Book Trailer Part One

I have more than one year to prepare for the release of The Graham Cracker Plot. One year to plan and worry. And worry and worry and worry.

My recent internal debate: Do I need a book trailer? If you haven’t seen one, book trailers are short previews (much shorter than movie previews) of the book. The trailer should capture the book’s tone and tease the plot. If you’re lucky, the video goes viral and creates buzz for your book.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the benefits of a book trailer, doing them on a budget, and some links to book trailers.

But today, I’m clinging to the old-fashioned novel experience. Going to the bookstore and wandering for an hour. Picking up book after book. Trying to narrow the purchase. Finding a gem that will keep me awake, a book so good I have to put it in my purse in case I have time for a page or two.

My purchasing decision involves these steps.

  • The cover and title. The attention grabbers. If they’re intriguing, I’ll read the jacket copy.
  • The jacket copy. For me, this is the book trailer, minus the video.  It’s the tease.
  • The author. If I’ve read someone’s work and loved it, I’ll buy everything they write until they jump the shark. (Stephen King jumped the shark with Misery. I quietly filed for a writer-reader divorce.)
  • Placement: I always look through the store’s special displays.  I love the tables with books already sorted for me. “Debut Authors.” “Best Summer Reads.” “Award winners.” “New in paperback.” And, of course, “Clearance.”
First flip-flop: In my novel, there's one woman who tries to keep her trailer looking nice. These are part of her yard decor.

First flip-flop: In my novel, there’s one woman who tries to keep her trailer looking nice. These are part of her yard decor.

I’m not sure I want the author – or the author’s marketing team – eroding the joy of discovery and imagination with a trailer. I want to create the characters’ faces. I want to map out the town. I want to see the room in which the characters argue. All of this should occur in my imagination. The book trailer is a spoiler even if it doesn’t give away crucial plot points. When the writer types, The End, my reader mind believes the writer’s job is done.

As the writer, however, I’m intrigued with idea of giving readers a peek at my vision for setting and character. I’ve already taken some photos that translate my brain’s vision. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, but I had a blast taking the pictures.

So, yes, I’m a flip-flopper. I confess.

More tomorrow.

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