Book Trailers - Whether Your Budget is $5 or $5000, They Can Be Effective

Movie producers have known it for years--great images sell. What gets us to the theater for a particular new flick? That well-produced movie trailer.

If you are a parent with young children, think Disney channel, movie trailer, child pulling at your arm for the next two weeks as the trailer airs over and over again. The result is your child reminds you incessantly that the movie is coming out and they HAVE to see it.

Yes, trailers can be very effective...at least when they are done well. And it works for books in the same way.

And note, it doesn't have to be expensive.

This is the first of a two part blog regarding book and product trailers. Part one discusses some components, quality and samples.

Part two (next week) is about the more technical aspect of uploading, titling, and positioning, so that your trailer, once created, can really work for you. Getting it done is just one aspect. Making it produce results, an entirely different side.

Book trailers don't have to be expensive to be effective. But let's face it, if you have a budget to invest, it certainly doesn't hurt. I've seen authors with a big budget sink WAY too much into the trailer, and not enough into the book itself.

On the flip side, here is a terrific product trailer that hit the top of a low-range budget to produce, but the result was definitely high-end quality for the Unity Cross trailer below.

Unity Cross Demonstration Ceremony

Another trailer that was well done is for the book, Cavetime: Cavetime Trailer

Note: For this blog, my definition of budget is:
     High end - $10,000+
     Mid-range- $5,000-$9,999
     Low-range - $1000 - $4999
     Economy - $100-$999
     Fiverr - $5 - yes they are available

With the software currently available you can certainly produce your own book trailer as well. We all understand budget constraints.Long ago I did a selfie trailer on one of my early releases, Seasons of Love.

Seasons of Love

(In light of what can be done with today's technology, software and knowledge, it's not a great effort, but it was a first effort. It worked, and it was where the budget was several years ago. We've all been there!)

Another option is the $5 trailer. Yep, $5. That works for anyone's budget, but don't forget the old adage, you often get what you pay for.

I considered posting some current book trailers I really don't like, but more effective, is Let me show you a simple one I really do like. Simple. Effective.

When producing your own trailer, OR hiring someone to create one for you, be sure to include the following:

Content:

  • Book title & cover
  • Good teaser story line!!
  • Author's name
  • Publisher's name (if applicable)
  • Where the book is available
  • Author or Book website URL

Production:

  • Keep it simple. Don't overuse all the amazing special effect techniques offered. It can get confusing. Remember that less is more.
  • Keep it short. Trailers should be between 30 seconds and two minutes.
  • Storyboard your trailer. Don't wing it. Script it. Add a teaser. Draw us in.
  • Don't ruin the story. Don't tell us so much we don't need to read the book.
  • Use good graphics. It matters.
  • Remember music can either make the trailer (as in "The Lord of the Rings 2" trailer below

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Official Trailer [2002]

....or ruin it.

(Want more specific info? Download a copy of the "How to Make a Book Trailer Guide.")

Personally, I like book trailers--short ads for the book--just as I like movie trailers. But no matter how good the trailer is, hopefully, just like with most movies, the book will always be better!

Next week: Uploading, Titling and positioning your trailer for maximum exposure

Got a question? Ask me.