When you are trying to self-promote your novel, getting people interested can be hard. One of the tried and true methods to do so is to make a trailer for your book, much in the same way there are trailers for movies.  But, the average person may not have ever seen a book trailer. This can cause an author to question whether or not it is worth it to make a Book Trailer. Are Book Trailers even a successful way to advertise and gain an audience?

The short answer: yes.

Video is one of the best ways to get people to notice and remember what you are selling. That is why video advertisement slots during the Super Bowl are in such high demand, why they show so many previews before movies, and why there are video ads on most YouTube videos these days. I am willing to admit that I consistently fall prey to video advertisement.

The best video advertisements have bold imagery, memorable scenes, intriguing quotes, and music that will stay in the viewer’s head. They also aren’t too lengthy, or viewers will get bored and click away. You want a video that holds attention and sticks with the viewer after.

Film your own clips, take your own photography, draw your own pictures, or make sure that you own the rights to any images you use. Don’t just make a slide show, edit your video in an interesting way. If you don’t know how to edit video you should hire someone who can. Try looking for film students looking for work! You should also include music and sound effects.

As for what to include, here are some ideas: scenes, settings, objects, or characters. Don’t include the entire plot summarized because you want to leave some surprises for the readers. The trailer is meant to be just a taste, a tease, to hook your reader.

You also want to make sure the topic of your video is clear and obvious. People won’t buy your book if they can’t remember the title or your name. This means that you should provide a link to either your website or the website where you are selling your book. And, post the video and link liberally across all your social media accounts.

If you are worried about the price of production, there are other audio-visual options. One option is to purchase advertisement slots on podcasts. Another is to film a shorter video for a platform like Instagram or Twitter, which are usually not held to as high a standard as YouTube.

My personal favorite option is to create an interactive web page. If you are  building a website for your book anyway, why not merge the website and the visual impact of a book trailer into one? The technique of Parallax Scrolling provides a stunning effect as you scroll through a website. An example of this can be found here: http://jessandruss.us   Another very popular example of an interactive website is the Pottermore website.

The most important thing is putting in the effort. If you wrote your novel and you want people to buy it. So, don’t skimp on marketing it. Even if your budget is tight or your editing skills aren’t that great, if put your heart into creating your trailer it will show.

BookHive Corp. does beta reader editorial research for authors with Fiction (all kinds), YA/Middle Grade & Memoir manuscripts.

$699 for 8-10 beta readers, $1,099 for 16-18 beta readers.

The results are a 35+ page report full of quantitative and qualitative feedback.


Written by Kim Batchelor

Kim Batchelor is a recent graduate of University of Michigan and avid consumer of media. She is the Buzz Manager at BookHive and is working on creating her own blog.

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