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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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 my latest release, Sparta Rose.

You can find all my videos at http://www.youtube.com/mizging

Please visit my blog at http://mizging.blogspot and say hello. Right now I’ve been on a political rampage, but I’m taking prozac and drinking vodka to cure it. *big grin*


lastnerve said...

LMAO! Ginger, how sad is it that you have to take Prozac and drink Vodka to cure having a political opinion on something! ROFLMAO. Hand me that Vodka bottle (yes, I am sure you are drinking right out of the bottle) I may need it now as I am about to get on my soap box. aWhat you wrote about needs to be read by as many people as possible. These are difficult economic times as it is and the ramifications of not being educated on what can happen in future can be disasterous. Regardless on each individual opinion when it comes to politics, I believe we need to keep our own safety in mind. We need to be educated in our opinions and decisions. Ok, climbing down off my soap box as I am just in the comments section, not on my own blog! lol I love the video you came up with and every time I see that cover, I wish it were me! Great post today!

Jannine said...

Hey Funny Lady. You always make me laugh. You know how much I love your sense of humor. And I love the video trailers you've made for my books. You capture the story and setting perfectly.

Great point on posting excerpts. I, too, have been guilty of "post and run." But I do set up the scene for the excerpt.

Luv ya

Usha said...

HI Ginger,
Interesting premise - using the trailer videos to entice more readers. I've seen several of yours and they are very good. You have a real knack for hitting the gist of the story with the photos. Keep up the good work!
Rayka Mennen

Phyllis Campbell said...

I totally agree! I really would rather watch a book trailer than read an excerpt. I'm a visual person. (grins) I also love the way you do book trailers. I think I'm going to keep you around for a long time... heehee


Sasha Bailey said...

Hi Ginger!
Your comments have really gotten me thinking! I think it's important to do both--the visual and the verbal--because people take in information in different ways and because these offer different kinds of emotional impact. People who don't like watching trailers won't watch them. But trailers will reach another group of people...I think we are getting more visual as a culture....
By the way, I LOVE your books. I think anyone who doesn't try at least one is really missing something...
Sasha Bailey

Ciara Gold said...

Hmmm, I guess I'm behind the times. LOL. I think because if I make a trailer, I would want my own photographs or artwork and right now, I have no time. But yeah, I do agree that we need to discover new ways to grab the reader's interest. Great post and I love that you inform folks on copyright issues. Well done!

She said...

As a reader, I prefer blurbs over excerpts or trailers. I want to know quickly what the book is about but I don't want to spoil the story by reading any of it before I read the book. Same with trailers, I know that authors will describe a character but in my head I may picture a different look to the character and I want my picture of my characters not the actors in the video trailer. I find that because I have watched the movie THE MALTESE FALCON so often when I read the book I can only picture Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade and Mary Astor as Miles' wife. It drives me crazy.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Ginger, saw your post over at World Romance Readers, as I'm promoing my new release, CHASIN' MASON. (Sorry had to get the name in.)
I recently started with making a banner for it with Photoshop, and my next step will be to make a trailer. I'll be checking yours out very closely to see how you've put them together. I too, like a trailer that's a little more simple, not too flashy, and not too long. However, I still like my excerpts. A good book trailer would prompt me to search out an excerpt to see if I like the author's writing, then hopefully for the author, a sale.

Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks to each of you for visiting here today. It's always nice to have friends come calling. :) Interesting to see the differing opinions, but that's what life is all about...choices. Well within limits. Clearly we have no say in how our tax dollars are spent, but we can at least pick and choose what we like about books. :)


Margay said...

Ginger, let's not forget that people these days are very visual, too, so trailers will jump out at them more than excerpts. I wish I knew how to do them because I would love to but I don't even know where to begin.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Your trailer is totally awesome. TRuthfully, it did make me fell like buying the book.