What Should A Book Trailer Include?
So you have just completed your book, your publishers have agreed to publish it, and the time has come to start thinking about marketing said book. You know that you want to give your book the very best chance of success, but you might not be sure exactly how to go about doing so and are wondering what the best techniques are to promote your new book.
Alongside the normal press release and social media marketing, you might want to think about having a book trailer created. Just think of the impact a well-designed book trailer could have. The right approach could catapult your new book to a whole new level of success.
Keen to learn more about book trailers and what should go into one? We’ve created this guide to help! Read on for everything that you need to know.
What is a book trailer?
A book trailer is a unique and effective marketing tool that can be used to help promote the launch of a new book. The concept has been adapted from the idea of movie trailers which are used to give audiences an insight into what new movies are about, drawing them in and peaking their curiosity enough to make them want to watch the movie. It’s the same with book trailers; a book trailer is simply a method of marketing a new book in a way that persuades and encourages them to want to read the rest of the book.
Usually, a book trailer is designed and created, and is then shared across multiple platforms to help build interest in the book that is being launched. A book trailer also offers potential audiences an insight into what a new book is about, compared to a more traditional book summary or review. You should find that implementing a book trailer into your book’s marketing strategy will act as a powerful accompaniment to your marketing approach.
When it comes to creating a book trailer, one of the most important factors to get right is that the book trailer teases the narrative arc of the book, and grabs the audiences’ attention without giving away too much of the book. It gives the reader a desire, an almost need, to buy the book so they can continue with the story.
Need an example of effective book trailers? Take a look on social media at the pages for digital book companies such as Hooked, Radish, Dreame, and Kiss and take a look at their book trailers.
Why promote your book using a book trailer?
So, why should you promote your new book using a video trailer? It’s not a movie, so why act like it is?
Videos are eye-catching and interesting and actually have a huge view rate. They also get better internet traffic than text. So, if you want to give your book the best chance of success, it pays to utilise video - and photos - to create your book trailer.
The reality is, as you’re probably aware, the video is more engaging than any other means of marketing. For example, by creating a book trailer that lasts for between 60 and 120 seconds, you may be able to tap into a new audience that previously hasn’t read books or have not heard of your books. If your trailer draws them in - as it should do - you may find that you’re able to convert a number of people who wouldn’t normally read books into actually giving your book a chance.
What should a book trailer include?
A book trailer needs to be interesting, engaging and exciting in order to make it worth watching. It also needs to contain good quality photos and stock footage - many authors opt to use photos and footage from resources like Period Images.
You want to ensure that your book trailer convinces your audience to go out and purchase your book, so it needs to be carefully created to ensure that it packs a punch and makes the right impact. So what does your book trailer need to include to be a success?
The key thing that every book trailer needs to be a success is a good hook. You want your book trailer to highlight the hook within your book; you need to let people know why your book is unique. That is where your hook comes in - you need to use your hook to show what makes your book unique and what makes it worth purchasing to read.
Make sure that when it comes to incorporating the hook into your book trailer, that you do so in a simple yet effective way. You simply need a sentence or two that clearly outlines the hook of the story and makes the book trailer more effective as a key marketing tool.
Let’s say you’ve written a book that focuses on two young lovers who are from opposite sides of the tracks and can’t be together due to postcode gang violence, the hook could be a simple line that reads something like ‘even the tracks can’t keep them apart; Courtney and David will do anything to stay together - even if it means killing their friends’.
A hook needs to shock and pique interest. It needs to make people stop and think about the storyline and actually want to find out what happens to the characters. Get your hook right and your book trailer is sure to be a success.
To write a hook, think about the basis of the storyline and ask yourself what is the overarching focus of the book, and use that - with a twist - as your hook. You need to focus on the abnormal - what’s so special about your book, why is it interesting and worth reading?
