Do Well-Made Book Trailers Help Sell Books?

books in black wooden book shelf
Photo by Pixabay on

When it comes to online content, people are spending more time watching videos than they are reading the written word. You might be worried that this means fewer people are reading in general. Fear not! You can use this online trend to your advantage as an author.

Book trailers add another dimension to help readers understand a story. They’re used to promote and sell books. Statistically, most people prefer to a watch a video to learn more about products and services. They’re also much more likely to make a purchase after watching a concise video. But there’s a lot of bad book trailers out there. The last thing you want to do is create something that hurts your marketing efforts. So do your homework and really understand the best tactics for selling yourself.

What is a book trailer ?

A book trailer is a short video or teaser that introduces a book in a way that makes people want to read it. If done correctly, using a book trailer can help improve your online presence and allow you to reach new potential readers. 

Why consider a book trailer?

Not everyone knows you as an author or about your books. Many potential readers will only give your ad or social media post a few seconds of attention unless it’s truly engaging, which is not enough time to understand what your book is about. So how do you capture them as a new audience, if they don’t know what you have to offer?

By using a book trailer!

What should I include in my book trailer?

The details in your book trailer should be enough to draw viewers in without giving away the whole story or the plot of your book.

Keep the following in mind when deciding what to include in your book trailer:

  1. Know your target audience
  2. Hook your audience
  3. Keep it short and catchy
  4. Use visuals and sound that enhance your message
  5. Have a Call-to-Action

Know your target audience

Every author has a target audience based on the genre of their stories. Since your book is written with this audience in mind, the book trailer should grab the attention of your readers with the music, narration (if any), pacing, fonts, and any other choices you make with your trailer’s content. This is really author branding 101 and applies as much to your book video trailer as it does to every other aspect of your marketing.

Hook your audience

Use a one-liner that captures the essence of the storyline or central theme of the book. It can be a quote from one of the characters, a glimpse of the setting where the plot unravels, a quote from a review that stands out. The options are endless.

When a person reads or hears the hook, they should immediately get sold on reading the book. The key to a great hook is creating tension. Tension can be created in many ways. These should already be familiar to you as a writer to keep pages turning.

For example, show what’s at stake if the main character loses, or show the reader what they stand to gain in reading the book (if non-fiction), or even what they stand to miss out on if they don’t! Tension is the push-pull in a trailer that creates the emotion that motivates action.

Keep it short and catchy

Remember that this is a teaser, it should not be more than 2 minutes. The closer you are to reaching the 2-minute mark, the more information you end up giving away. You also run the risk of losing your audience before you deliver the call to action that tells the viewer what you want them to do.

Use visuals & sound to grab your readers

Whether you choose to go for videos or images will depend on the concept of your book trailer, but they should complement your book’s genre. This includes the music as well. It would be rather strange to use punk rock music in a book trailer for a children’s book right? So although your trailer should have a sense of originality, it should still fit the general theme of the particular genre the book belongs to.

Have a Call-to-Action

You need to have a strong Call-to-Action to encourage someone watching the book trailer to purchase your book. There is nothing more painful for a customer than wanting something but not knowing where to find it. So make sure you don’t only tell people to buy the book, but tell them where to buy the book. Most important of all, if you’re teasing a future release, tell them when it will be available as well.

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply