This post is the fifty-seventh post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.
Last week, I wrote about buying an advertisement to sell your book. Another method of advertising is to create a book trailer for your novel.
A book trailer is a short commercial used to whet the audience’s appetite. It should capture the tone and message of your book. And most importantly, it should make the viewer want to go out and buy your book.
Now depending on who you ask, book trailers are either a great marketing tool or a complete waste of time and money. On one hand, videos generate a lot of online traffic. Reports show 78% of people watch online videos each week. Studies also show people recall six times more information from video than text. But there are no stats to prove that book trailers sell books.
I first wrote about book trailers back in 2012 when I created one for my book Summoned. Back then, many trailers were simply a collection of still shots set to music. For someone on a tight budget such as myself, this was an easy option. The total out-of-pocket expense for my trailer – including paying for the music – was $25. (You can check out my post here.)
Nowadays, those with a bigger budget are going all out – hiring actors and voiceover artists. But few of us Indie Authors can afford that type of expense. I know I certainly can’t afford a CGI team to create a dragon for my trailers.
If you don’t have a big budget, you might be able to find some aspiring film directors at the local college who might take on your project. Or you have to do what you can afford – hiring someone to create a trailer or doing it yourself as I did back in 2012. (You can see my trailer here.) I will say that even going the still photo route is hard for authors of fantasy and science fiction as it is hard to find appropriate stock photos and footage.
Another option would be to film yourself talking about your book and telling the world who you are. This is a good choice for non-fiction writers.
No matter which way you decide to go – high tech or simple, do-it-yourself or professional – here are some tips.
Good trailers are short – typically under two minutes.
Call to Action
The reason many book trailers don’t work is because they don’t compel the reader into action. They are not supposed to be a retelling of your story but should grab the viewer’s attention and excite or intrigue them, so they rush to buy your book. A well-made book trailer should end with an image of the book, title, author, and availability.
A good trailer does nothing if not seen by potential readers. This is one of the biggest problems with book trailers. It must reach the correct viewers. You can post it on YouTube, Facebook, your own website, Bookreel.com, or Trailershelf.com and others. But just because your trailer is being viewed, there is no guarantee that those viewers are members of your target market. There is no guarantee those viewers are even readers.
#45 – Pricing your e-book
#50 – Marketing your E-book