Do book trailers sell books? It’s hard to say just what makes a book sell, especially when you’re doing a lot of different things to promote your book at the same time. An author’s platform these days includes Facebook and Twitter and whatever other social media platforms you feel comfortable using, and you need a steady stream of material, of which a book trailer is only one thing you might put out in a day or a week.
Videos do get more engagement on social media, however. Their reach on Facebook is much wider than even a photograph, so that makes it worth adding video to your social media content. You don’t need one, but it’s certainly good if you have one, and it will likely sell your books better than a photograph – so long as it’s a video that holds people’s attention.
Is the cost worth it?
If you pay a professional to do a book trailer for you, it’s going to cost you, but you’ll have a professional product that you can be proud off, one you know will be a good advocate for your book. Can you afford to put out anything that doesn’t look professional? It’s the same reason you employ a cover artist and an editor: without professional assistance, your book is simply not going to be up to basic publishing standards. A book trailer that looks shoddy will do your book more harm than good because it will give the impression that your book is shoddy too.
Shop around and find a book trailer service that will do a good job. Look at their examples and compare the results and the prices. And ask other authors what they paid, who they used and whether or not they were happy with the result.
That said, you can do trailers yourself if you have the right skills. I do have some video editing and graphic design skills. I’m not a professional in those areas, but I figure the result of my efforts – see below – will help sell my book, and that’s the important thing.
There are lots of videos you can shoot yourself, of course, like you talking about your book or shooting the place where your book is set, but an actual trailer shouldn’t look amateurish.
Make the most of it.
Obviously once you get your book trailer, you’ll share it on social media and post it on your blog and website, but you can also:
- Use it in a Facebook advertisement to get a greater reach;
- Add it to your Amazon Author page profile. (See https://authorcentral.amazon.com)
- Search out sites that feature trailers and submit them;
- Re-use it on social media after a year or so;
- See if any of your author friends will post it on their blog.
So here’s my Lethal Inheritance trailer. Do you like it? I would have liked more video footage and my filmaker daughter is not too impressed, but since she hasn’t got around to providing me with anything better, I’m going with this one. I don’t think it’s too shabby, and it does give the feeling of the book.
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You’ll also find my book on writing, The Elements of Active Prose: WritingTips to Make Your Prose Shine, very helpful.
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