Book Trailers – the good, the bad, the necessary

The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young.
The world of marketing changes everyday. Ask a marketing professional what they did 25 years ago to promote books and you won’t get the same answer I’ll give you today! The internet has completely changed the way books are recommended and shared.

Book Trailers

How many of you have seen a movie trailer? I’ll know you’re lying if you say you never have. Previews are the most used tool in the movie industry to generate buzz about an upcoming movie. Do you make it a point to watch a preview before you spend money on a movie? How can you be sure it’s something you want to see if you don’t?

Book trailers work in much the same way. Of course, since the book you need a preview for was never filmed, the making of a book trailer is a much more creative process than taking bits of a movie and mashing them to fit in a 30-second slot.

Who needs a book trailer?

Book trailers are effective for any kind of book. Nonfiction, Young-adult, children’s, cookbooks, anything! As long as your book trailer is appealing to your audience, you’re doing a great job! The purpose of a book trailer is to get someone that would potentially want to read your book – to want to read your book!

In short, every author needs a book trailer for his/her book!

What makes a good book trailer?

A trailer that leaves the viewer asking questions and intrigued to find out more about the story.

Elements of fun

How do I get started?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to spend some time on that glorious video-sharing site: YouTube. Browse around for book trailers. Look for trailers on books you’ve already read. Look for your favorite books. Then:

Look for these elements:

  1. What do I like about this book trailer? What works?
  2. What do I not like? What isn’t working?
  3. How could this trailer be even better if it were about my book?
  4. Is this worth sharing with my friends?

These are just a few guidelines to get you started thinking about book trailers and how you can make one for your book.

Share other ideas below. What will you do to make an awesome book trailer?

Lastly, read Kate Noble’s blog post on How to Make a Book Trailer for $5 or less.

5 thoughts on “Book Trailers – the good, the bad, the necessary

  • June 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you! For the past two days I kept getting this little voice in the back of my head telling me to make a book trailer for my novel. I’ll take this article as a sign!
    Thanks again,
    Heather Ostler

  • June 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I think this is really something that can be used for authors, especially of young adult and teen fiction. Teachers can use this in classes when reading books and the members of the internet generation are the ones that are going to be spending the most time on Youtube and other video sharing sites where your trailer will be found. I think it’s all around a great marketing tool for authors.

  • June 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    After making book trailers on my own for my last couple of books, I finally broke down and hired a professional. It was worth every penny 🙂

    • July 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      My books are not fiction like yours, but they are LDS. They are doctrinal. So I am really interested in the professional help you hired to do your trailers. Mind sharing? You have done so many fantastic things with your writing. I am really in awe!
      I surely would love your response!

      • July 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

        The young man who made my trailer is Matt Morrell. You can email him at:

        saintmatthew [at] gmail [dot] com

        Best of luck!
        Heather Moore

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