Book Trailers for Marketing and Publicity

director take

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction books, a well-done book trailer can be highly beneficial to you.


  1. It’s a visual and auditory medium for getting your message across about your book. Reading blurbs and summaries are essential, of course, but adding trailers is another way to reach your market. It attracts those who like moving pictures and may influence future readers to buy your book in ways that written summaries and blurbs can’t.
  2. Through a trailer your book can find its audience in a very short period of time. Watching a 1 minute video allows readers to self select.
  3. Done right, there is the potential of creating sales from your trailer.
  4. Media campaigns can include a link to your trailer, which won’t necessarily get you the interview, but it might, and it’s a quick way to get your book’s message across.

Those are some pretty compelling reasons for creating a trailer.

Next question:

What exactly is a book trailer?

A book trailer is any video that promotes a book, an author, or a series of books.

What should a book trailer do?

Explain quickly and easily what your book is about. It should tell some kind of story that will entice potential readers to buy your book.

Are they necessary?

No, you can still market and publicize your book in other ways, but it can be a pretty cool way to attract more readers. You can give the viewer a wonderful “feel” for your book in a very short period of time.

What kind of money are we talking here?

The cost of a book trailer runs the gamut from very little to very expensive. Not everyone can afford a book trailer that’s shot like a real movie, so if you’re an author with a conservative marketing budget and you still really want to use video, your best bet is to pick up your phone and film yourself talking about your book and telling the world who you are. However, it still has to be done well. You want to be sure you come across as the professional that you are.

Another option is to look around for a couple of hungry film students who might be willing to take on this project for a couple of lunches. That could be a very sweet deal.

What do some book trailers look like?

The look and quality of book trailers runs the gamut from, “Why did they bother to create that trailer?” to “Wow!”

I have some examples of really bad ones, and I do share them with my one-on-one clients to help them know what not to do, but I don’t want to share that publicly. Making someone else feel bad is simply not my cup of tea.

However, I’m happy to share some good ones:

Here is Gabby Bernstein. Yes, it’s from a few years back, but it’s pretty good, and it’s quite simple. Here it is.

The One by Kiera Cass. This is YA, but a lot can be said without a lot of activity.

You are Not So Smart by David McRaney. This one is a little long and it starts to make one a little crazy after a bit, but the idea in interesting. Shorter would be better, IMHO.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. For this trailer they simply used the book jacket matter as the text rather than creating an entirely new script.

Jane Wyker, author of the book Soul Selfish has created a nice trailer. In fact, she just recently sent it to me, which is the inspiration behind this week’s Savvy Sunday News and blog post. However, it isn’t public yet so I can’t share it right now, but I promise to do so a little later.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Don’t be boring
  • Tell a story
  • Don’t make it two long. One to two minutes is best

Book trailers are another way to tell the story of your book in a way that can capture new readers. It’s something you can use in many, many different ways in order to market your book and rack up those sales.

To your success!



P.S. We cover how to market your book with book trailers in our Media Strategy Sessions. You can check them out here.







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