Saturday, July 7, 2012

Video now another authors' new platform?


Do Authors Have Time to Do All that is Required of Them and Write a Book???

I have run into a great number of writer websites and blogs that are posting a very professional looking video. These videos often are from sites such as and are essentially a trailer for their new book. Now normally, when we hear the word 'trailer' we think of movies, and movie production companies put a great deal of money and time into their trailers for each of their movies, as that will get tickets sold and " seats" as it is referred to in the business. However, authors are now using this same tool not to sell tickets but to sell their books. And each video, from the ones I have viewed boast high quality and professional effects. This takes a great deal of time, I would imagine, as the production artist would need (and, of course, want) to read the book and then pull all of the actors (and pay them), sets, costumes, etc. into the video and then schedule a shooting day. Cut the video, do production values, screen it for the author (who is footing the bill), and then upload it to their site or YouTube on whichever account agreed to or both the production company's account and the authors, if they have one. That's a lot of time and money. Forget the time and money the author put into to write the book, promote it, send it around to publishing houses, et al, or if they are indie publishers (which a lot of these authors are), the cost would be on top of the cost of publishing their work. As it appears to be the oevre du jour, what do you think about this, yet another, platform that authors must consider? My own opinion is that it is a wonderful way to market, as the marketing industry is saturated; but also a great deal of expense in addition to the other expenses required to "get your book out there". Please let me know by commenting and also use the feed buttons to let others contribute to this conversation. Happy writing!


  1. Hi Ironic, I got your message via Twitter & popped along.

    I think the thing to remember with this is that it's an optional extra. Books don't have to have a trailer and whether authors make one or not will depend on how easily & inexpensively they can do it. It simply isn't business sense to pay a lot of money for a book trailer, unless you are already selling enough to cover your other costs.

    However, if you'd like to have one, then it can be done quite simply (& therefore cheaply). A book trailer doesn't require actors. I actually think that still images work better for books.

    My trailer cost nothing because I have the skills to do it myself and I used the images from the cover photo shoot. I've made short films, taught video making and I have the time. (I'm semi-retired)

    My trailer is very simple but simple works. What do you think of it?

    If you don't have the skills to make a book trailer yourself, or the money to pay someone else, I think it's better not to do one. A poorly executed trailer can detract from your book.

  2. Dear Tahlia,
    First, as sent, I think your video is spot on and you obviously have the skills in which to do something at that level and with static images. You follow right along with my "on the one hand" postulate.
    However, there are genres of writing in which videos are quite the norm and, I fear, quite expected, including the hiring of actors (or corralling friends + a meal) in addition to hiring a professional videographer (as many of them won't have the skills you possess) then the post production work, et al which adds up to a great amount of money, many of them being Indie pubs and not carried by a professional house. Thus, there may very well be well written books that get but to the wayside or left off lists because they did not get the attention for their book as others who are more fortunate and thus able to pay the trolley fee, so to speak. I think a lot of the paranormal and YA sites will have these videos so you can see the values in them and conjecture, with your experience, what they must cost. Thank you again for your input. Highly valued as is yur skill. (And I thoroughly agree with you on your last point.) L

  3. Just to add to my point: Here is a listing for author video service which only includes recording the author (no actors, background, special effects, costumes post-production) and the cost you will see below. What would happen if Louisa May Alcott lived today? Would we have "LITTLE WOMEN"? Would we even had heard of it?

    Stand out from other authors and connect with your potential readers with this 60-90 second author video. Showcase your personality and expertise on your book’s subject and in the process increase the reading public’s interest in your work.

    The Author Video at Author’s Location Marketing Service is a perfect tool to reach a wide range of audience and connect on a level that can only ordinarily be achieved through face to face interaction.

    For 60-90 seconds, authors get to discuss the salient points of their work while showing their market a glimpse of their personality. This can in turn, potentially increase the public’s interest in the book and translate to sales.

    Speak to the reading public and discuss how your work can impact their reading habits.
    Author Video at Author’s Location $ 4,499