One of the key benefits of using video as a tool for promoting your book is the fact that you’re able to incorporate images that make an impact. However, it is important to be aware that when it comes to choosing imagery for your book trailer, it’s vital that you set the correct tone. The last thing that you want to do is incorporate imagery that sets the wrong tone and makes your book out to be something that it is not. This would attract the wrong audience, meaning that your book may fail to succeed.
When it comes to choosing imagery for your book trailer, one way to make sure that you are able to create the right tone is to use only photos and video footage that are professional and of a high quality, from somewhere like Period Images, as mentioned above. In terms of incorporating these assets into your video trailer for your book, you might want to consider working with a skilled designer, to ensure that the design of the footage is created seamlessly.
If you are planning to feature in your book trailer, make sure to be mindful of how you come across on camera. Dress the part and have specific lines that you will say, so that you are able to create the right tone. If you are going to portray characters from your book in the book trailer, make sure to work with acting professionals. The last thing that you want to do is taint your book before it even hits the shelves.
In addition to incorporating images and video footage into your book trailer, it’s important not to forget audio. The audio of a book trailer can have a big impact on the audience, and so getting the right audio that you overlay onto your trailer is key. A combination of text, images and the right audio can be all it takes to make your trailer a success. It’s also important to remember how vital audio is for setting the tone of the book, as well as pulling each of the visual elements together.
A lot of book trailers also include voice overs within them, which is something that you might want to consider incorporating. It’s important to be aware that when it comes to effectively using voice overs, it’s not just about what is said, it’s also about how it is said. You need to find the right voice actor for your book - you need to think about the genre and tone of the book and how the right voice can have a huge impact on how effective the book trailer actually is.
If the book has a dark undertone, choose a voice actor who has a voice that conveys the dark elements of the book. Or, if your book has an energetic vibe, work with a voice actor who creates the same energy. Think carefully about who you work with and what kinds of voice overs you need to record in order to turn your book trailer - and thus your book - into a huge success.
Find the right voice actor and your whole trailer will come together - everything will fall into place.
Call to action
Whatever you do, when creating your book trailer don’t forget to include a call to action. The concept of including a call to action means finding a way to inspire and compel the audience to act after viewing your trailer - aka to go out and buy your book. You want your call to action to have an impact on your audience and encourage them to actively purchase your book by directing them to the next steps.
A simple call to action could be to include a closing message that says something like ‘order yours now before they’re sold out’ or ‘place your order today and receive a 20% discount’. Often, the most effective call to actions are those that offer an incentive. If you are able to use your book trailer to offer your audience an incentive, you are sure to see some fantastic results.
You could also use your call to action to explain where the audience can purchase - or pre-order the book from. You could use a message like ‘available to buy from Amazon.com’ or you could use something like ‘download via Kindle today’.
Don’t forget to include the website URL where audiences can buy your book from; just make sure to make it easy to see and simple to navigate too. There’s nothing worse than a book trailer that is packed full of too much information.
Be mindful of how you distribute your book trailer
Once you have created a book trailer that is designed to draw people in, take the time to think about how you will distribute your trailer. Distribution is a key element of creating a successful book trailer, so it’s vital that you get it in front of your target audience.
It’s worth starting out by uploading your book trailer to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as adding it to YouTube and Vimeo. It’s also important to make sure that the platform is properly utilised and your video will be easily visible. You could also opt to embed your book trailer on your website and on any other websites or blogs that you run - the more diverse the sharing, the better the result.
You could also do some outreach and ask other key people within the sector, such as bloggers, influencers, or other authors and press to help distribute your content and make it visible to a far wider audience. Reach out to suitable people and ask them about sharing your content - you may find that while some people will help for free, certain sites and people may come with a price tag.
A book trailer offers you everything that you could possibly need to get your book’s launch off to a great start. A book trailer can highlight your book’s genre and pique the interest of people who would never normally read.
A book trailer is a powerful marketing tool and offers you a fantastically simple method of advertising your book in a way that’s almost guaranteed to bring success. As long as the trailer is created with the theme of the book and those interested in it in mind.