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There is much discussion on whether book trailers are a good idea, and whether they actually work for selling books, either fiction or non-fiction. I am firmly on the side of thinking that a good book trailer is great marketing. This one, by creative entrepreneur Jonathan Fields, is another great example. Watch the video and then read my 7 reasons why it's a stand-out example below.
- It's polarizing. I'm betting you either loved or you hated that video. Some of you would have turned it off quickly and others would have watched until the very end, hanging on every word. Much of today's marketing is about creating tribes and is as much about turning off the wrong people as attracting the right people. When I made my book trailer, I really thought that the people who liked it would like my novel – and Jonathan's does the same. You should know within seconds whether you want this book or not.
- About the author, not the book. I think this works for non-fiction especially, and in this video, you get a real sense of who Jonathan is, what his values are and how they relate to the book. His credentials are the risks he has personally taken under uncertain circumstances so you know he is qualified to write this book. I also think video is amazing if authors would only embrace it. So many of us hide behind screens and words, but people want to connect with people and video is a great way to connect.
- Engages emotion. Jonathan talks about the aftermath of 9/11, given that he started his business the day before but realizing that we only have one shot. He uses his personal emotion in the video and whether you like it or not, it is honest. I have been reading Jonathan's blog for quite a while now and vouch for him as a sincere person i.e. this is not just about marketing.
- The trailer itself tells a story. We go down to the depths of uncertainty and then the video changes key and we start on the journey out the other side. The downside of uncertainty but then the resurgence and success afterwards. Risk-taking and then the rewards to come. You can actually learn something from the video itself.
- Use of quotes from well-known people. A good quote from Steve Pressfield who wrote The War of Art (a must-read) is a brilliant touch – getting those blurbs is a great way of showing social proof. Those blurbs must be targeted though, they must relate to your niche and this is an excellent match.
- Teaser marketing. The book isn't out yet but the trailer builds expectation and excitement about what's coming. Jonathan talks about his passion for seeking out uncertainty in order to fuel creation – that is an interesting topic for any us involved in creative work. The video teases us as it outlines some big ideas but we have to wait for the big reveal in the book.
- Call to action. Are you ready to embrace your potential? This is the question at the end of the video and if you made it that far, I bet you are saying ‘yes'. Getting the first ‘yes' is one of the important steps in the sales process so this is a great way to finish the video off.
I also like the soft music, the focus on Jonathan's face instead of graphics and words shooting across the screen – it communicates calm which I think is part of Jonathan's rather zen brand (he did run a yoga business!).
You can also pre-order at Amazon.com and other online bookstores.
Did you like this book trailer? What engaged you or turned you off about it, and how can you use that in your own marketing?