Author Marketing Tip - Book Trailer

Updated on September 15, 2017

There are so many ways to market your book. Each month, there seems to be new ones that are advised. You don't have to choose just one. You should choose multiple ones based on your audience.

One way is to appeal to the movie lover side of a reader.

What is a Book Trailer?

A book trailer is like a movie trailer. It is a visual glimpse into the plot of the book. Think of the movie trailers you see on television. It is a quick glimpse into the movie in hopes that it entices you to go watch it. That is what a book trailer does but for a book.

Think of it as a video representation of your book solely for marketing purposes.


To be honest, there is not a lot of marketing benefits from book trailers from what I see. I've done a few for my own books and talked to other authors who have tried them. You’re not going to see a lot of sales from it. In fact, most readers have no idea what a book trailer is. Only those who host tours and follow certain readers know. So what is the benefits?

You just never know who might stumble upon the video and want to check it out. They can be fun to make and watch. They reach out to the video watchers who might otherwise ignore your other marketing ventures. It also gives you more exposure by having your name and book in more places.

When to Use One

Book trailers are typically used when new books are released. The intent can be to instill excitement for a new release just like how the movie industry uses them. Typically, you aren't looking at trailers for old stuff unless their presence on a certain channel or venue is new.

They are encouraged to be used with virtual book tours. Videos are encouraged to be used on any blog post or article. They give more depth to a post. With virtual book tours, it is an extra way to reach out to new readers and help out the hosts.

Composition of a Book Trailer

You now have the idea of what a book trailer is and how it is used to market your book. What exactly do you put in the trailer? It's not like you can pull clips from it as the movie producers do. It's a book. You have to be slightly more creative.

The Title - Okay, this sounds obvious, but I've seen where the title of the book was missed. I think the author got a little too excited with the concept and forgot the vital part.

The Author - Another no brainer, but it does get missed. Make sure you tell the viewers who wrote it. Get your name out there.

The Link to Purchase - If I like what I see, where can I get your book? Don't forget the purchase link so you can actually make sales. Remember that you are creating the book trailer for that purpose.

Website - Also add your website so they can follow you if they are interested.

Images - You can do a variety of things here. Maybe you have the resources at hand to actually create a scene from your book. That's great. Go for it. Most of us don't have those resources. Instead, pictures can be used and enhanced with Powerpoint or other software that can create the look of a movie. Just make sure they tie directly into your book. Most of the time, there will need to be words added since you can't pull from a real movie. Summarize the plot. Maybe add in quotes from the book.

Music - Music is always a good thing. You can find some public domain ones that fit any mood of any story. Having a video with no sound is very boring and a turnoff.

Length - This is something that too many authors don't take into account. How long is the average movie trailer? Less than a minute. In fact, some are only thirty seconds, but they get the job done. Too many authors create videos that are up to ten minutes long. I'm not watching a trailer that long, and most readers want. You want to make it short and sweet just enough to get their attention.

Where to Get a Book Trailer

There are many companies out there to design a book trailer for you from $25 to several thousand. Don’t spend a lot on the trailer, but get a good quality one. Shop around.

You can also create your own if you have Movie Maker and are willing to play with it. To be honest, it is not that hard. I've done it many times. Just make sure you use images and music that you have the right.

The best way to find companies is to ask virtual book tour companies and other authors who they used and who they recommend. Word of mouth is wonderful. In fact, might have to create an article on how to make your own. Saves you money.


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