There are things that go on behind the scenes. The book world underground. It’s the other work of being an author, beyond grammar checks and query letters. And it gets me wondering.
For instance. You’ve seen book trailers. I won’t bother to tell you about the different places to watch* them. But how do book trailers come to be? Who pays and how much? I wasn’t sure where to look, but Elle is a Lucky 13. She knows things.
Recently, the Lucky 13s (2013 debut YA/MG authors) conducted a survey of 2012 debut YA/MG authors (the Apocalypsies) about their experiences creating book trailers. 22 anonymous respondents participated. Here are some of the noteworthy results.
How long did the trailer take to complete?
I’m comforted that half of the trailers were done in less than a month. I would want my book trailer as soon as possible, though maybe I could wait longer if it meant the trailer would be high quality. But those more than a year trailers…ouch.
Did your publisher pay for your trailer?
I kind of expected this. Just reading things online, I know that the marketing money is hard to come by. So, over 3/4 of the respondents paying for the trailer themselves wasn’t surprising. But, I was excited to see that 4.5% (one person) said that the cost of the trailer was split between them and the publisher! I didn’t even know that could happen. Awesome.
If you made your own trailer, did your publisher require approval before launching it?
81% of respondent’s publishers DID NOT require approval before launching the trailer. When you consider so few had money for trailers coming from the publisher, that shouldn’t be surprising, either. It does may me wonder if the publishers offer advice, guidance, or references for how to get a book trailer done. Hm…
Did you create the trailer yourself or did you hire a production company?
Wow. I had no idea that so many authors would make their own book trailers. There’s the stop-motion-photography-paper-animation-music-composing-and-performing Maggie Stiefvater, but if all authors had to be so marketably multi-talented, I would be in the wrong field. Luckily, there’s an easier way to make your own book trailer. (I’ll get into that next time.)
Based on your own experience, how much do you recommend budgeting toward a debut trailer?
One person (5.3%) spend $2500-$3500 on their book trailer, while 68% spent $0-$500. And with so many people making the book trailer on their own, I imagine that many of their trailers were entirely free. Well, if they used free video editing software.
As with most research, I am left with more questions. The Apocalypsies are both Middle Grade and Young Adult authors. Do more Young Adult authors make book trailers than Middle Grade authors? And when they do make trailers, do they spend more? Or are they more likely to have someone make the trailers for them? And on, and on.
As I learn more about making book trailers or hiring a production company, I’ll pass on what I learn.
Thanks to the Lucky 13s and the Apocalypsies for sharing information with us!