Monday, 12 March 2012

Interview with Bookreel.tv - a new site showcasing the latest book trailers



With more and more writers and publishers releasing trailers for their new titles, there’s no doubt that book trailers are becoming a big part of the publishing industry. Bookreel.tv is a new website, showcasing the latest book trailers from around the net. I caught up with the site’s designer and editor to find out a bit more…

She-Wolf: So, tell me about the site…

Bookreel: Bookreel.tv is a site aiming to bring together book trailers from a wide range of genres, everything from children’s books to YA, romance, fantasy, horror...

SW: And what about you – what’s your background?

BR: My background is mostly in writing music, which in turn has led to an interest in building websites as well. I was left in charge of getting a site online for a band I write for, and tinkering with that led me further down the rabbit hole in terms of playing with coding… so maybe not such an odd progression as it initially seems!

SW: And so you decided to make a site dedicated to book trailers? Where did the idea for bookreel.tv come from?

BR: The idea was entirely accidental and grew from a discussion one evening with my fiancée. We were musing the online future of books in relation to the music and film industries and the trends digital media has brought about in consumerism. My partner mentioned book trailers, the existence of which I was aware of having written music for a couple of them, but I honestly hadn’t realized they were so big. So from there the creation of bookreel.tv was entirely organic. As consumers of books, we both thought a site that had book trailers categorized by genre and author, much like a library, would be useful to people.

SW: Are there really that many book trailers out there?

BR: Absolutely, yes! And there are more and more being made daily, from pretty much every corner of the publishing world – classics, children's books, thrillers, graphic novels and so on – I don’t think there’s any genre that hasn’t had a book trailer made.

SW: You’ve made the decision to include self-published and small press titles alongside titles from the big publishing houses – tell me about this decision.

BR: Essentially, I didn't want to exclude anything, but also book trailers are an accessible form of promotion for someone (i.e. many self-published authors) working on a tight budget. They’re a great way to make people aware of titles without having to spend a fortune, so in terms of the Big 6 and indie authors it’s a fairly level playing field.

SW: There are a couple of other book trailer sites out there, what makes bookreel.tv different?

BR: There’s a few others out there and they’re cool sites, but none of them seem to work in the way that I like to browse. For me it’s important to be able to look through information in different ways and I’m presuming (rightly or wrongly) that I'm not alone. So, for example, rather than trailers one after the other on one page, bookreel.tv works with one trailer to a page – with the synopsis underneath, links to where you can buy the book, a rating system, a comments system (whereby you can log in to comment via your Twitter or Facebook credentials rather than having to join yet another site) – all of which can be browsed by category (including a short excerpt of the synopsis) or alternatively there’s an A-Z of authors. And, naturally, there’s a good old fashioned search function too.

SW: So people can rate the trailers on the site?

BR: Yes. I just thought it’d be a nice interaction and would give people browsing for something new an indication of a book’s popularity.

SW: I notice there are also some interviews on the site as well. Why have you decided to include these?

BR: Although the site is primarily about the trailers, I didn’t want to move that away from the authors in any way, so I thought an interview section where the author can talk about their book and trailer would be interesting.

SW: You have a lot of trailers up so far – any personal favourites?

BR: There are some quality trailers out there, that’s for sure, and they seem to get cleverer each day! Singling out any personal favourites is really hard, but off the top of my head, I was very much taken with the trailer for Dorian Gray, a French graphic novel by Enrique Corominas, based on the novel by Oscar Wilde. [Ed. - to see this trailer, click here]

SW: And have you found any good books as a result of seeing a trailer?

BR: Yes, I recently bought The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson as a result of coming across the trailer. It’s a fantastic read by the way (and a cool trailer).

SW: Given all the trailers that you’ve seen, do you have any advice for writers thinking about getting a trailer made for their book?

BR: That’s a tough one. As a very general guide, I would say try and keep it around the 90 second mark, anything over that feels like it’s going on a bit. Watch a few other book trailers (preferably on bookreel.tv!) that fit with your genre and get a general feel for what works best. And please please please don’t use any images or music that aren’t your own without explicit permission first, or you'll end up in a heap of trouble! There’s also a few places online you can contact to make your trailer for a reasonable fee. Above all, though, it has to be representative of your book.

SW: So, finally, why do you think writers should consider making a trailer? What are the benefits?

BR: I think they’re a great way of getting people’s attention, and if executed correctly can reach a far wider audience than just getting your book online and hoping for the best.

SW: Thanks for talking to me, bookreel.tv. I’ll look forward to checking out new content on the site.

BR: And thanks for having me.

To watch and rate new trailers on bookreel.tv, send in your own, or to contact the Editor, click here.

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