For years now, book trailers have been a popular staple for authors and publishers alike when it comes to marketing and publicizing books. These short videos are designed to showcase the book’s cover, premise, and tone in an attention-grabbing way that hooks viewers from the very start. This is not only for potential readers but for potential media opportunities as well.
By leveraging visual storytelling through cinematic techniques like music, graphics, and dramatic imagery, book trailers can stir up excitement and generate buzz about an upcoming release. Potential readers can get a feel for the book’s genre, tone, and premise, helping them decide whether or not to buy and read it. Media folks get a sense of who you are, what your book is about, and if they want to cover you and your book.
Whether it’s a suspenseful thriller, a heartwarming romance, an important business book, or an impactful health and wellness guide, a well-crafted book trailer can help lure in readers who might not otherwise have noticed the book.
Creating a book trailer is a fairly simple process. Here are 8 steps you can follow to create one:
- Choose your software: There are many video editing software available online, both free and paid. Choose one that suits your level of expertise and requirements.
- Develop a storyboard: A storyboard is like an outline of the video, it outlines the sequence of events and actions that will take place in the book trailer. Developing a storyboard can help you visualize your project and make it easier to bring your ideas to life.
- Choose visuals: Choose a few key elements from your book that you’d like to highlight in your book trailer. This can include the book cover, particular content such as charts, graphs, or other graphics.
- Highlights: Highlight the overarching theme or message or mood of your book.
- Add Music: Music is a crucial element in creating an engaging trailer. Choose music that fits the tone of your book and complements the visuals.
- Reviews or endorsements: Featuring positive reviews or endorsements of your book from respected sources can also help entice viewers to read it.
- Edit and produce: Once you have all the elements in place, it’s time to start editing. Piece together the visuals, add music and sound effects, and create a seamless and captivating book trailer.
- Share: Once you’ve created your book trailer, share it on various social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and your author website.
By following these steps, you can create a visually stunning and attention-grabbing book trailer that will entice readers to pick up your book.
However, I know you’re busy and you have a lot going on, so you might consider hiring someone else to do this for you. It is still important for you to know the process when you hire someone though, which is why we went through the steps above.
Here are the steps to get the right person to create your book trailer:
- Look for professionals: Search for video production companies or individuals who have experience creating book trailers. This is not the time to hire your brother-in-law or a person who has done video, but never an actual book trailer. Look at their portfolio and reviews from past clients to ensure they have a good track record.
- Request proposals and quotes: Once you have shortlisted a few potential candidates, reach out to them and ask for proposals and quotes. This should include a breakdown of their services, timelines, and cost estimates. You need to know what you’re dealing with here.
- Discuss vision and expectations: Set up a meeting with your top candidates to discuss your vision and expectations for the book trailer. Ask them for their ideas and suggestions to see if they align with yours, but remember: they aren’t going to give you all their ideas in bulleted form unless you hire them. However, they should be willing to give you a larger overview of their ideas in order to make a decision.
- Review and feedback: After you’ve made your choice, review the first draft of your book trailer and provide feedback. Give clear instructions and be specific about what you would like to see changed, if anything.
- Finalize and share: Once you’ve provided feedback and made any necessary changes, finalize the book trailer and share it on your social media channels and website. Find creative and clever ways to set up and introduce the trailer to entice people to click the link and watch it. You can include it in many of your media pitches as well.
Book trailers are effective marketing tools because they can generate interest and engage potential readers in a visual and dynamic way. When done right, book trailers can elicit an emotional response, creating a personal connection between the viewer and the story.
Here are a few ways in which book trailers can convince someone to buy a book:
- Creates awareness: Book trailers can help generate awareness of a new book release or an author’s upcoming work. People who may not have heard about the book before may come across the trailer and become intrigued.
- Captures attention: Book trailers can be visually compelling, using cinematic elements to capture the viewer’s attention and spark their interest. If the trailer is exciting and engaging, it can entice viewers to learn more about the book.
- Creates a sense of urgency: A well-made book trailer can create a sense of urgency or compel viewers to take action. If they love what they see in the trailer, they may feel a sense of excitement and rush to purchase the book.
- Builds anticipation: Whether fiction or nonfiction, book trailers can offer a preview of the book’s story, characters, and tone, or a look into the educational and entertainment elements, thereby building anticipation for its release. Viewers may eagerly anticipate the release date and purchase the book as soon as it’s available, or you may set up a pre-order campaign and they can order it immediately. They have to wait to get the final copy, of course, but they can at least order it.
- Provides validation: If the book trailer features endorsements or positive reviews from reputable sources, viewers may feel more inclined to purchase the book. The endorsement acts as social proof, validating the book and increasing its appeal.
As you may be able to tell, I am a huge fan of book trailers. They can be incredibly effective at generating awareness, capturing attention, creating a sense of urgency, building anticipation, and providing validation. They can also help various media folks to get an overall view of what your book is about, and decide if they want to cover you and your book.
To your success!
P.S. I thought it might be fun to throw in some examples:
Catch Me When I Fall, by Donna Stoneham, PhD.
The Joy of Abstraction, by Eugenia Cheng
The Secret of the Light, by Rabbi Daniel Cohen
I Will Always Write Back, Books sometimes become movies.
The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer
And then, of course, there was Christian the Lion. This video was created to sell an upcoming book, and it took the world by storm. You might remember it. And if you just can’t wait, advance the video to about 3 minutes in to see the touching reunion. Have a tissue nearby.
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