Support for Indie Authors discussion

78 views
Archived Workshop No New Posts > Book Trailer - Critics needed

Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kaye (last edited Jun 02, 2016 04:19AM) (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Hi, If this is off-topic for the group, please do let me know/delete it.
It's a query to everyone to ask if they could offer some valuable comments on a book trailer I've just put together to help promote Steve Kemp's debut novel which hasn't been published in paperback yet.
The video is a rough draft and the cover of his book will be changing soon. But if you would be kind enough to offer me help in the form of a critique on it, I'd be grateful. Let me know if it captures your imagination and if/how it needs to be improved.
If you'd like to know the link, send me a private message and I'll send you the link.
With very many thanks.
Kaye Bewley


message 2: by Missy (new)

Missy Sheldrake (missysheldrake) | 252 comments Hi Kaye,

Book trailer critique requests are welcome here. Please feel free to post the link. :)


message 3: by Kaye (last edited Jun 02, 2016 04:19AM) (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Gost, thanks Missy.

Here's the link on Steve's author page:

http://bewleybooks.com/authors/steve-...

If you could let me know any thoughts about it, how and in what way it could be improved, I'd be grateful.

Many thanks.

Kaye


message 4: by Missy (new)

Missy Sheldrake (missysheldrake) | 252 comments Can you remove the goodreads links in your posts, though? They're unneeded for a trailer critique post, especially if you're linking back to the author's page where the trailer is posted.


message 5: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments okeydokey.
thanks for letting me know.
kaye


message 6: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Callens | 193 comments I like the trailer. If I'm being nit-picky, I'd make sure the the pictures are always full-frame. I can't stand seeing the edges of pictures inside of a video... other than that, though, I think it's very good.


message 7: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Thanks Dylan, I did consider that at one point, but dismissed it. However, in light of your generous comment, I'll make sure that they're altered.
All the best
Kaye


message 8: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Higgins | 173 comments Hi Kaye,

I thought it was great. The music is dramatic and sets the tone nicely. You have some nice powerful images in there. I'm with Dylan on having all the images full frame. One small change and this is a personal choice, instead of "saw Mike die" I'd change it to "witnessed Mike's death". Saw Mike die lacks the punch the rest of your trailer delivers.
I liked it a lot! I'm intrigued.


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina Smith (cnsmithauthor1) | 21 comments Kaye, for me, I felt like the background images changed too quickly from scene to scene.

So are you alluding to the possibility of Harry being a firefighter and that's how he saw Mike die? And who is "Mike" anyway? That's a little confusing. So like S.J. said, and to take it a bit further, you could say, "witnessed his FRIEND, Mike's death" or whoever Mike is. Then the trailer says, does he live a lie or face the truth? About what? If the afterlife really exists? I'm not connecting the dots. I just really don't get what the book is supposed to be about and so I'm not really sure what I'd be getting if I were to purchase the book. I know it's introduced as a paranormal thriller, but still the words you're choosing to use to describe a bit more of what the book is about is not connecting the dots for me, so to speak. I just feel like the verbiage could be a bit more "sharp". It could just be me, I don't know. Just my humble opinion.

I do like the music! Leave that alone~


message 10: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Thanks SJ. Actually, we got a bit stuck on those words too. We were going for one syllable words. So, if we'll need to work on three words that conjure up the same meaning, that are 'hard hitting' - give a jolt. Thanks for taking the time. Appreciated.
Kaye


message 11: by Kaye (last edited Jun 02, 2016 11:32AM) (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Christina wrote: "Kaye, for me, I felt like the background images changed too quickly from scene to scene.

So are you alluding to the possibility of Harry being a firefighter and that's how he saw Mike die? And wh..."


Thanks Christina, interesting points. However, we only have 90 seconds, so the text has to be short and snappy - it acts like an 'attention grabber' in order to encourage people to find out more. Then when people are encouraged to think, 'I wonder what that's about' ... they visit the book link and find out more.

I'll consider your points and see if it's feasible within the time-frame.

Thanks.

