Stop! … Trailer Time

OK … bad 90s reference, I know. I’m just excited over these two teaser trailers. Watch them first, then we’ll talk about them.


Pretty awesome, huh? I thought so too. Of course, I might be a tad bias … I did have them made and they are for my books. Still, the music is righteous and the timing rocks. Best of all, it didn’t cost me much. But, that’s a secret for another day entirely.

What’s more important here is … I don’t hate trailers anymore. And I didn’t think it was possible to convert me. Ever. I loathed the very idea. But, these are short and sweet and to the point. No messing around. No funky crap. So, my question … or rather, what I’d like to discuss, is: what do you think works in a trailer and why? What do you hate in a trailer?


19 responses

  1. I hate trailers that make you believe that the book will be more than the author’s written. I hate buying a book based on a great trailer and then feeling sorely disappointed.

    These are great! They state what Icarus is about. Period. And yeah, the music totally rocks. I want it!!

    • I keep forgetting that you’ve read Icarus, lol. I wanted something that gave the feeling of being fast-paced, because, from what I’ve been told, Icarus has a lot of action. I didn’t necessarily think that as I was writing it, but … who am I to argue with readers? Before now, I would have told you I wasn’t capable of writing anything action-oriented.

      And I like the fact that it has the single word emphasis. Not too much detail, just enough to rouse interest and make you wonder.

      I know what you mean, I have seen several very well done trailers (by the big six of course) and the books sucked. **cough Ted Dekker cough**

  2. See, these are just perfect. They are perhaps the shortest trailers I’ve ever seen and they have none of the problems that drive me crazy: like when someone talks in a trailer (not a good idea in my opinion) and you can’t understand what they’re saying because the music is too loud or for whatever reason. Anachronisms bug me. And I don’t like “What if” questions in a trailer because I see it all the time. Another thing would be when there’s a caption and it goes by too fast to read. Of course trailers, like books, are subjective. For me successful trailers set the mood of the book.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked them. I agree with you on the voiceover thing. It has to be done VERY well in order for it to work, and nine times out of time, it isn’t. Even my favorite book trailer of all time has a bad voiceover, lol.

      Oh yeah, and the “what if” questions? I struggled enough on whether or not to use the ‘how’ questions here. Anytime you involve the audience in anything, you’re running the risk of losing their interest. So, absolutely–they grate on nerves big time.

      And I really shouldn’t admit this, but I had to look up the word ‘anachronism.’ *hangs head in shame* Yes, that annoys me too, I just didn’t know what to call it. 🙂

  3. That second trailer made me squee my pants. I haven’t squeed my pants over a trailer since the Epic Good-Versus-Evil Swan-Dive of Doom in the Deathly Hallows Part 2 trailer…granted, that was only a couple months ago, now, but still…that’s twice in less than six months, which is pretty darn epic, I think.

    Worst trailer I ever saw…I don’t even remember what book this was for, it was so bad, but it was basically just this little drawing of a rabbit (just an outline even, no coloring, or detail or anything), spinning around in a circle for three minutes to some New Agey-type music. That. Was. It. It definitely succeeded at making me not want to go anywhere near that book.

    • Um, a little bit of both. We talked about a release date in the Spring and we jointly decided on April 2nd. I think they said April and I asked if we could do it the 2nd specifically. Cool, huh? I don’t know any other publisher who would do something that awesome.

  4. I think trailers gain in importance as books go digital. They have to do what jackets and blurbs and shelf-presence used to do, do it better and do it quicker. And because they are social, they do some of the word-of-mouth thing, too. These are amazing examples.

    I also think it’s important to know what a book trailer is not. It’s not a synopsis, it’s not a music video, and it’s not an appendage to a novel (I’m with Rebecca on the voice-over thing). It’s an advertisement. It needs to grab me quick and shake me upside down till my credit card falls out of my wallet. That means that you have to convince me in no time flat that if I don’t read your novel I’m missing out on something important in life and I’m going to feel like crap until I get it. And dammit, April 2, 2012 is a long time to have to feel this way.

    So I also think that one trailer might not be enough (but that’s partly because these are awesome, and I want to see you do more of them). I’d love to see another one that teases me just a little more or in a subtly different way around the first of the year, reminding me that relief is coming. And then a third, letting me know that I can have it now, right this minute, before the world ends. I don’t have the marketing degree to back any of this up, mind you, and I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but when are you going to start teaching book-trailer workshops and where is the Paypal thing to sign up for one?

    • I completely agree, and wonder if we’re not on to something here … the idea of a series of trailers. I mean, movies do it. Why not books? Plus, when they are this concise and this tight, they’re not overload on the senses. In other words, they won’t annoy readers.

      I’m working on obtaining some software at the moment that will allow me to do these trailers myself, instead of just giving someone else directions. So, hopefully in the next couple weeks I’ll be able to actually put something together and teach others. That would be fun. I could do a Skype session, lol. How awesome would that be?

  5. Loved that second trailer! The music was amazing. I WANT that book!

    I’m not a big trailer fan, but yours made me hold my breath all the way through and then … it was gone. I was going, “Wait, come back! There has to be more to it than that.” I nearly played it over again looking for more.

    It’s the best trailer I’ve come across since any of the Rowling ones. Really, really great!

  6. I like book trailers but I do admit that some of them bug me. But then, some jacket blurbs bug me too. I think the same caution needs to be applied to whatever promo material you’re going to put out. It needs to grab attention fast and create desire. These two do that, but in particular I love the Icarus trailer. The music is superb (but then I am a sucker for drums) and I love the crumbling stone intro. Fast and furious, if that’s what suits the book, or slightly slower and a bit mysterious. But any words MUST be readable, and any speaking (which I don’t like much) must also be clear or it’s just an irritation.
    I guess book trailers are as subjective as books themselves! Kudos to you, JS, for being able to do this kind of stuff!

  7. I’m gonna have to search through your blog to see the post, if you already put it up, of who did these. They’re beautiful! That second one made my heart beat in excitement. If I just saw that trailer and had no idea who you were or anything about Rhemalda, I’d totally be trying to buy and review that bad boy.

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