Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Wonderful World of Book Trailers

Opinions on book trailers vary. Some people will 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 visuals, music, and text. The final product can draw viewers in, intriguing them with a multimedia experience of the story.

Between one and two minutes is usually the best length for a book trailer. That's long enough to hook the reader's interest, but not long enough to bore them. Of course, 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 production drag.

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. I have a list of links on my website which you might find helpful.

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, and 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.

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, (as I'm about to do here). To see examples of trailers I've made recently, click on these links...

Book Trailer One   Book Trailer Two  

A world of possibilities opens up with
trailers. It's a unique way to get readers excited about your books, and (even better) it's fun. If you haven't tried it yet...jump in. The water is fine!

Diana Green

Worlds of Imagination, Adventure, and Romance



Big Mike said...

Very helpful post. My experience has been less positive than yours on the videos, but those were RS vs SF so that might be part of the reason, the audience is different. I do know that for those that visited my website and viewed my trailers, the buy rate doubled for my books. Have to try and see sometime with one of my SF novels if they do better in drawing visitors to my site. I do know I had fun creating each trailer.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Big Mike said...

Oh, one more thing. You're videos are done very well, as is your website. Curious if your alien landscapes came from a central commercial source.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Those were excellent. If all else fails you can go into the trailer business! The pacing was perfect and the music effective. Did i see Jodie Foster with a sward?

Ute Carbone said...

Great trailers, Diana. I love Aninoto,I've used them to create trailers for each my books. I don't know how much good they do in terms of sales, but they are fun to make and it's one more way to get the word out.

Diana Green said...

Thanks for the feedback! A couple of you asked about images in my trailers. Most were purchased from Dreamstime, though I have since discovered that bigstock is even more reasonably priced. Pond5 has been my favorite site for cheap music, though you do have to hunt through their selection to find the inexpensive pieces.

Good luck with your future trailers.

Allison Knight said...

There are some genres, I think, that lend themselves to trailers. Historical romance can be very difficult for some obvious reasons. And from what I'm learning, most historical romance readers don't bother much with trailers. Conclusion - Don't waste much time on trailers.

Diana Green said...

That is unfortunate about historical fiction trailers. I did notice there was a scarcity of good images relating to historical time periods.

It's also interesting to think that the audiences of different genres vary in their level of enthusiasm for book trailers.

I suppose I'm mostly used to the fantasy, science fiction crowd. :)