We’ve all at least heard of book trailers, right? Well James Patterson just takes them to a whole new level. To me, book trailers are almost always the same. Book cover. Voice actor saying something relevant to the story. There’s not much else. Sometimes you’ll have the author either in the actual trailer or doing the narration. This is Patterson’s most recent one:
There’s not much to it. It caught my attention, but I’m biased because I very much enjoy reading his Alex Cross novels. So why am I talking about James Patterson dominating anything when this trailer only shows 665 views on YouTube? Because it was on network TV. That’s right, James Patterson’s book trailer was on network TV.
I’d say I’ve seen less than a dozen book trailers ever. Why is that? Mostly because I have no real interest in them, but also because they’re hidden. You can probably find them on YouTube if that’s what you’re looking for, but I’m not.
The point of this post is to say that there are plenty of mega bestselling authors writing today, and I’d never seen any one of them show their book trailer on TV. I think there’s a book thing on C-SPAN or something once a week? And perhaps they show book trailers on there? But I’m talking about channels people actually watch.
Have you ever seen a book trailer on TV? Even if it’s C-SPAN.
On this day in 2014 I published Why I Don’t Write Book Reviews.
Photo Credit: The Fat Pixel
I don’t. But companies offer this service to take even more of your money. I can name on one hand how many authors I know who you use these. James Patterson. Michael Connelly. David Baldacci. The only reason I know of Baldacci is because I spend a lot of time on YouTube and happened to catch the trailer for his newest release before the start of a video I was watching.
That’s a pretty short list of authors, right? Even though the companies or people who make these claim that they will help hype your book and get people buying. Uh no. Come on. Even if you have a very well done book trailer, you can’t really believe that. Book trailers are always so dull. A monotone voice (assuming you have someone speaking) that gives the watcher only the slightest bit of information about the book. You can most definitely get more information by reading the reviews and/or synopsis. So why do authors use them? I have no earthly idea. But there are a lot of things people will do that they believe will help their book become the next self-published bestseller.
They’ll have a press release written up. Even though no one really cares that they’re releasing their book. They’ll have bookmarks made. Even though they can’t plan a signing or event anywhere. They’ll send out ARCs to major publications seeking a review. Even though it won’t be happening. They’ll do anything in an effort to get their book in front of some readers…like have a book trailer made. For the 18 people who are going to buy the book. Great thinking there.
Two questions this time around. Ever watched a book trailer? Ever had one made for your own book? Don’t worry, I’m not going to laugh at you if you admit to having one made.
I just watched a few on YouTube and they were basically all the same and not intriguing at all. Ugh.
Remember this post from a couple months ago? I talked about Swoon Reads, a publisher that put the power of publishing in your hands by allowing you to comment on and rate excerpts of books yet to be published. Based on the feedback received, the company would then choose which titles to ultimately publish. Well Amazon has gotten in on the fun with Kindle Scout, which just launched last week.
The premise is essentially the same as the publisher I mentioned above and in my previous post. Authors submit a never before published manuscript. Readers can read an excerpt within 30 days. Readers can nominate up to three books during the 30 day period and change their nominations at any time. Then, once the period is up Amazon will tally the nominations and decide which title(s) to publish.
But Amazon has upped the stakes just a bit. First, if your book is chosen for publishing you’ll receive a $1500 advance. You might think that is quite small, but you’re not getting any advance by self-publishing and most traditional publishers offer debut authors little to no advance because you’re unlikely to make it back for them. So you get the nice little advance AND you get Amazon marketing. I think this may be the bigger deal of the two. A quick example of an author who I think has seen major benefits of Amazon marketing is Marcus Sakey. His first few books were published by major publishers and all well received, but they all have less than 100 reviews on Amazon. Which isn’t many. His two most recent books have been published by Thomas and Mercer (an Amazon company) and they have 1492 and 435 reviews, respectfully. If a book has that many reviews, then it’s sold a few more.
Also, the author will receive 50 percent e-book royalties, which is right in the middle of traditional and self-publishing.
But Kindle Scout of course has its doubters. I’ve read people saying that the books will be low quality. That it’s dumb because Amazon ultimately makes the publishing decision rather than the readers. These arguments are hardly valid. Low quality books are published every year by traditional publishers. It’s not about quality, everyone knows it’s about what they think will sell more books. And second, every publisher decides which titles will or won’t be published. This isn’t new.
I think there are some people out there who will hate any program that Amazon comes up with just for the sake of doing so. CreateSpace. KDP. Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Scout. It doesn’t matter, they just dislike whatever Amazon comes up with because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. Well I don’t. I think it would be fun to take part in something like this. And if you nominate a book that is ultimately chosen for publishing, then you get a free Kindle copy of the finished product. Kindle Scout adds books everyday in all genres.
What do you think? A $1500 advance and Amazon marketing if you write a book that readers on Kindle Scout like. I say sign me up.
You can watch a Kindle Scout video and take a look at some unpublished manuscripts here.