Trailers for books, keep it short, experts say

Published On February 26, 2013 | By HN Staff | News
A video trailer for Elizabeth Ruth's forthcoming book Matadora published by Cormorant Books can be viewed on YouTube.  COURTESY WWW.ELIZABETHRUTH.COM

A video trailer for Elizabeth Ruth’s forthcoming book Matadora published by Cormorant Books can be viewed on YouTube. COURTESY WWW.ELIZABETHRUTH.COM

By Shazia Islam

Video trailers that are no longer than a minute can help sell books in today’s video-centric marketplace, a media expert said Tuesday.

Multimedia artist Vivek Shraya has created video trailers for both his self-published works, and for local author Farzana Doctor for her book Stealing Nasreen.

Shraya told Humber News that trailers should “feature two to three quotes that the press said about your book, and to have your website.”

He said the trailer should be eye-catching because people respond to visuals and colour, but that it is not necessary to dramatize events in the book.

Just having the author “be the character with some buzz quotes from the book can entice people,” said Shraya.

Marc Côté, publisher at Cormorant Books Canada, told Humber News that using video trailers are “an entertaining way of learning about books.”

“Book trailers are online and as the online book market grows, they’re an easy way to go from the book trailer to Kobo, to E-Reader, to Sony,” said Côté, whose firm is based in Markham, Ont. “It’s one of the most immediate ways to connect.”

Like Shraya, Côté agrees that the video should be short and feature catchy images.

Local Toronto writer Dorianne Emmerton told Humber News that she watches trailers on the web if she already has an interest in the book.

“I just want to see how creative they are,” she said. “We’ve got to promote books as much as we can and that’s definitely a way to get to some people.”

Shraya said making a trailer for a book demands a little more creativity than making one for a movie because there are no scenes from the story to work with.

In a 2011 article, the Toronto Star reported that the best place to post the trailers is YouTube with plenty of links to other social media sites and blogs connected to the authors.

“We need to think about the way the book industry is changing, who the audience are, who the market is,” said Shraya. “We do live in a very video-centric culture and having a video component is a way then to entice.”

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