Are Book Trailers Effective?

If done right. Yes. People have shorter attention spans for consuming content online. Rarely do people read entire articles, let alone book summaries. Yes, I know books are meant to be read not seen. That’s like saying a good book sells itself, which, unfortunately, it doesn’t. 

Back in the day, an author’s job was to write. That was it. That’s not the case anymore. Times are changing. Videos help with discoverability since they are a lot easier to share than your book’s description. 

Remove the notion that a book trailer needs to be a video slide show. It doesn’t. The video can be of anything you want it to be as long as it relates to your book. 

Authors usually post their trailers on YouTube, which has millions of users. A video about your book can help you reach more people. Besides, for self-published authors who don’t have the luxury of getting their novels in libraries and bookstores, we have to worry more about how are people supposed to find our books. 

Now, I am not saying a book trailer is an amazing marketing tool that works 100% of the time. It doesn’t. In terms of marketing and promoting a book, especially for self-published authors, trial and error is the name of the game.

If you have an idea for a book trailer and you think it’ll work, go for it. I created book trailers for The Sciell and Found because I wanted to. I have Adobe After Effects and Photoshop and thought it would be fun to create trailers with them. And it was. Neither videos have amazing view numbers and I have no idea how it effected sales of Found.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe videos are a lot easier to share than the book’s description. Most pages-Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon- allow you to upload videos. A book trailer by itself is useless. You need to pair the video with other promotional efforts.

“The most important thing: the video is no substitute for a recommendation or an opinion. Therefore, it is not a replacement for the opinions that may appear in the mainstream media or specialized portals and social networks. Nor is it a substitute for critical reviews, back covers… All these factors are involved in the process of buying a book (which, remember, is the aim of the authors and publishers: sell books). So? The book trailer is just the beginning.”

Fantastic Book Trailers and the Reason’s They’re So Good 

“A trailer, in a way, violates a book’s very construction. We are taught from a young age that reading, unlike pretty much everything else, forces you to use your imagination. A trailer inherently removes an element of the imaginative process and potentially cheapens the medium by suggesting a sort of inadequacy.

While there may be truth behind these ideas, we also live in a world where information has to be conveyed in an increasingly succinct and stimulating manner. People are inundated with media, and they no longer spend leisurely afternoons in bookstores or reading extensive book reviews. At least, most people don’t.”

How To Make A Book Trailer: 6 Tips

“It is better for your book trailer to be super simple and beautiful than lavish and cheesy. The more visual, auditory, and verbal elements you incorporate, the greater the likelihood that your trailer will be a mess. Your book may be a novel, but your trailer should be a poem.”

 The Anatomy of Effective Book Trailers

“Good trailers are not retelling the entire story. It should grab the viewers attention and move them to laugh, cry or excite and intrigue with glimpses of what the book is about. A well made book trailer should end with an image of the book, title, author, website address and availability. These make up the ‘call to action’ aspect of the trailer encouraging viewers to take action.”