I have it, but what do I do with it?

Typically, I make a book trailer at the very last minute, a week before the book hits the shelves or something like that. Until I learned that for Borders to use your book trailer (a pretty big if), it has to be ready a good two months before the book’s release.

So I went ahead and did it early this time.

Okay, I have it. And it is a very pretty trailer. But what do I do with it?

The ideal thing would be to build an online publicity campaign around it. But I don’t really know how willing people are to host YouTube videos on their blogs, etc. Is it doable? What kind of prize should I hand out? Am leaning toward cash prizes, like prepaid visa cards or some such, but how much and how many?

Also, how do I publicize such a contest? If I just let people know about it on my blog, website, social group sites, etc, would it be enough? Or should I promise an e-reader to get Dear Author’s attention, the way Kresley Cole did?

And what about widgets? I’ve seen promotional campaigns built around widgets here and there. Have you done one or participated in one or run into one surfing around? Do you think widgets work?

I’d love to know.

10 thoughts on “I have it, but what do I do with it?”

  1. 1. Very nice trailer. After laughing so much at the one for PA, my expectations were high. It took a while to get to the funny, but it did arrive, and the images and music to get there were lovely.

    2. I’m giddy with excitement at the thought of a well-written story set in India! A small obsession of mine.

    3. In the opinion of a tech-doofus: I have twice (with gentle online instruction) managed to post a widget on my blog, so that’s a relatively easy thing for people to probably agree to. A youtube video? Would have to come with clear guidance on how to transfer onto my post. There’s only so many failed attempts I have patience for.

    4. Personally, I’m amazed at how an e-reader seems to have become the ‘it’ enticement. For me, carrots not be nearly so big. As a reader, I’m avoiding ereaders because I have to be careful about overstressing my eyes. As an unpubbed hopeful, I’d be MUCH, MUCH more interested in an offer of a few brief comments on my query/first five pages/synopsis/whatever. That would power a lot of blogland willingness, methinks. But what do i know? *g*

  2. Hello, Sherry! De-lurking to chat. First a disclaimer – I’m a writer, unpublished – I really know nothing about promotion. But, if you’re going to run a contest on your blog, check out http://www.querytracker.blogspot.com. They will post your contest and bring you readers from their site (they have a good following). As for other arenas, http://www.shrinkingvioletspromotion.blogspot.com might give you some ideas on how to use your booktrailer (great booktrailer, BTW) to your advantage.

    Second, a blatant plug – we, the Chicks, would love to have you guest blog over on The Prairies. You can promote all you want and include your trailer. We don’t have a lot of followers, but we could give you a voice in our neck of the woods (Saskatchewan, Canada).

    K – back to lurking.

    PS – Marly Matthews will be guest blogging on March 21st and is talking about book trailers. Come on over and ask her a question or two (another blatant plug 😉

  3. The trailer is very nice. An ereader seems like a costly outlay with uncertain results.

    Did you know that some authors are posting their trailers on Amazon?
    The author writes a short little blog before the release of their book. The blog is sent to people who pre-ordered the book from Amazon, but Amazon also posts the blog and trailer on its website. I would think the service is free, but I'm not sure. To see what I mean, I'll include the Amazon link for Lisa Kleypas' last blog & trailer. Just scroll half-way down the link:


    I know I found this link prior to publication just by doing a google search on the book. The Amazon link probably cost the author nothing, yet promoted her book.

  4. Hi Sherry,

    what a lovely trailer! I loved the laugh, loved how it laid out the scene and loved the landscape pictures; I kind of needed those after reading the excerpt. Now I know what Indian mountains would look like :).

    As for promotional tips, I’m strictly a book consumer, not a producer, but Emily Bryan’s recent promotional blog tour really worked for me. No need to do it on such a large scale, maybe, but that tour was so good that she sold not only her own books, but yours too :). I agree with M. that giving away an e-reader seems a bit much; but why not give away a copy of your book? you might not be able to sell it to the person(s) you give it away to, but you’re bound to generate extra enthusiasm and word-of-mouth promotion…


  5. Hi Sherry – love the trailer!

    I do them for my books and post them at the following sites:
    MSN Video
    Google Video

    I also load it to Amazon Video and there you can add links to your books so people can purchase it.

    You’ll need to set up accounts for the final four, but there’s no charge there. Another new video site to try out is VIMEO.

    Also, if you belong to a group (mine is the Liberty States Fiction Writers), they may have a video gallery where you can ask them to load up the video.

    My friend, Sue, has told me lots of wonderful things about your books! Thanks for sharing that trailer with us.

  6. Dear M.,

    Lol, British India. North-West Frontier Province is today in Pakistan. And now that you mention it, I remember that I have a dialogue segment on the anatomy of the penis (she’d know, she’s a physician) that would have made a funnier trailer! 🙂

    The youtube embedding is actually astonishly easy. You go to the video’s page at youtube, and to the right of it there is a box that says embed. Copy and paste the embed code in the body of a blog post and voila. (Of course I didn’t provide the url here, did I?)

    And that totally made me remember that I’m auctioning off a query consultation at this year’s Brenda Novak Diabetes auction as part of the Nelson Agency donations.


    Thanks for all the great hints. I’ll definitely check out the book trailer post, though I might not exactly remember it on March 21.

    And you are the first blog to ask so you get a yes answer. 🙂 You can email me to set up a time for guestblogging, I guess I’ll be more interested in spots in May, closer to my release time.


    I didn’t know you could put your book trailer on Amazon. That’s awesome to know. Thanks!

    Tara Maya,

    Thanks so great of you to offer. I think I’ll post proper instructions at some point.


    I think giving away books is actually the best promo EVER. I just might do that, find out a way to give away all my author copies.

    And I need to email Emily Bryan and thank her.


    Hi! I was just wondering which Sue this was when she emailed me and told me it was she! LOL.

    Thanks for all the great tips. Now I’d just have to figure out exactly how to personalize my amazon pages!

    ::girdles self::

  7. Hey Sherry, do you make your book trailers with Windows Movie Maker, PowerPoint or some other program?

  8. Evangeline,

    I use both. The size of a PP slide is perfect for dropping into a frame of WMM. So I import a picture into PP, wrangle it to cover the entire screen, save that individual slide as a jpg, and then import it into WMM.

    I used to do my captions in PP too but with this latest I switched to using WMM’s captioning, PP captions lose all their effects when saved as jpg.

  9. I figured it was PP! I’d initially thought everyone made book trailers with only WMM, and spent hours making really bad ones. Now I know to utilize both. Thanks!

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