t watch a video they don’t know exists. Point them to it, though, and they’ll watch.
One method that I have yet to see a YA author do effectively, is targeting churches, schools, extracurricular clubs and the like with your video. For example, if you write Christian young adult fiction…can you imagine the potential awesomeness if you sent your trailer out to 100 youth pastors and asked them to show it during youth group? That’s the type of “stand in front of your audience” promotion that could work.
Any thoughts on book trailers? Too scary to tackle? Too expensive? Too hard to do right?