Book Trailers

Hey peeps,

So today I have a question rolling around in my head that’s begging to be asked—do you need a book trailer to promote your book?

For those who don’t know, a book trailer is sort of like a movie preview. But instead of live action actors, it’s a series of photos and images with some text that tell the basic premise of the story. The point is to hook the watcher into wanting to read the book. I’ve seen a bunch of authors do book trailers for their new releases but obvious not every book out in the world has one. So do you think they help promote and ultimately sell the book or are the resulting sales (if any) not worth the effort and time?


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  1. Laura Kaye says:

    I don’t think you have to have one, but I do think it’s another way of appealing to readers. Key is for them to be well done–and a lot aren’t. Things that detract from book trailers to me are 1) when they’re too long (60-90 seconds is roughly good) 2) PowerPoint-like graphics (images shooting in from the right or left or swirling around, etc) and 3) text on black screens between images–just put the text on the images in some creative way to make it more visually interesting. I took a great class through the PRO loop last year on book trailer making using Windows Movie Maker and really liked it. I’ve made both of mine. I wrote a blog topic on how to find royalty free images, videos, and music to use–if you’re at all interested I’ll dig up the URL and shoot it to you! Great topic!

  2. Tara Stearns says:

    I’ve seen filmed trailers too, not just with the still photos. Personally, I like to watch them. It gives me what I feel like/hope is the authors vision of the H/h and the story. I think it helps keep people interested, especially if you want to really promote before it’s even released.

    The only thing that ever disappointed was a trailer I saw with a hilarious scene where people posted things like “can’t wait to read that part” …then it was like, oh, it’s not in the book???

    1. Heather says:

      Thanks so much Laura and Tara! I appreciate your great comments. So much to think about!

  3. Janet Lane Walters says:

    Heather, I have several for books that a publisher did for me. I haven’t seen that they’ve brought any added sales. Like other things they’re a gimmack and if you’re talented this way I’d say to do one. Visual didn’t turn me on as much as a good blurb.

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