Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Trailers 101

I don't know about you, but sometimes the post-editorial aspects of publishing can be almost as fun as writing the book in the first place. Take for instance, the book cover. You all know how much fun I had designing and laying out that puppy! And then there was the contest (i.e. subliminal book promotion). How fun was that?  And if you thought I was finished with the pre-pub excitement...I get to talk about book trailers. Oh yes, the HOT new method to promote your book.

They say the best way to get your message across today is through video. That's right, if you want anyone who's anyone to notice your precious little baby, you have to go VIRAL! Of course being the high tech wannabe that I am, I have to get in on the action. It cost me $5 to make a decent book promo. And I'm going to tell you how I do it!

It's easy really. I use It's FREE if you only create a 30 second video. But that's not much time. I upgraded to the "Plus" account ($5 a month), so I can make a 60+ second trailer. When I'm done using the program, I end my subscription and pay only $5 for each month used.

Basically all you have to do is upload pictures, text or video into the slots provided. They offer several backgrounds to choose from and a pretty good sized library of music. can pick any style of music to match the genre of your book. The pace of the video and the type of action displayed, is based on the genre and song choice. And you will never get the same results twice, because every time you make a change, Animoto recalculates the entire sequence.

In my opinion, the videos turn out very classy. Yet, there is more to the book trailer concept than flashy graphics and sweet tunes. You have to tell the story. And here are lots of companies that will do that for you. A book marketer can create a video with more text options, video and the mother of them all, the book trailer that actually plays out like a movie. And lets not forget the good old fashioned author interview!

Or, if you have a good digital video producing program, you can do it yourself!

In order to be the helpful guy that I am, I looked up a few companies that offer this service. There's a whole lot more of them, but this'll get you started. I'm pasting the links further down the page.

THE REAL QUESTION is...are book trailers worth the expense? Do they pay for themselves in book sales? I think they can. I think they have the ability to generate excitement. But do they bring the right reader to the point of sale? That's the million dollar question. I could've upgraded to $39 a month and had a link button at the end that'll take the reader directly to the point of sale...but I didn't...not yet anyway.

What do you think? Have you had any luck with book trailers or live author interviews? Let me know. BOOM!

Book Video Creation - Their videos looked pretty decent and cost anywhere from $99-$299 for more advanced videos.

Book - This producer makes really good trailers. They made the video for the best seller "Huck"

Ghost Writer's Extraordinaire - They're more affordable, although quality is a bit lower. Prices start around $79.

Again, I am not an affiliate! I do not get paid for posting these links.


  1. I've done a couple of trailers for short stories. I am lucky to have a talented friend who makes them for me. Now we have the hang of it and will be ready to go when the books get published. I've purchased stock music and some photos and video. Otherwise, we use our own photos. Another friend made original art for me in one. Which was nice.

    If nothing else, they're another way for people to find you.

  2. M Pax,
    You'll have a good time doing it. I also find that making these trailers is a great way to hone my message - my pitch, because the word count is very limited (especially with Animoto). I wish I could get more characters on the screen, but I think it forces me to be more direct and concise.

  3. I've been trying out mine on MS movie maker with my own pics/illos. It is addictive! :D I'd show them off but I'm in the editing stage. Your trailer would be cooler if you had pics for that extra *kick*


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