Book Trailer Basics for Beginners 

Ever watched a movie trailer that left you yearning for more? One that intrigued you to want to buy a ticket? What if I tell you that you can create the same effect for your book? A well-designed book trailer generates a social buzz, enticing viewers to buy.

If you are interested in learning how to produce a high-quality book trailer, this post is for you. I’ll walk you through the steps giving you tips and tricks. But before that, it’s essential to understand what a book trailer is. 

Book Trailer Basics for Beginners 

What Is a Book Trailer?

What Is a Book Trailer?

A book trailer is a short video of your book used for promotional purposes. Similar to a movie trailer, it utilizes imagery, music, sound effects, animation, and narration to captivate and persuade a viewer to purchase the book.

It is a great marketing technique to publicize your book to a vast online audience; on social media, your website, blog, or Amazon profile page.

Why A Book Trailer Is Important: Statistics

More people watch online videos than they read texts, and this amount is increasing every year. According to Wyzowl’s 2022 video marketing survey, people spend an average of 19 hours a week online watching videos. 

This number has increased by an hour compared to 2021. 

They further reveal that 73% would rather watch a short video to learn about a product than read about it. 88%, on the other hand, have been convinced to buy a product just from watching a video.

MDG Advertising also reports that 96% of youths below 25 years go online every day as 82.5% of US adults have access to the internet.

It’s therefore wise to leverage these numbers to maximize your book sales.

That said, what then entails a good book trailer?

Features of a Bestselling Book Trailer 

Features of a Bestselling Book Trailer 

Short and Concise Script

You should be able to get your point across in 30 to 90 seconds. Be brief and straight to the point. Why? The online audience has a low attention threshold. 

Think in the same line as the TV commercials between your favorite shows. They take less than 2 minutes each. Therefore, develop a short script with the most critical aspects of your story. You can hire a scriptwriter since this task requires skill and expertise.

Interesting Openings 

A well-thought-out opening to your trailer is crucial. It should compel the viewer to continue watching. If the viewer isn’t hooked from the first second, there is a high chance they will not buy. 

An excellent way to hook your audience is by creating tension from the start. Do not, however, tell the whole story. Remember, this is a teaser. Just sell the idea of the book but leave an impression. 

High-Quality Imagery and Audio

Use a high-resolution camera to shoot professionally-looking images. You don’t want the video to look grainy. After all, a low-quality-looking trailer won’t earn that much viewership.

It’s also essential to have good quality music to accompany your visuals. 

Try to use custom music for your videos. It shouldn’t be necessarily expensive. Alternatively, you can source from royalty-free music libraries as long as it syncs with the genre of your book.

Making a Book Trailer: Step by Step Guide

Making a Book Trailer: Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Pre-production Planning

First and foremost, you’ll need to plan your video production. Planning involves:

  a)Formulating the concept of the video. 

The following guide questions should help you get started.

  1. Who is the main character in this story?
  2. What do they want? (The goal of the story)
  3. What is the conflict of the story? (What’s standing in the main character’s way?)
  4. Who’s your target audience?
  5. What’s the tone of the video?
  6. What is the video format? (Live action, animation or collage of images)

b) Script Writing 

When writing your script, keep in my mind that it’s not only a narrative but a visual medium. You can use a storyboard. This is the pictorial representation of your story. It helps organize your thoughts, creating a basis for your book trailer. The storyboard should contain the planned out visual and the audio or narration of each scene. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, as long as you can account for every second of action on screen.

 Call–to–action

Remember to include a Call-to-Action at the end of your script. Tell your audience how and where to get your book. It can be urging them to head over to your website or the local bookstore, or purchase an ebook version from Amazon. 

If the book is a future release, tell them when it will be available. Also, plug in your contacts and social media handles.

c) Gathering Items

After you’ve prepared the script, organize the items needed for production. These include the music and video clips, shooting and editing equipment, voice-over artist, production crew, locations, etc. Prep time is vital to avoid problems during production.

Step 2: Production

This phase involves the execution of your script. You can opt to produce the trailer by yourself or outsource professional services. 