Kaye


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Zama (jazzfeathers) | 31 comments I like the trailer, it does intrigue me.
For me, the text was enouthg to rise my curiousity... though I get the paranormal part, but not really the thriller part.

I also think the text is hard to read in places. Maybe if you used a duller section to write the text onto?
It also felt a bit static, the text I mean. Maybe more diversity in transition from one string to another?

But overall, a good one in my opinion :-)


message 13: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Thank you Sarah. Yes, I agree about the text being hard to read in some places. I think this might be because we're trying to look at the pictures as well as read at the same time. Must space them out a bit more. When I get rid of the borders around the images, perhaps they'll read a bit easier.
Thanks for your vote of confidence anyway. Appreciated.
Kaye


message 14: by S.D. (new)

S.D. Robert (sdrobert) | 47 comments Hi Kaye,

I don't know much about book trailers, but wouldn't it be better to start with some kind of a hook along an impactful image that speaks a thousand words? In the first few words, you give us the genre directly, but we can already find out about it later on. I don't know, but in my mind, the trailer in itself should show it to us, a bit like they do for movies. Like for horror movies, how the music and images of the trailer are chilling, 5 seconds in and you know the genre.


message 15: by Virginia (new)

Virginia | 142 comments First of all, I liked the soundtrack and found most of the imagery compelling, although I think SD makes a fair point that the imagery could perhaps being more targeted.

Also, I second the comment about not really understanding what the book is supposed to be about, in particular "can he live a lie?" and also "haunted by nightmares and will to do good (right)?" I can't remember the exact wording, but it struck me as strange and unclear (it might just be missing an 'a' which would clarify that sentence a bit, but I still don't see how someone is haunted by a will to do good).

I'll grant that we don't have to understand everything that's going on, but I found it disjointed enough to think it didn't make sense rather than finding it mysterious/intriguing.

Just my thoughts. Hope they're in any way useful.


message 16: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 3 comments Hey guys! I just finish my book trailer for my book Faithfully Shattered and would love some feedback. I'm not sure if it's okay to ask here or if I should start my own topic? If it's okay here is the link: https://youtu.be/1RY7bGVOQjc

I will delete if not allowed :)


message 17: by L.J. (new)

L.J. Burke | 9 comments I think this was well done and looks and sounds good. However, It was not specific enough in regards to subject and I think it was a tad too long. I did like it, congrats on a job well done.


message 18: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 3 comments L.J. wrote: "I think this was well done and looks and sounds good. However, It was not specific enough in regards to subject and I think it was a tad too long. I did like it, congrats on a job well done."

Thanks L.J.! Thank you for pointing that out! Maybe I should put the genre in there and add the book blurb to the description box :)


Matthew Culberson | 15 comments Just finished my trailer. Would love to get some feedback. Thanks and have a great day!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SApnBi...

Matthew Culberson


message 20: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Hi Matthew, I'll give you some feedback, if you can do the same for me? I have three you can pick from ... they're all 'drafts' at the moment and under 2 minutes each.
Kaye


Matthew Culberson | 15 comments Kaye wrote: "Hi Matthew, I'll give you some feedback, if you can do the same for me? I have three you can pick from ... they're all 'drafts' at the moment and under 2 minutes each.
Kaye"


Of course!


message 22: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Sinclair | 6 comments Matthew wrote: "Just finished my trailer. Would love to get some feedback. Thanks and have a great day!

Hi Matthew,

One very quick and easy suggestion that might seem counter-intuitive.

Reduce your frame rate to 24fps. The smooth motion of higher frame rates looks like video. 24fps is the movie frame rate, and immediately adds perceived production value. It's entirely subliminal, but it works! :)


Matthew Culberson | 15 comments Hi Matthew,

One very quick and easy suggestion that might seem counter-intuitive.

Reduce y..."

Thanks for the tip! If I can figure out how to do it I will.


message 24: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Hi Matthew, Great!
All three of them (YouTube videos) are on my Profile page under 'videos'. Take your pick. There's another one on a reading of my forthcoming book, but you don't need to listen to that (its 16 minutes long!).
Meanwhile, I'll watch your video and get back to you.
Kaye


message 25: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments D.M. wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Just finished my trailer. Would love to get some feedback. Thanks and have a great day!

