Book Trailers: Do I? Or Don’t I?

One of the marketing trends out there for authors are book trailers. These are a lot like movie trailers for but books. I actually like the concept a lot. It puts images and drama to the selling of the story, and I could see how that would be useful as a marketing tool. The question is, how useful?

The reason I ask that question is because if I’m going to spend money and time on this project, I want it to be worth while. There are a lot of places I could invest my resources when it comes to marketing – blog tours, blog hops, giveaways, book covers, etc. Many of which I’ve found to be quite effective. If I choose to do a book trailer, it’s going to take away from those things in my budget.

I’ve only done a little research on this. There appears to be quite a huge range of options. For as much as $10,000 I could hire a company that would do a very professional trailer using real actors, popular music, voice overs, custom script etc. There are some more reasonable versions of that out there too. But still a lot of $.

At the other end of the spectrum, I could use a free or cheap video software to make a slide-show-like trailer myself. I already have a source for good images from my book cover endeavors and some helpful graphics art skills of my own. However, this would cost a lot in terms of time and effort on my part.

I know there’s a lot of ground in between. But you get the idea. My time and/or money for a book trailer versus a different marketing option like another giveaway. So….

Questions to my readers… Would you really enjoy seeing something like this? Should I make a go at one and see what you think? Is it something you’d share with friends?

Question to other authors… What’s your experience with this? Worth it? Any options you’d recommend?

Thanks in advance for the feedback!


17 thoughts on “Book Trailers: Do I? Or Don’t I?

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  1. I did a book trailer one of the slide-show-like ones, and really enjoyed the process. I know that some of theTWRP authors use a software program (can't remember the name. Costs around $30) They had excellent results.
    I don't know how it rates as a sales tool, but like Pinterest, your video will still be on YouTube long after your Tweet and Facebook posts have been forgotten.

  2. I enjoy watching book trailers and making trailers for my books. I don't think it's so much about expensive vs home made, but more about getting your name in front of the public.

  3. I do my own slide-show type trailers with Windows Movie Maker. I also use the images I obtain on a Pinterest board for that book, so they serve double duty. But it is time consuming. I end up spending about $75 for images and music.

  4. Hi! I'm late to the discussion, but… I don't watch trailers. Frankly, I'm impatient. lol I'd rather read the blurb. So, I don't put time and effort into them. But…I did see a discussion on Facebook. A popular author asked this question. I can't remember who, but she asked the same question, and I was curious. Out of the 5 or 6 responses I read, only one person admitted they watched them. So, personally, I wouldn't spent $10,000 on one. BUT…I do know authors who say they're just another way to get your name out there. That one person who watches might very well be the person who also buys your book because of it. I can't afford to pay anybody, but I'm thinking of investing time in learning how to do them myself. Just haven't actually had the time. lol

    My ten cents, for whatever they're worth. lol

  5. Thanks for the feedback! After feedback, I think I'm with you that I'll try to learn how to do them myself and see how that goes. 🙂

  6. Personally I don't watch them, I choose my books from blurbs and recommendations, and I wouldn't spend that kind of money myself on trailers for my books. I feel like there are other promotional opportunities that are more effective, but that's my 2 cents!

  7. Abigail, I use Windows Movie Maker. While it doesn't have a lot of the fancy features that professional video companies use, WMM has many excellent features. I don't use a lot of images, but those I do use, I search for royalty free or free for commercial use. It's time consuming, but fun.

  8. Trailers are an investment. If they're done well they'll pay for themselves continuously, for as long as the book is for sale. It spreads the idea of a novel in a visually pleasing manner, builds fan bases, gives something to existing fans, and shows producers the cinematic potential of your story.

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