Pump Up Your Book Promotion with Do-it-Yourself Book Trailers

One of the things I have learned about book promotion is that the more gimmicky your marketing becomes, the more valued your book becomes. The reason I say this is that whenever I find someone who has taken their book promotion to the next level, no matter how crazy it is and no matter how outside of the box , the promotion usually works in the author’s favor.

One of the more gimmicky things I have seen that gives you more for your promotional dollars is an incredible marketing tool called the book trailer.

A book trailer is simply a promotional video. Think of it as a movie premier of your book. Some authors waste no promotional dollars when it comes to putting out quality book trailers by hiring actors to play the parts of the characters, but if the promotional dollars aren’t there, there is a less expensive route you can go and still turn out a quality book trailer.

One thing we all must keep in mind when marketing our books is that visual sells. When used right, this promotional video could mean fantastic sales, not to mention a very unique way to promote your book.

When I became aware of book trailers a few years ago, I checked into a few companies who could make one for me, but I wanted to see if I could do this myself. I had a graphics program, but if you don’t have one, there are public domain photos on the web you can use for this such as:


Once I accumulated what photos I needed, I began my quest to find a place online to learn how to make my own book trailer.

The first place I discovered was Photo Show (http://beta.photoshow.com/maker/). They offered a month’s trial subscription, and if I wanted to keep it, I would have to pay $49, which is a paltry sum considering what others charge to make your trailers for you.

My first attempt at making a book trailer for one of my books, ROMANCING THE SOUL, can be seen at my website at www.dorothythompson.net/Romancing_the_Soul.html.

I found another wonderful place where you can make your own book trailers at
RockYou (http://www.rockyou.com/). What I liked about this place was that they didn’t charge you a cent and you can sign up for free. If you’d like to see how I set up one for my paranormal, THE SEARCH FOR THE MILLION $$$ GHOST, you can go to http://www.milliondollarghost.homestead.com/trailer.html.

It would all depend on what you are looking for. While I liked both places, I still lacked the freedom to choose the kind of music I wanted for my book trailer so I kept searching.

It was then when I found out that I had a program (anyone with Windows should have it) called Movie Maker, and I knew I’d hit upon a program that outshined the rest.

Movie Maker is a little trickier than the two previously mentioned, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll fall in love with it. You might want to read the directions first to get a gist of what you can do with it, but it’s a really nice program. The main reason I liked it best of the three is because I could download my movies onto YouTube.

YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/) gets approximately 20 million visitors a month, and is perhaps the best place to advertise your book trailer. I’ve got one of mine up there if you’d like to see how I did using Movie Maker. The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOklaNgirZI.

Remember, these are all first-time attempts, so it proves anyone can do it!

No matter if you go it alone, or hire someone to produce your book trailer, this is a wonderful device to visually show off your book.

The next step will be to find places to promote your book trailer. Of course, the first place would be your website and blog, and don’t forget writer’s forums. Other great places to advertise your book trailer are Google Video (http://video.google.com/) and Yahoo Video (http://video.yahoo.com/).

Book promotion has taken a step in the right direction with book trailers. Make one yourself and see how well they can promote your book for you!

© Dorothy Thompson

Marketing guru Dorothy Thompson is the editor of The Writer’s Life (http://www.thewriterslife.net/), one of Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers, and the author of the self-promoting eBook “A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook,” available at http://www.thewriterslife.net/promoteebook.html. You can learn how to promote your own books by visiting her promoting blog, “How to Promote Your Self-Published Book,” at http://selfpublishedebookpromotion.blogspot.com/ or attend her Pump Up Your Online Book Promotion Workshop at www.thewriterslife.net/workshop.html.

Tags: book trailers, book promotion, YouTube, Photo Show, advertise your book trailer, Google Video, Yahoo Video, marketing tool, pump up your book promotion

1 comment:

  1. Hello Dorothy!
    I couldn't agree with you more! Book video (Book Trailer is a US Registered Trademark term btw) is an evolution in book promotion.

    We have seen click through rates (that's when a person who watched the video goes directly to buy the book) go from 10% click through in 2005 to 50% click through in 2006! That is an enormous boost in sales for those individuals who have book video.

    The next big step is distribution. Though my company has over 150 online distrubtion sites and dozens genre-specific distribution packages, it is easy enough to utilize social networks like MySpace, Yahoo, iFilm, and YouTube.

    Our company now does distribution for non-COS clients, but we only have about 40 available sites for non-clients. Still, they are sites that were chosen because they get great hits for book video specifically.

    One hint I'd like to share with those of you who are going to make your own. Be sure that your very first and perhaps your second image is something that will capture people's attention. As a rule, most social sites use the first image of a video as the thumbnail that everyone will see. A good thumbnail (representative picture for the video) can make the difference between 10 views and 1000 views!

    I wish you all the best of luck in creating your video!


    Sheila Clover English
    Circle of Seven Productions


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