The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem by Ken Budd

What influenced you to create a video book trailer?
I wanted to pursue every possible sales tool, and it seemed to me a trailer, if done right, could be an effective way to interest readers in the book. Also, I was writing a travel memoir, so I shot a lot of video: we had a lot of material to work with.

What was your experience with creating your trailer?
I worked with a talented video producer named Miranda Harple ( she had created some online videos for the organization where I work. Miranda and I met, and I told her I wanted a short, fast-moving trailer. We originally talked about making it two minutes, but we wound up closer to a minute. I gave Miranda about eight hours of video; from that she created the trailer and b-roll for potential TV appearances. She sent me draft versions and I gave her comments. We also shot some clips of me reading from a script.

What advice would you give to an author considering getting a video trailer created?
I watched a lot of trailers before creating my own. I saw three main problems with a lot of trailers: 1) A lot of them were too long. Some went three to five minutes. The average person watching video online has a really short attention span. And it seems like wrters feel the need to be writerly, so they talk and talk and talk. 2) I saw quite a few trailers that gave away the entire story. As in, after watching the trailer, I didn’t feel like I needed to read the book. The trailer should be a tease, not a book report. 3) Some writers use the trailer to complain about making a trailer, or they deconstruct trailers, etc. All of which are clever, but the trailer is supposed to help you sell books. If your intent is to create an anti-trailer, the results might be terrific, but not may be worth the money.

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