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How to Create an Effective Book Trailer?

what makes an effective book trailerWhat is a Book Trailer?

Just as a movie will have a trailer to attract your attention and (hopefully) encourage you to go and see the film, a book trailer is a short video designed to get you interested enough in the book to purchase it.

The definition from Wikipedia is:  “A book trailer is a video advertisement for a book which employs techniques similar to those of movie trailers to promote books and encourage readers”.

What Makes An Effective Book Trailer?

Just as with any piece of sales copy, for a book trailer to be effective, it needs to primarily:

  • Grab your attention in the first few seconds
  • Encourage (either directly or indirectly) you to share it with others
  • Inspire you to get the book!

It should also meet the following:

  • Be short
  • Have the rights to any and all images, music and footage used in the trailer
  • Have a similar energy to the book itself – for instance if the book is upbeat, the trailer should be upbeat
  • Doesn’t include any ‘spoilers’
  • Includes actual elements (eg quotes, phrases or characters) from the book
  • Leaves the audience wanting more…

How Do You Make A Book Trailer?

For those who are the DIY kind, we will go into how you can make a book trailer yourself at home for little or no cost further down in this post – although if you are like the majority, audio and video editing is not in your bag of tricks, and as such, it’s best to hire a professional.

This book trailer featuring Victor Pierantoni’s book, “Right Now Resolutions” is among the best examples I have seen.

Not only does it use actual footage and voice-over of the author, but it fullfils the criteria listed above.  It definitely grabs your attention right at the start, is interesting and cool enough that you want to pass it around to friends, and you are now curious enough to want to go and get the book.

I’ve known Victor for some time and am always impressed with his work – then when I saw his trailer, asked if he would mind if I passed on to you the production people who put it together for him.

Here is their direct contact info:  http://urproduction.com/contact/ and I’m sure if you have any questions, Ryan will be all too happy to answer them for you.

Want to view some other examples of book trailers?

Here is a collection on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=book+trailer

Creating your own book trailer at home for free?

OK, so you’ve decided to go it alone…  If you’re already familiar with editing video and creating sound-tracks, you will know how to proceed.  If not, here is a way you can create a book trailer simply using images you already have (or copyright-free images you download) and free programs such as Windows Movie Maker.

  1. Find a selection of images that are suitable to tell the story of your book trailer, including a photo of the cover
  2. Import the pictures into Windows Movie Maker (or whichever program you are using)
  3. Drag them in order into the storyboard bar
  4. Add text overlays where appropriate
  5. Record your narration
  6. Add a music soundtrack if suitable (make sure it’s copyright- and royalty-free)
  7. Export your finished movie

Obviously, there are many other elements you can edit, such as length of each image, transitions from one to the next etc, but these are the very basic minimum steps to get you started.

Now what?

If you have created a book trailer for your book, let us know!

Also, once you have produced your trailer, be sure to put it up on your website, each of your social media platforms and your Amazon Author page!  Here is the link from Amazon on how to do just that:  https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?topicID=200418470

…and as always, if we can help, just reach out…