Do You Need A Book Trailer?

I post this because I am currently working on a trailer for someone’s book. Yes, I am a jack of all trades. Actually, my son is the brains behind the magic, I just do the grunt work of looking for clips and music.

Is a book trailer important? I blogged on this last year, but things have changed since last year.  Trailers have become a near necessity at this point. When you put out a book there is always a checklist to create and complete: get all my friends & family to purchase a book (check). Put out a press release (check). Email everyone who has ever sent me an email and promote my book (check). Start a Goodreads account (check). Buy marketing material (check). Take a closer look at my budget (check). Create a book trailer….a what?

A book trailer is a commercial for your book and created just like a movie trailer. Some are simple: a picture of the book, a quick synopsis, picture of author, and end. Some are more detailed: pictures scrolling across the screen, overlapping, fading, words, picture of the book and end.  Others are more detailed: video clips, pictures, scrolling words, advertise pic of book and end. And some people shell out thousands to have actual actors and voice overs do scenes from the book.

Why are they important? Because it is a commercial and point of advertising. And once you post it to YouTube, it is there forever, so will be forever advertising.

Do people buy based on a trailer? yep. One woman who was doing research for her trailer watched book trailers for over three hours.  When she was all done, she had a list of ten books to buy based on the trailers alone.  In my own personal experience, I have had a few people contact me based on my video. It works.

Who sees it? Anyone searching for trailers based on your meta tags.  Search, “Be Still trailer Tania” and my video will pop up on YouTube. Use as many relevant meta tags as possible.

How much does it cost? That’s tricky. If you have a basic knowledge of WMM then it can cost you nothing. If you want video clips and pictures then you will pay accordingly. To have one created starts at about $1,000 and can go up to the cost of a small production studio at $25,000. I did mine just under $500, and the one I am working on for a friend will cost about $500 unless she wants more clips.

Can you do it on your own? Yes. Most computers have some form of video editing applications. Play with it.

Does it have to be full of bells and whistles? No. Michelle Proulx had an epiphany one night.  There was a thought in her head about creating a trailer that wasn’t too serious, but got the point across.It was simple, and it works.  Here is what she came up with: 

Yes, you can do it all on your own. From simple to elaborate, from cheap to expensive, you should have a book trailer. If you need help, let me know and i’ll give you some detailed pointers, or you can ask my son (the movie wizard) to create one for you.  Here is my trailer for Be Still.  This one cost about $500, and the views continue to go up everyday. Remember, it is eternal advertising. Once you list it, it is there for millions to see.

Advice: Keep it under 1 minute. One poll states most people will skip to the next video after one minute. If you are only using words, keep it moving or add diefferent pictures behind it.    Don’t add too much crazy scene changes, like using fan out, pan up, pan down, circle in, etc. Fade to black works great.


6 responses to “Do You Need A Book Trailer?

  1. First of all, that is so Michelle Proulx. Love it and her. Great how-to here. This post caught my attention because it asked (and then kindly answered) a question I had put out there about the cost of videos on top of everything else a new author has to pay for. I was amazed at how quickly this (at the time) new form of advertising was accepted w/out the usual discussions in the publishing world (indie and ‘traditional’). So glad to see you help new authors save money on what can becaome, quite literally, a big production ;). Thanks, Tania.

    • It’s practically synonymous with advertising nowadays. I personally believe it is worth the investment, but not at more than a thousand dollars, unless this doesn’t break your bank. One author paid $5,000 and there wasn’t even any video feed on it. Be careful when looking for someone to create a trailer.

  2. Thanks for sharing my sad attempt at a book trailer, lol. Glad to hear people are still checking out your trailer! Would you say views have been increasing exponentially as time goes on, or does it stay fairly steady?

    • I monitor my success in advertising and marketing by the hits on the trailer. Today the trailer received 10 new views which means this blog was effective. It tends to increase on its own, but with each new marketing/publicity strategy the views go up, so I know what is working and what doesn’t and where to stop investing money.

  3. Very interesting, never thought about a book trailer as well… jeesh… good job the internet is so wonderful. 🙂

    • so much goes into your publicity strategies. I would strongly encourage you to have a trailer, even if it is just a picture of the book with a quick elevator pitch on the screen. It is still advertising, and will stay on YouTube (which is a top search engine) as long as they are around.

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