Outsourcing Book Trailer Services

Hiring professionals can be time-saving but expensive, especially when actors are involved. You’re, however, guaranteed a good quality production, particularly if you work with a reputable company. 

You can also hire freelancers from sites such as Fiverr and Upwork.

When choosing a professional to work with, ensure to vet them as some can deliver low-quality services. I suggest you;

  • Check the reviews of previous customers. It can be on Google or the testimonial section on their website. For freelancers, check the reviews on their profile pages.
  • Check their work samples to determine whether or not they meet your expectations.

Some reputable companies you can work with include:

  1. Film 14
  2. Red Penguin Books
  3. Ghost Book Writers
  4. Elite Authors

Producing a Book Trailer by Yourself

If you have the skills and knowledge or are willing to learn how to shoot and edit, you can do it yourself. It will, however, cost you time and money. 

Making Live-Action Book Trailer

For a live-action book trailer, you’ll need money to buy or hire the required production tools and personnel, which include;

  • A camera
  • A good microphone
  • A tripod
  • Lights
  • Actors
Making Animated Book Trailer

You can use various online video-making tools to produce a high-standard product for an animated book trailer.These include:

Animoto: is a cloud-based video maker you can use to create a video from photos, video clips and music. It has a variety of pre-built storyboards, stock images and layouts you can choose from.

Wave.Video: This is a one-stop-shop platform that provides five essential services for a successful video project. You can live stream, record a video, edit, create a thumbnail or host your video. They also provide over 1000 customized templates. All these services are offered at an affordable price.

Biteable: This is another fantastic resource you can use. They offer a vast array of animated scenes for those with zero video-making skills. They also have a free plan that allows you to create up to five video projects per month, using their best features.

Canva: It is a free design tool you can use to make your video by simply uploading, dragging, and dropping your content into a timeline view. They also offer stock videos and images that you can use.

Step 3: Editing

There are several editing software you can use to produce a high-quality video. My favorites are Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. The former requires a subscription while the latter doesn’t. Both are easy to use by beginners and offer lots of editing resources.

Step 4: Distribution

Now that you’ve successfully created a book trailer, it’s time to share it with the world. How?

  • Create a YouTube channel if you don’t have one yet and upload it there.
  • Have it on your website and blog.
  • Push your trailer to feature on literary websites like Booklist, Shelf–Awareness and Publishers Weekly. They have segments for book trailers and reviews.
  • Pin it on all your social media profiles.
  • Run your video on IG Tv.
  • You can send it to your Mailing list by linking it to a newsletter.
  • Have your trailer screened at book events.

5 Book Trailer Examples on YouTube

Fifty Shades of Chicken

Yeah, you heard that right! This is one of the most hilarious book trailers I have ever encountered. But what captures my attention is the voice-over narrator. He does it so perfectly and effortlessly, keeping you engaged to the end. The parody in this trailer is excellent.

Now I See You

This non-fiction by Nicole.C.Kear, a visually impaired lady, hilariously provides tips for navigating blindness. From the trailer, we can tell that this is an enjoyable book. The animation is also simple but good. Note the irony in the title too.

Mama’s Pajamas

Mara Van Fleet showcases her children’s book by literally pointing out its contents. We can see how the book is beautifully portrayed. There is no narration, but she employs the perfect audio for a bedtime storybook. This trailer is simply created but effectively delivers the intended message. 

The Scattering

The author, Kimberly McCreight, effectively uses suspense to capture the audience’s attention. It is also very short, leaving us wanting more. The graphics and narration also show that you can produce a great trailer inexpensively.

Girl on Fire

The author here, Alicia Keys, does the talking. She clearly explains what her book entails. The animation is also epic. This shows that you can do the trailer yourself if you are comfortable being in front of a camera.

In Summary

A good-quality book trailer establishes your credibility as an author and exposes you to the world. It makes your book go viral, leaving a lasting impression on viewers. All these translate to increased book sales. A bad book trailer does the opposite. So why not follow these guidelines to create a trailer that can effectively promote your book?

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