The answer is not a simple one, as it is both yes and no. It really depends on numerous factors. Each author needs to think about and examine these factors to determine what type of trailer will work for you and your book. I believe a trailer can work for almost every book, but the trick is knowing what type of trailer to create. Now let’s start with the types of trailers that could be useful for authors.
You have the informational trailer, which can be used quite well for non-fiction books like this:
Next you have cinematic book trailers, which can be used for a number of fiction genres and are modeled in a movie trailer style, like this:
Then you have the animated trailer, which can be used for childrens, some fantasy, and satire. Like this:
And last is the branding or interview trailer, which is more focused on the author and the message than the individual book and can be used with almost any book. Like this:
So how do you know which type is for you? Well let’s look at some of those factors that can make a difference.
* What genre is your book?
In general the YA audience tends to be the most accepting of the visual medium, and therefore has a greater potential to yield results in the cinematic trailers. On the other end of the spectrum, non-fiction books tend to yield the best results with an informational trailer. With animation childrens and middle grade are best, but you have to weigh that against how much of your target audience will see your trailer. This does not mean that if you do not have a YA, middle grade or a non-fiction book you should not have a trailer. The branding or interview trailers can work for any book, but need to be catered to their target audience.
* What if I am on a tight budget?
This can be approached in a number of ways. Starting with using either the informational if it works for you or the branding/interview trailers. These can be produced at a much lower cost generally because it is a much simpler video and process. If you have a book you think HAS TO HAVE the cinematic trailer, it can be done in a wide range of pricing. Now keep in mind you get what you pay for so, finding a great deal is good, but make sure you look at samples before committing to anything.
Once you have pinned down what might work for you and have someone creating your trailer, how do you know what to look for? What makes a good book trailer?
- Keep it brief. People value their time and generally have a short attention span when browsing the internet through things such as trailers.
- Be authentic. The tone and feel of your trailer should reflect the content of your book.
- Music matters. Music sets the tone and flow of a trailer, so be sure it accurately represents your material and is engaging!
- Make it seamless. All of your imagery, transitions and text should flow together creating one flowing piece. You do not want choppy pieces all pasted together. A good way to see if your content works well and has flow is to watch the trailer while muted. If it still stands up and is engaging without that mood setter you are on your way.
- Give them information. Be sure to end your trailer with the url to your website for more information and also let them know where your book is available for purchase and/or when.
So now you have your trailer done, but what do you do with it? There are several places that are a must and free for you to place your trailer.
- Upload to youtube as a starting point. When you do this use your keywords! What terms are people searching to find you or your book and additionally what are potential readers searching? Keywords can make a huge difference in getting that trailer seen on youtube.
- Using that youtube video, embed the trailer on your author website. Announce and blog about it for its reveal.
- Authors are able to add videos to their author page on Amazon.
- You can also add the video to your author page on Goodreads!
- Find a video book review blogger and try to get your trailer featured. You will have a better impact with a video blogger as their audience is already watching videos. You will get more views and possible sales/reviews this way.
- Have a way to display and play your trailer at events like author signings, conventions, etc.
Now looking at all of this information what can we deduce? I think it is safe to say there is a very wide variety of trailer options that range from self made branding videos to professionally produced cinematic and/or animated trailers. Find what works best for you and your book and run with it. Make sure the quality is there and be ready to work at it. Having a trailer does nothing if you dont put it out there and use all the resources available to you. Having a trailer is one more great promotional piece to add to your marketing arsenal and in the end that is what all authors are looking for...another piece to the puzzle leading to success in this flooded business. Ask yourself what you can do to make your work stand out next to the others and then go for it.
I work with authors to bring their literary works to life through covers, interior graphics, layout & formatting, cinematic book trailers, custom world maps, web graphics, and promotional materials. I am the art director at the author PR firm Novel Publicity, cover artist & print formatter for Evolved Publishing, and also work with Amy Edelman providing custom cover services to Indie Reader clients. I have worked with authors like NY Times Best Seller Bella Andre and recently worked with major Hollywood producers, The Tannenbaum Company, creating a look book for a fantasy novel turned screenplay.
I am an avid reader and enjoy books across many genres. But I have a very fervid love of dystopian anf fantasy novels. I have been known to devour up to a book a day when my busy schedule permits. I enjoy combining my love of literary works with my artistic skills to help authors bring their work to life visually. Find out more about me on my website.