38 Seconds

I’ve asked myself What makes an effective book trailer? What attracts me? The answer to the latter is kinetic typography.

One day, JeriWB and I were discussing our appreciation of beautiful moving text. It planted an idea in my mind. Fast forward to months down the road, and here I am, indulging my creative side.

I hired some Fiverr talents—Chris White to voice my script and Zdravkovskii for the animation—and I’m pleased to say they did a FANTASTIC job.

In today’s busy world, taking time to watch a video can be demanding. But the trailer is only 38 seconds. (Okay, on some screens it shows up as 00:39).

You can spare that long, right?

I showed you what attracts me. Is it effective? Tell me in the comments!

If you like it, if you think it’s interesting, and if it kept your attention to the end, please share. Whether it’s linking to this post or embedding the YouTube video itself, I’d appreciate any mention on your blog or social media.

What are some of your favorite book trailers? Do you like kinetic typography? Have you shared my video?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

33 thoughts on “38 Seconds

  1. That does make it more dynamic. And your great sense of humor shines through – bonus!

  2. I agree with Alex – it IS dynamic and funny, so great job there. But for me…and this is very individual to me, I think! – I like the moving text at first but then I start to find it distracting. Pretty soon, I’m watching the text bounce and realizing I have no idea what it actually said. I know not everyone feels this way!! I wonder if a mixture of the kinetic typography and some images (all with the voice-over) would provide a visual break. and give me a chance to listen? Just a thought 🙂

    • I had the option to add clipart, but I couldn’t think of anything appropriate.

      Are you thinking small images in place of text, or differing backgrounds?

  3. Awesome. That really did turn out well. I LOVE it. So much personality, intrigue, wonderful writing, and a great twist. It definitely got my attention.

  4. I love it! Yeah, too much text does tend to make your mind go blank after a while. Maybe a combination of text and images? That guy’s voice is AWESOME!!!

    • Chris White was the best voice over experience I’ve had with Fiverr. He really impressed me with both his service and work.

  5. It turned out great. I watch it to the end. The text movement matches the tone in the writing. I like that!

    • Zdravkovskii has a good eye for it. I’m happy with his creative ideas.

  6. I really liked it. It made me pay attention to the words, which is the point for a book trailer. Yes? Good job.

    • Thank you! And yep, keeping the attention is what I’d aimed for.

  7. The moving text really makes the viewer’s eyes stuck to the screen and the narration is good as well. I can’t think of a single book trailer I remember viewing that really stuck with me. A few that have had an interesting concept just went on for too long, and many of the shorter ones are the pan and zoom slow-moving kiss of death. I just might have to tinker around with these types of effects the next time I ever get the chance to experiment with editing video.

    • I have no personal talent for it. I downloaded a free trial of Adobe’s software, looked at it, crossed my eyes, and decided to hire someone. I’d love to have that talent.

  8. Cool! I’ve never seen a trailer done that way with the floating coloured words. Very clever! It does grab your attention and doesn’t go on too long. I liked the guy’s voice, too.

    • I’m glad you liked it! My goal was quick and interesting. I wasn’t sure how long would be too long, so I kept the script under 100 words. Seems to be a good amount.

  9. I really liked it, Loni! It was fun to see what the text was going to do next, and his voice is really full and expressive. Will share on Twitter!

    • Woot! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you had fun with it.

  10. Unfortunately I couldn’t hear the voice since I’m at work and couldn’t turn the sound up, but I did like it. Some of the words I missed because they went by too fast, though, or were too bouncy. The words I did read packed a punch.

    • The fast pace does make it blur by when you can’t hear it. Guess it makes it not as effective without the sound. Doh!

  11. Interesting trailer. I like the moving words, but they went by way too fast for me. I’m a visual person and the trailers that work best for me are ones with music and text over images or textured backgrounds that give me enough time to read and digest the words. I find having both voice and text distracting. I either want to hear it or read the words but not both at the same time. My attention span for trailers is good for up to two minutes which lets me get more into it. This is all just me, of course. Happy experimenting!

