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Getting a book trailer that will actually sell your book is actually a partnership. The vendor you choose needs to have the technical and artistic skills to get the visual side done well. I think it also helps if they understand or at least resonate with your material. They should be open, easy to communicate with and not be invested in the outcome, but committed to doing the best work.
What’s the difference between invested and committed? When I say ‘invested’ I’m referring to people who feel that their work is an extension of who they are, so all criticism is taken as personal and change is hard or even resisted. You might have had this experience with someone. On-the-other-hand, being committed means having a strong professional approach and an equally strong desire to make the client/customer happy makes for a playfulness and a willingness to experiment to get it right.
You, however, have some decisions to make to insure a success. Take the time to do your homework and get a sense of the kind and style for your trailer. The style and music should match the content, and I’d suggest the colors do too. The trailer is actually representative of your book, so you want it to trigger the same emotions and interest.
You know your book best, so you should be the one to provide the copy for the video. The vendor can edit it and cut it down or add a bit if necessary, but you should be the one to actually provide the words to be used. The harder part is being clear on what you want to use the trailer for and where. Not every style is good in every situation. A book trailer is a part of your marketing plan, so think strategically and work to get the biggest bang for the buck.
Make sure that nothing in the video is time located. By that I mean don’t mention dates, days or years, so that the content is ‘evergreen’, something you can use over and over without triggering thoughts that it is dated.
Voice over adds to the video – in every way. It is expensive, difficult to have done right, and it increases the editing cost dramatically. There are certain situations where it may be mandatory, however – television comes to mind, but it is not imperative. If you need it – be willing to pay, if not, don’t worry about it, but do pay attention to the music! Make sure that you have copyright permission to use any music you choose!
Book trailers, and really any video production is a co-creation between the vendor and the client. Both need to be respectful, easy to work with and willing to communicate. Both need to be open and a bit playful so that there is room for experimentation and change as the project progresses. Enjoy!