Design consultant and ALLi Partner Member Aimee Coveney considers the benefits of video book trailers to promote self-published books, shares top tips on how to make them, and offers eight ways to put them to good use.
Video media is causing quite a stir in today’s book industry. Online promotion is highly effective in reaching a wide audience, and sharable media, such as videos, play a key role in gaining attention for many professionals. With that being the case, video media and, subsequently, book trailers have become increasingly popular amongst readers, authors and publishers. They are however, still held with some scepticism, many claiming they are simply ‘author bling’. This is due mostly to the amount of poorly produced examples there are, and the lack of knowledge in creating that buzz.
- Some authors and readers feel strongly that book trailers invade on an otherwise traditional medium of words and imagination.
- On the other hand, video is a proven method of marketing, and authors need to cater for all readers, both traditional and those that embrace the shift into a digital reading age.
What's the Point of Book Trailers?
Book trailers bring your work to life in a way that many authors dream about during the writing process. With visual elements on the internet bringing in far more interaction than those websites without, book trailers can now play a huge role in your online platform.
The elements of your book trailer should be striking and professional. Images, video footage and music can be sourced online, although it is imperative to ensure they are appropriate for your work. Having a well-thought-out script, and putting these elements together effectively, is key. Having image and text appear one after the other can appear lacklustre and outdated. Smooth and creative effects are vital in creating a professional finish.
If you’re not able to employ a professional, ensure you watch other successful book or movie trailers to get a sense of how they are put together.
(Below is an example of a book trailer made by Aimee – for more examples, visit the book trailer page on her website.)
How Long Should a Book Trailer Be?
Duration is significant. Many authors are very passionate and have a lot that they wish to include. The longer the video, however, the less likely it is that people will watch to completion, and they may even lose interest. A length of between one and one and a half minutes is about right.
Eight Ways to Use Your Book Trailer
Once you have a completed book trailer. it is imperative to distribute it effectively. A professional should let you know if this is included in their service.
- Uploading your video to Youtube is only the first step. When uploading, be sure to include keyword tags, a clear title and description so that your video is easy to find.
- Having your book trailer on your website home page can also increase the length of time visitors remain on your site by up to 88%.
- Sharing via social media is also effective, as many of your existing readers will have already connected with you through these channels, and the shareable nature of videos makes it very easy for others to spread the word for you.
- Keep it visible during promotion by pinning it to the top of your social media pages.
- Amazon and Goodreeds will also allow you to upload a book trailer directly onto your author profile and book’s page, meaning you have further means to capture reader’s attention.
- There are also book trailer dedicated websites including www.bookreels.com that drive traffic to specific genres.
- You need to think strategically about placing the trailer on sites where your book-buyers frequent. If you have articles or a blog tour where you can increase the chances of your book trailer being seen and shared, be sure to let the site owners know that they can embed the book trailer to gather interest.
- Lastly, if your existing books are available on Kindle, you can easily include a link to your book trailers at the end, tempting readers to immediately purchase the next in the series or your most recent offering.
A good book trailer should not tell the entire contents of the book. Instead it should create suspense and visually stimulate the reader, enticing them to make a purchase, or at the very least, keep them interested in your work in the future. This growth in book trailers is allowing authors to reach a widening audience, and keeping your name visible in an overcrowded market.
OVER TO YOU What's your experience been of book trailers – good or bad? Do you have great tips to share? We'd love to know!#Authors - top tips on how to make and use a #booktrailer by @authordesigner Click To Tweet