    • Got to say, I agree with Lori … on all points, actually.

      But seeing some like it this and some don’t, and clearly it gets some people’s attention … it couldn’t hurt to make a different type of trailer to capture other people’s tastes, right? That’s how I see it anyway.

      • I’m hoping to experiment with a few different styles from different POVs, to see what is most effective. Just gotta write the scripts…

    • Thanks for the feedback! I like figuring out how people absorb information. I struggled with reading comprehension when I was younger, so I think that’s why the mix of vocals + text works well for me, but not for others. Hearing it solidifies what I just read, as opposed to having to read it 3 times. For someone who reads and understands the first time, the mix is probably pretty distracting.

      I’m curious, do you listen to many audiobooks? Do you find you absorb the information just as well with them?

      • I rarely listen to audiobooks. I comprehend much better when I see or read things as opposed to hearing them. When I watched your trailer without the sound on, it worked a lot better for me. I noticed the smoky background which I didn’t even see the first couple of times around because I was too distracted trying to catch the words and hear the voice. It still would help to slow the words down, I think. I like the idea of making more than one trailer to appeal to different types of comprehension. That hadn’t occurred to me before. I’ll remember that.

  12. Hi Loni, I came to visit through Lori’s blog. I enjoyed the voiceover and I think the tone and the length is fantastic. I did start to find the moving text distracting after a while because it went by so fast and I was trying to pay attention to the words. Once you hit “elementals” I felt like it was time to have an image come in – since we were switching from one world to another, I felt like a background change and some visual representing the new world would have been helpful. Just my thoughts. 🙂

    • Thank you for visiting! The changing background and image introduction is good feedback. Also the speed.

      It’s like editing your own story, you can’t see where some of the issues lie, because you know what’s coming. 🙂

  13. I think you did a great job. It certainly held my attention all the way through, and the fact that it is short is a big bonus. And I couldn’t help but laugh. I love the humor! I do have to agree with several commenters, though, that the words went by a little too fast.

    • I’m glad it made you laugh!

      I’ll take special note of the speed in future attempts. 🙂

  14. Your video was definitely entertaining enough to keep me interested. And I think that hiring someone to voice the words really made a huge difference i the delivery. A lot of videos I’ve seen try to get by using word art along with music. Well done!

  15. Laura

    From the perspective of someone who hasn’t read the final copy, I did find the trailer interesting. It held my attention and went at a good pace. Other book trailers I’ve seen bored me to tears after 45 seconds of images and music, which I personally find distracting. I like the moving text, but I think it may have been a bit too dynamic in some places like when we get to the word “elementals”. The bouncing and color changing seemed a little over-the-top.

    The biggest thing to me is the voice. He seems too amused toward the end. I get from earlier posts that this may be the point, but it seems off from what is being said. It seems like his mood should shift to more somber, if not a little frightened, when he starts to talk about dead people and whatnot.

    Going just from information in the trailer (words combined with tone), it seems like this is intended to be more of a lighthearted comedy, maybe a bit zany since he’s semi-laughing at the end. It does a good job of keeping my attention and conveying information while setting a tone. It held my interest, and made me curious about the book.

  16. Great book trailer! Love it! Definitely makes me want to read the book. I hopped over here from Alex’s blog!

  17. This is so neat. I’ve not seen anything quite like it (maybe I lead too sheltered a life). As for thoughts. I get the bit about the words coming so fast – at the end you leave some words on screen even after they’ve been said. Perhaps they could go. Or maybe some sort of spooky image around the ‘elementals’ and meeting the blue haired woman – just have a mas of blue hair as an alternate to the words? Also I agree the tone of voice doesn’t seem to match the words – I’ve not read the book but the narrator seems like everything is a drag – he just wants to get home to flirting with hiss landlady – rather than he is scared shitless which you’d guess would be more likely. But overall what a fab thin you have going.

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