Book trailers are a relatively new marketing tool for authors. Essentially, they are visual advertising for your book, similar to a movie trailer. For an example, here’s a link to my book trailer for The Legend of El Patron: Legend of El Patron book trailer.
With over 74% of online traffic coming from folks watching YouTube videos, making a book trailer to promote your book makes perfect sense. I have found, however, that there are a few caveats to making your book trailer a successful marketing tool.
Many authors pay between $300 and $1,500 for someone to build a sixty to ninety second book trailer for them. For me, that cost was prohibitive. Instead, I decided to build a book trailer myself. I built my trailer using illustrations from my children’s book and inserting them and text into Apple’s iMovie (video editing software). My goal was to build interest in “saving the bear,” a major theme in my book. I then uploaded the video to both Vimeo and YouTube.
How do you make a successful book trailer? Dana Craver wrote an excellent article on how to make a book trailer published on the Writers Weekly website: How to Make a Book Trailer. Another great article about book trailer content can be found on the Author Learning Center website: Book Trailer Content. To view examples of book trailers in your genre, simply do an internet search on words like book trailers for kids, or book trailers nonfiction, or book trailers mystery.
Marketing your book trailer is the next step. This, unfortunately, was more time consuming than I expected. As an example, in Angela Hoy’s 90+ Days of Promoting your Book Online, she suggests visiting YouTube videos and forums with similar themes as your book, commenting on them, and redirecting them to your site by including your book title when you sign your name. Others suggest entering book trailer contests, loading your trailer on your author pages in Amazon and Goodreads, and uploading the video to book trailer sites like trailershelf.com.
Are book trailers an effective marketing tool? For me, the jury is still out. My book trailer has had over 160 views combined on Vimeo and YouTube during the last several months. It does not appear that any of those views have resulted in someone actually purchasing a copy of my book.
Simply uploading a book trailer to YouTube will not sell your book. I have also learned that promoting the book trailer may become as time consuming as promoting the book itself. For me, a book trailer may be a positive promotional tool, but has not been a game changer in selling my books. It is simply one tool in our arsenal to market our books and get them seen. I’ll keep you posted…