A book trailer is a short video teaser for your book. The video can consist of live action, animation, scrolling text on a black background, or pretty much anything else you think will capture the imagination of the viewer.
But are book trailers really necessary for promotion? I mean, you’re an author, not a filmmaker, and a book is a book — NOT a movie! Well, click HERE to read one writer’s opinion on the necessity of book trailers.
“Necessary” may be a strong word, but in our socially-connected, video-frenzied world, a professional book trailer can be a super helpful tool in your promotional bag of tricks. They’re short, sharable, exciting (when done well), and show that you’re serious about your writing, so readers will take you seriously too.
OK. Wanna create one? Check out our top 5 book trailer tips for authors.
Still stumped on what’d make a good trailer for your book? Get some inspiration from these fantastic book trailers.
Now, you’ve filmed and edited your book trailer and you’re ready to wow the world with it. What do you do? Where do you begin?
Here’s a list of ways to promote your book with your book trailer
1. Upload your book trailer to YouTube and Vimeo — An obvious first step. Be sure to use smart keywords and phrases in your video description so your trailer will come up in search results related to those terms. Also, link to your website or preferred book retailer in the description so interested viewers can actually purchase the book.
2. Post your book trailer on your author website — Another obvious step, but very important. Feature your book trailer on your website’s homepage (which is generally the most viewed page on any site), embed it or link to it on your press/EPK page, and also create a blog post that’s all about the trailer, how it was made, and how you hope your readers will share it with their friends.
3. Add your book trailer to your LinkedIn profile — You’re a serious author with a professional book trailer. Show it off to your professional network.
4. Share your book trailer on Facebook — Post your book trailer on your author page, on your personal profile, and in any relevant Facebook Groups you belong to. Hint: you can post your trailer more than once — just don’t get obnoxious about it.
5. Tweet your book trailer on Twitter — Just like on Facebook, YouTube videos play within folks’ Twitter feeds, so they don’t have to link anywhere else to view it. Tweet, tweet, tweet away! (With Twitter you don’t have to worry quite as much about sharing the same content multiple times.)
6. Enter your book trailer in trailer contests — They’re out there. For example, check out THIS book-related video contest. Then search on Google every so often to find trailer contests appropriate for your genre.
7. Host a book trailer premiere — It doesn’t have to be a big gala event. Maybe a local coffee shop would be happy to have you and a dozen friends hang out at their space, watch the trailer, and have a brief Q&A about the video and the book. If you host a premiere event, though, be sure to make it open to the public, create a Facebook event, blog about it, and let the local press know. Those will create additional opportunities to share your book trailer.
8. Play your trailer at book fairs and expos — Any time you have a presence at a publishing event, bring your computer or iPad in order to show people the trailer. If you have a booth, consider setting up a monitor that plays the book trailer on a loop (with the volume turned low, of course!)
9. Email your list — Subscribers to your email newsletter will be the MOST enthusiastic viewers of your book trailer. So let them know about it. Tell them interesting facts about the making of the trailer while it’s still a work in progress, then get them excited about the release date of the trailer, and finally, email then on the day the trailer goes live on YouTube (and link them to your blog where you wrote all the juiciest behind-the-scenes details).
10. Add your book trailer to your email signature — Seriously. Not everyone will click on it, but lots of folks probably will. And even if someone only clicks out of idle curiosity, you may just turn them into a reader!
11. Don’t forget the other social media sites — Authors tend to focus on Twitter and Facebook, but you should also see if there are good opportunities for you to share your book trailer on platforms like Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest.
12. Engage in relevant conversations on other blogs, videos, groups, forums, etc. — If there’s a legit opportunity within an online conversation to share a link to your book trailer, do so. But be sure it doesn’t seem spammy, or that you’re commenting only so you can then post a link.
13. Post your book trailer on your Amazon Author Page — I’m not sure much more needs to be said about that. Makes good sense, huh?
14. Promote your book trailer on Goodreads — A huuuuuuuuuge community of readers visits Goodreads every day to talk about books, get new recommendations, and comment on things they’ve just read. Oh, what’s that? Lemme just click this book trailer link and see… oh, cool. Yeah, I’ll check out that book.
Hopefully these tips help you find new viewers for your book trailer, which hopefully lead to book sales! If you have any advice to add about promoting your book with a trailer, please let me know in the comments below.
[Video image from Shutterstock.]