Book trailers

I’ve never quite understood the concept behind book trailers. It’s not that I don’t like videos, but I just don’t understand how anyone has the resources to put these things together.

Start with the video editing. Good editing packages are, as a rule, expensive. Adobe has a very well-regarded product that, because it comes from Adobe, costs about ten times what the market will bear and is widely pirated. I’ve never had the urge to pirate an Adobe product, but I’ve never had the heart to heap much shame on those who do; I daresay Photoshop wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is if more than half its users actually paid for it. (I use Photoshop Elements. It’s cheaper and gets the job done, but I do love the idea of having access to some of the extra power in the full program.) There are some cheaper video editing platforms that can do a lot, but they’re a lot more limited.

Then, for most books you’d probably need people. Some kind of reenactment of moments from the book, or something that gives you the vibe of the book. If you have access to some good actors who are willing to volunteer, and something free or cheap that will work as a set, great, but that’s obviously going to be limited by the kind of book.

Music may be the easiest thing to do in a book trailer. For most cases, you can just use music that’s freely available under Creative Commons by giving the owner proper attribution.

The subject has been on my mind because I was thinking how cool it would be to have a trailer for either of my books. For One Woke Up, I have a rough idea of what it would look like, but for the music I’d almost want something custom-composed to fit songs actually in the book. I know that’s ridiculous, but since the whole thing is a pipe dream anyway I may as well dream big. The Affix would be way more forgiving musically, but no trailer would do it justice that failed to convey any action, and it would require special effects. Yes, still pipe-dreaming here.

I wonder if this sort of thing is easier with different genres. Literary fiction and romance probably don’t have nearly as much trouble conveying the core of their books in a video format. But it still seems like a lot of money would have to be thrown after something that seems pretty overhyped as a marketing tool.


About Lummox JR

Aspiring to be a beloved supervillain
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