One of the best ways to grab the attention of your audience is through book trailers. According to WordStream, one-third of online activity is spent on watching videos. A long caption on Instagram or Facebook won’t cut it anymore. Having a book trailer is a great way to build up anticipation for your book on social media and Youtube.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss the elements of an intriguing book trailer, how to find a professional video maker to make the book trailer for you (and the pros and cons), and how to create a book trailer.
What is a book trailer?
A book trailer is similar to a movie trailer. You don’t want to reveal all of the main story plots and developments, but you want to develop excitement and anticipation around your novel.
What should be included in the book trailer?
- The problem: You want to subtly state the problem the character is facing, or if you are writing an informational book, feature excerpts that provide valuable insight. Depending on the book, you want to find methods that creatively reflect your genre and tone. A great example of a book trailer which does an excellent job of stating the problem is Now I See You. The author features experts in her novel that discuss tips on how to deal with blindness, which reveals her book’s valuable insights and humorous tone.
- Pique curiosity or state how you can solve their problem: There are various creative ways you can pique your audience’s curiosity, or show how you can solve their problem. You want to creatively show it without directly stating it. For example, this simple book trailer of a cookbook reached more than 700,000 views through it’s creative and hilarious demonstration of what their audience was going to get out of it, and boy were people intrigued!
- Testimonials from reputable authors to establish credibility: After piquing their curiosity with an intriguing plot, you want to demonstrate your expertise by showcasing testimonials from reputable authors or critics. A book trailer that does a great job of that is A Study in Charlotte. Throughout the book trailer, they subtly build up the credibility of their novel by showcasing reviews and testimonials from best selling authors.
- Provide insight into a scene or the book’s plot : Most of the best book trailers I have watched have one thing in common: they feature an intriguing excerpt from a scene or plot, which makes you want to learn more. But they do it subtly as if you are watching a scene straight from a movie. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown does a great job of not only creating suspense, but at providing insight into a murder scene that makes you want to learn more.
- At the end of the book trailer, feature the book: At the end of the book trailer, feature your book and mention where people can purchase it, whether it be Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, etc.. This is an example snapshot of what your audience should see near the end of the book trailer.
Should I outsource book trailer services?
Before you decide whether or not you would like to hire someone to create a book trailer, you need to take into consideration cost and time. Outsourcing another company or individual to produce a book trailer may cost you a lot of money, but it can save you a ton of time. On the other hand, if you have little to no expertise in making book trailers, purchasing camera equipment and learning how to create a professional video might cost you more money AND time in the long run. Here is some insight as to what it costs to make a book trailer.
30 second teaser book trailer: Outsourcing a professional to create a high quality 30 second teaser book trailer will cost anywhere from $500-$2,000
Book trailers with actors: If you are going to have a professional book trailer company make a trailer which consists of actors, a new location, a film production crew, etc.. you are looking anywhere from $3,500-$15,000
If you want to produce a book trailer with actors, and you have little to no experience in video editing, I would highly suggest outsourcing book trailer services. Hiring a crew for acting (even if it’s your friends), purchasing camera equipment, software, lenses, batteries, etc.. may cost a lot of time and money if you are new to video editing.
If I want to hire a professional, what should I look for?
- Make sure the company who you are working with doesn’t use templates to create their book trailers. Templates may look professional, but it could risk your book trailer coming off as generic and not personalized to your custom audience.
- Look at their sample work, and determine whether or not their book trailers meet your professionals standards. For example, do the actors accurately portray the characters and novel? Is the video quality crisp and clear? Are they using original images and videos? Or do they utilize a lot of stock photos in their films (a HUGE red flag).
- See what their previous customers have to say about working with them. The best way to find their previous customers is through Google Reviews and the portfolio section on their website.
Which book trailer companies would you recommend working with?
- Red Penguin Books- Red Penguin Books provides book trailer services for all genres. You can view our book trailer video samples over here.
- Film 14- Film 14 is one of the best book filming services I know. They have worked with best selling publishers, and their book publishing trails are nothing short of excellent. I would highly recommend checking their work out, I have never been short of impressed.
How do I create my own book trailer?
If you want to create your own book trailer, and you have the time to learn it, that is another great option to save money and control your story. The first thing you have to decide is whether you want to create an animated video or a live video with actors. There is no set formula to decide whether or not a video with animation or a live video with actors will work best for you. Personally speaking, I find that horror and mystery books do very well with live videos and actors. Once you decide your video format, you have to learn how to create the video.
If you are going to create an animated video, I would recommend utilizing the following tools to create a high quality animated video.
- Vyond- Vyond is a business animation tool where you can create custom animations of your storyline. I would suggest reading this article here, which provides step by step instructions on how to be successful with Vyond.
- Animoto- Animoto is a great animation tool for beginners, with easy to create layouts and drag and drop tools. If you want to get started with creating an Animoto video, I would suggest reading this article here.
How to create a video with live actors
To create a professional video you will be proud of sharing requires more than simple edits on your iPhone. You need to be willing to invest money and time. I would recommend purchasing the following equipment and to read these online tutorials to create your professional video.
- A high-quality camera is extremely important in creating professional videos. This guide explains step by step what cameras to purchase, especially on a budget of under $2,000. One of our favorite cameras is the Canon 5D Mark III. I would recommend going on Canon’s Youtube Channel for tutorials on how to use the camera.
- It’s important to have a good microphone when making videos, as camera microphones or build in laptop microphones typically have terrible audio. This guide provides great suggestions on which microphones to buy, depending on your needs and budget.
- Unsteady footage definitely will turn viewers away from watching your video. A great way to ensure that your footage is stable and high quality is to purchase an affordable tripod. On Amazon, you can find very affordable tripods for only $25, so I would definitely recommend looking on Amazon for tripods.
- If you are recording in a dimly lit area, it’s extremely important that you have the right lighting. To ensure that you have the right lighting, I would suggest purchasing a softbox, umbrella light, or ring light.
- Purchase video editing software. One of the most popular video editing software tools is iMovie and Adobe Premiere Elements. Adobe Premiere Elements has awesome tutorials ranging from organizing videos, editing, artistic creation, and much more.
- Find actors who are willing to be featured in your video, which includes family friends, actors you know of, etc..
How are you going to create a professional book trailer? Let me know in the comments below!