A book trailer video is similar to a movie trailer you would see at your local theatre. (Or, for that matter, a television commercial promoting an upcoming show.) The difference, obviously, is that a book trailer promotes a book, and not a movie or television program.
However, you’d most likely see such trailers online, and not at the theater. Some trailers get broadcast on television (I saw one for the author James Patterson recently), but this is the exception and not the rule.
Three frequently asked questions about trailers, and their answers, are:
1. Are trailers really necessary? We’re talking about books, not movies or TV programs.
The necessity of a book trailer depends on the type of book you have written. If, for example, you have written a science fiction thriller, a trailer would be an excellent idea. If, however, you have written a mathematics textbook, you probably wouldn’t want or need a trailer.
A trailer provides you and your book with several advantages.
- They show and summarize what your book is about.
- They are easily sharable through e-mail, social media, and on web sites.
- They set your book apart from the still large number of books without trailers.
2. How would I get started? I’m not Steven Spielberg (or some other super-director).
You do not have to be an Academy Award-winning director or producer to create a quality book trailer video. That said, there are some questions you should first ask yourself before you proceed. I wrote about these in more detail elsewhere (see here and here), but in summary, these questions are:
- Do you know your book, audience, and genre?
- Do you know what other trailers exist for similar books and have you watched them?
- If you are the producer, do you know what tool you will use to create the trailer?
- Where do I get music, pictures, and videos without violating copyright law?
3. Can’t I get someone to create my trailer for me?
Yes. Many companies today specialize in producing trailers. These can easily be found on the Internet.
Before making a search, however, take a moment to watch trailers for similar books in your genre. Often, you can find out who prepared these videos. Also, ask your fellow writers for their recommendations. In this way, you have a head start in finding the right producer for your trailer.