Hi Matthew,

One very quick and easy suggestion that might seem counter-intuitive.

Reduce y..."


Interested in what video programmes people use. Mine is Wondershare - it's quite a BASIC one (cost £50) and very, very irritating! Have to fiddle endlessly with it.
Kaye


message 26: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Great stark contrasts - inferring the contrast between life and death I guess? Beautiful images, very clear, vibrant and interesting. Particularly the seaside images and also the 'bubbles' and 'dots'! Loved the creepy music too. Went well with it. Good choice.
Sorry, but, yes, there's a but coming! Don't want to have to go negative on you as I know how much work goes into these things and it would be nice if people just said 'Hey, yeah, great, no changes needed!' But ... here goes ... but ...
Though the text used is lovely, beautifully imaginative and excellently enters the screen, I prefer a bit of continuity. Is there a reason why you chose different fonts? And went from lower to upper case? Also, there's a wee bit of a lengthy wait between 'AT THE END OF IT ALL' ... and 'is' ... my mind has a tendency to wander, and between those two phrases appearing on screen I was looking at your description below the video - and at the other videos to the side (watched it on YouTube, to help you increase your 'viewing count').
Also, you need to put 'credits' at the end ... even if they're free, you need to indicate who provided photographs (I now use Pixabay (free images) - and Audiojungle - (paid for music) as, well, it's polite).
Other than that, I'm intrigued and will be buying your book when it comes out. Are you intending a paperback version at some point? It's the kind of novel that fits with my remit on BewleyBooks, so could help you with that one.
Oh, I don't know if you got the query above, but what video package do you use? I'm irritated with mine - yours looks far better quality!
Hope this helps. Kaye


message 27: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Nicole wrote: "Hey guys! I just finish my book trailer for my book Faithfully Shattered and would love some feedback. I'm not sure if it's okay to ask here or if I should start my own topic? If it's okay here is ..."

I love it. Have shared it on my BewleyBooks Facebook page for you Nicole.
kaye


message 28: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Bewley (kayebewley) | 14 comments Kaye wrote: "Great stark contrasts - inferring the contrast between life and death I ..."

Regardless, I've shared it on my BewleyBooks Facebook page for you. Kaye


message 29: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 30 comments Kaye wrote: "Hi, If this is off-topic for the group, please do let me know/delete it.
It's a query to everyone to ask if they could offer some valuable comments on a book trailer I've just put together to help..."



Alright lets watch this!! (Film student hat on)

- Cute little opening, though it could hold for a fraction longer

- Same with the next two cuts. Why do you need those two images? Are they particularly important in a symbolic way?

The second zoom-in cutaway especially is redundant as it's so quick.
Better to have one background shot and hold it.

- Is 'PRESENTS' supposed to be off centre? Doesn't feel certain.

I would get rid of the first two shots, and open with the bokeh and hold it there.

- Is the explosion relevant again? Because it is obviously low-budget and you're just damaging the quality of the trailer rather than enhancing it by having it in there.

Okay, now you have a montage of quick photos of varying quality which makes this look more like a powerpoint presentation than a trailer. They are also very distracting from the text. I had to go back and rewatch it so I could concentrate: not good.

- Out On Auugust 1st 2016 really should be on it's on black screen, rather than overlaying the cover.


OVERALL: This is a trend I’m seeing a lot with book trailers— and the other two Youtube links posted in the group are the same: text overlaying photos. This was also what my small publishing house presented me.

Now, I understand it’s hard creating trailers—especially for books--without a massive budget for stock footage and, more so, time, but I advise you—and the others who posted— to experiment a bit more with the composition of your trailers.

It’s far stronger to have text on black, than an obviously low quality photo stretched, panning the screen, with its edges showing.

It’s also far stronger to pay for ONE stock footage that captures the ambience of your novel and to use that throughout the whole thing than to present a montage of photos.

