Video Trailers versus Excerpts – by Ginger Simpson
Some people love video trailers, others prefer to read excerpts. Personally, I love ‘watching’ an excerpt over reading it. With so many new authors coming on board and new promotion groups springing up every day, I feel like my words get lost in a sea of others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve become frustrated over scrolling through a digest that is nothing but excerpt after excerpt with little or no explanation about the story—no scene setting, no dialogue. Why would I want to buy that book, I ask myself. The author clearly didn’t care enough to stick around and discuss her/his work. Probably off doing more ‘drive-by-posting.’
*Hanging head*. I’ve been guilty of it myself by trying to cover as many loops as possible on the days they offer open promotion. But, I now realize I was doing myself a disservice by using this tactic. I’m looking for a way to initiate discussions with readers about what they truly appreciate and/or hate in a book. The secret is finding a way to ‘delurk’ them. *smile*
In the meantime, I really enjoy the technology that allows me to bring my work to life in a one-two minute video. I’m a fan of short rather than longer because sometimes too much information becomes boring or overwhelming. I’ve done several trailers now, and I think I’ve finally hit upon giving just enough information to whet someone’s appetite and make them want more. At least, that’s my hope.
The cost of having a professional video done is prohibitive in most cases which is the main reason I learned to use the Windows Movie Maker program on my computer. It’s time consuming, but for me, fun because it gets my creative juices flowing. The hardest part is perusing royalty-free sites, looking for inexpensive pictures and music. You must be very careful about what you use, making sure you’ve purchased the appropriate license to display the photo or sound. People get really picky when you use their stuff without permission. As authors, we should all understand this. We don’t like anyone selling our books without permission.
Not all my friends are computer literate or have the time to devote to making their own trailers, so I’ve had the privilege of creating one or more for them. My options are limited to the program I use and can’t compare with the big gun companies, but given what I have to work with, I’m proud of my accomplishments. Here’s a look at the one I did for Sparta Rose using Windows Movie Maker.
And, here's one I just finished for my upcoming release, Hurricane Warning, from Muse It Up Publishing (January 2011). I used Animoto for this, which is a wonderful program. You're very limited on text, but the transitions are awesome.
You can find all my videos at http://www.youtube.com/mizging
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