Opinions on book trailers vary. Some people tell you they're a waste of time, while others say they are "a must" for savvy authors. In my opinion, the success of book trailers depends on the quality of their design and also on the specific audience. Some people just aren't interested in watching them.
Many others, (myself included), love the combination of images, music, and
text. The final product can draw viewers in, intriguing them with a multimedia
experience of the story. Some authors have found that people who watch their
trailer are more likely to buy the book vs those who have only read the blurb.
It hooks them in a way cover copy can’t, especially those individuals who are
more visual and auditory in their focus.
So, how do you go about making a good book trailer?
Between one and two minutes is usually the best length. That's long enough
to catch the reader's interest, but not long enough to bore them. Pacing
matters. If the text and images fly by too fast, the audience won't be able to
take them in. On the other hand, having things move too slowly can make the
These decisions will depend partly on the kind of a story you're showcasing.
Is it suspenseful, sweet, dramatic, or adrenaline-pumping? Pace your
trailer accordingly. Also, pick music that fits the theme and setting. Be wary
of soundtracks with lyrics. They can work, but often the words are distracting
and compete with the text of your trailer.
You must own the rights (or have permission to use) any music or images in
your trailer. There are many excellent resources for finding both. Royalty free
stock image sites and royalty free music sites offer a tremendous variety, and
they are a lot of fun to explore. Here are some links which you might find
helpful. I-stock photos, deposit photos, big-stock photos, 300 monks music, pond
Finally, make sure your text is clearly readable, and be sure to include
information about where the book can be purchased. I generally place my website
address at the end, so it will be the last thing viewers see. Hopefully that
means it sticks in their minds.
You may be wondering how to put all this into action. Animoto is a fantastic tool for trailer
creation. Thirty second videos are free, or you can pay $30 for an entire year
of making longer videos. The process is simple and user-friendly, ending with a
professional quality product. You can also use video editing software that may
be on your computer.
Book trailers are a great addition to your website. They can also be
distributed through You Tube, Facebook, and various book promotion sites, or
provide links to them from blog posts. Here are three sample book trailers, all
created with Animoto, showing what a variety of styles can be achieved. SAMPLE TRAILER
TRAILER TWO, and SAMPLE TRAILER THREE.