In the end of the day, to make your trailer stand out from these common photo/text trailers that flood self publishing and writing sites, you need to go that step further. And I understand, you’re mostly restrained by not having proper programs such as After Effects, or have the time. But you can still create ‘cheated’ versions in iMovie if you’re serious. You just have to be innovative with how you approach it, and experiment with a little stop motion with your text that you can create in sites such as picmonkey.

Anyway, here are some links to some pretty good book trailers (and trust me, even big publishing companies are struggling coming up with them!). But honestly, look at lyric videos for songs: they are what you want.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1j5g...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rnpE...

Example of great lyric videos you can use as inspiration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn9AQ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ELbX...

After all that, I did love your music, and besides the photo montage reel, you did a good job editing to it.

So, in the end, sorry if that is harsh, but I want you to be the best you can be, and it’s no good sugar coating words when you can easily step up your game with a bit of experimenting. Like everything, it takes practice.

Good luck,
Em.


Matthew Culberson | 15 comments Kaye wrote: "Great stark contrasts - inferring the contrast between life and death I guess? Beautiful images, very clear, vibrant and interesting. Particularly the seaside images and also the 'bubbles' and 'dot..."

Thanks Kaye for the honest feedback. I share your concerns about the long delay between "At the end of it all" and "is" and I will definitely be changing that. I use iMovie for the Mac. It's not the best, but it suits my purposes for now.

Thanks for sharing my trailer and for the honest critique! I will look at all three of yours later on today and give you the best feedback I can.

Thanks again for your time!


message 31: by Gippy (new)

Gippy Adams | 99 comments Kaye wrote: "Gost, thanks Missy.

Here's the link on Steve's author page:

http://bewleybooks.com/authors/steve-...

If you could let me know any thoughts about it, how and in what way it could be improved, I..."



I think it's great just the way it is laid out. It makes me want to get the book when it comes out and I only read 'some' paranormal books. Great job and love the music.


message 32: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Sinclair | 6 comments Kaye wrote: "Interested in what video programmes people use. Mine is Wondershare - it's quite a BASIC one (cost £50) and very, very irritating! Have to fiddle endlessly with it.
Kaye


I use Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere. But, full disclosure, I sometimes work professionally with them in visual effects compositing, so I kind of need them. I understand they're cost-prohibitive.

There are some very nice free options these days. Blender has a built-in video editor and compositor that is quite capable. And LIghtworks, once a full-fledged commercial package used to edit films like Pulp Fiction and The King's Speech, can now be acquired for free.


Matthew Culberson | 15 comments Kaye wrote: "Hi Matthew, Great!
All three of them (YouTube videos) are on my Profile page under 'videos'. Take your pick. There's another one on a reading of my forthcoming book, but you don't need to listen t..."



Hello Kaye,

Here are my first impressions of each of the three videos.

For your memoir, I think it was well-done, and I love the footage you have running. I do think the trailer is a bit on the long side. I think book trailers should be under 2 minutes, but that's just my opinion. The more you can get done in a short time the better.

Also, I think the blurb under the trailer told me more about the book and was interesting enough to include somehow. Perhaps, somewhere in the trailer, "In 1988 I found God. In the trees. In the ocean etc....on a bike ride through Sicily." I think that would draw the reader in.

The Harry Dennison trailer is well done, short and sweet and gets the point across. Of the three it is my favorite because it doesn't try and do too much and gives a good representation of what the book is, which is what a trailer should do.

The Infinite Possibilities trailer is also well done. Once again love the footage and music, which are the strength for both the first and third trailer I looked at. I would change some of the wording, but that's just nitpicking. I think the trailer does a great job of showing what the book will be about.

I hope that helps. Thanks again for the feedback on my trailer and good luck with all of your publishing endeavors! Keep in touch and I hope to see you around Goodreads.

MC


message 34: by Amelia (new)

Amelia S. (amelia_e_s) | 1 comments I too, posted my book trailer for my upcoming book, and would like to see some intake on it. Here it is:

Lucid Umbra People http://youtu.be/cAhCIOPbyHM


back to top