Monday, February 9, 2009

Contemplating a Book Trailer for Ballads....

So, let's talk book trailers... What do you guys think about them? I personally never gave them too much thought until I saw this super catchy one that Simone Elkeles for her new book PERFECT CHEMISTRY:

And then there is the absolutely gorgeous one for Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, which you can see on Amazon here. That one is like a movie trailer, it's so incredible.

But still, I put the idea of a book trailer out of my mind because I'm getting married this year, hiring a publicist for BALLADS, am hoping to make it to the East Coast or at least New York for a book event after BALLADS comes out, and I'm barely making ends meet with the money I make at the bar right now. In other words, I am already tearing through my the money in my savings account. (Which is where the advance money I get for my books goes and sorry to burst the bubble about the glamourous life of the average author, but it's not a ton of money. Enough to pay my property taxes and then it all goes back in to promoting the book in the hopes that maybe one day I will be able to write full-time.) So I don't have several hundred or more like a thousand dollars to spend on a book trailer.

However,  a woman who makes trailers approached me on MySpace (land of all my networking, including where I met my future hubby). She's interested in my book and in building her portfolio of trailers so she offered me a Really Good Deal on a live action trailer. Or we could do the more traditional still photography kind too. I started to ponder. Then I thought, but I'd want real music and I'm sure that costs a fortune. However, there is one particular song on my BALLADS OF SUBURBIA playlist that I always imagined playing during the credits if ever there was a movie made of the book. It's "Suburban Perfume" by Office, a local Chicago band that friends of mine used to be in. I wondered if they'd let me use it for free, so again with the MySpace messaging and sure enough Office is a damn cool band who believes in letting other artists use their tunes for free. So yeah, now I really do sort of want to make a trailer because I have this song and it is such a good song... Here is the whole BALLADS OF SUBURBIA playlist, scroll down to the very last song to hear it:

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So yeah, I'm pretty sold, though still mildly concerned about sinking my money into it because I could pay my bills with that money. I figured as I do with many of my valuable decisions, I would turn to my dear readers to help me decide. Would you like to see a book trailer for BALLADS? Would it get you more excited about the book and spread the word about the trailer and the book to your friends?

And what do you think about live action versus still photography trailers? Here are links to the live action trailers that the woman who contacted me has done for Heavenly and for Season of Eden. I love the idea of having actors play my characters, but I've seen some beautiful still photography trailers lately too (note: these are done by different companies or by the author) like check out Alyson Noel's trailer for Evermore and Susanne Dunlop's for The Musician's Daughter. What do you think, darling blog readers? I need your input!


Unknown said...

I'll be honest: I'm a book trailer virgin. The concept is kind of a foreign one to me (at best--having just viewed the one you posted).


I think the drawback to a live-action book trailer would be connecting real, live people to your characters. Your readers wouldn't see the characters and worlds you created, they'd see what was in the clip (and while I'm sure you'd work closely with anyone producing a trailer for "Ballads," how true do you think you can remain to your original vision?).

Anonymous said...

I love book trailers, and I like for them to show as little as possible. In general (very general) I prefer the use of still photographs.

Have you seen the trailer for Cracked Up To Be? It's pretty much perfect as far as I'm concerned.

The Compulsive Reader said...

I think trailers are great! Both live video and slideshow ones have good and bad aspects. Live video is more time consuming and complicated (getting actors, staging, etc) which can = more cost (as I'm sure you're aware). Slide shows can be easier, but sometimes may not be as cool (although Jennifer Banash's In Too Deep trailer is a definite exception--it's awesome!). You can really spice up slideshows if you have a nice movie making program, like Adobe PremierePro, which is what I have.

I think it'd be cool to see a video, especially if it's a really good one, and I believe that it would help boost sales, especially if you get lots of people to pass it around. Let me email you with some more ideas.

Marie said...

I love the idea of book trailers...
Maybe a fan contest to create one?!
If you did that I would totally make one!