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I am about to start finalizing my first book, and I was wondering if I should make a book trailer to help promote it.

I'm not really into the whole production, but I just saw this video and realized, "... this is something I can do."

I have literally a ton of memory cards filled with home video related to my book subject.

My questions are: Is it a good idea, in the sense: will this typically help sales? or is this enough to establish branding for my book? If so, what is the best platform to showcase such a video?

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    This is an opinion question. I recommend that you reword to make it more answerable by SE rules. I suggest: "Are there examples where book trailers have resulted in significantly increased sales?" Or "What are some best practices for using book trailers to promote a book?" – idiotprogrammer Jan 3 '17 at 20:00
  • @idiotprogrammer point taken, I'll revise asap – LaserYeti Jan 4 '17 at 6:10
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By itself I don't think book trailers accomplish very much; they have to be coordinated with other publicity/marketing methods.

On the other hand, Amazon and Smashwords allow book trailers (with Amazon, you have to create an account on Author Central). So it gives potential readers a different kind of medium which can justify the purchase decision.

I have created one book trailer and am working on another. I have also studied other book trailers and have reached the conclusion that lowtech works best. Many of the book trailers seem way too polished and marketing-ish to convince me of anything. On the other hand, I have seen some book trailers in sci fi genre which definitely made the book more appealing to me. But sci fi is a special category, and the graphics/presentation for these book trailers were top-notch -- and expensive if you had to pay someone to do it.

In my opinion, book trailers are fairly good at building an author brand. You could just have a 2-3 minute video of the author speaking about why he/she wrote the book. If the book is nonfiction, the author could talk about what led him or her to write the book (that is always interesting). Keep in mind that viewers tend to judge authors by appearances or manner of talk or dress. Some degree of mystery can be good for an author.

Update: I just checked the youtube page for my 1st book trailer, and I see that in 2 years the video received 164 views. That's not a lot of payoff; on the other hand, a lot of self-help, business gurus do youtube videos to accompany their book and get a good number of hits -- especially if they are peddling practical knowledge.

  • Thanks much, that is exactly the type of information I was looking for. – LaserYeti Jan 4 '17 at 6:09
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Neccessary? Probably not. Nice to have? Maybe.

It's more how you plan your overall marketing strategy for promoting your book. A 30-second announcement trailer on Facebook Video and YouTube will do nothing to harm your book launch by any means.

This got me thinking about another idea for using video to promote a book launch -- what about a webinar with a live-reading and a Q&A? Be an interesting way to engage with your audience and potentially sell a couple of books along the way (you can drive traffic to your webinar signup page with targeted Facebook ads). Just an idea.

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Hi LaserYeti and welcome to the forum!

I personally don't agree with the usage of video for advertising a book. I think it is more logical to use the same type of media to advertise your product: Movies advertise with trailers and book advertise with written text like samples. For example making a website that promotes your work is not a bad idea! Also, depends on the category of your book, you may find some websites that help you promote your work.

Maybe it is unrelated to your question: to have more view and hopefully more sell for your book, I suggest you attract viewers using Most Popular Keywords (i.e., grasp search results in amazon and google...).

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If you plan on advertising or promoting your book on Facebook and some other platforms, you will usually get a bigger reach with video than with an ad featuring a still photo, so that's one reason in favor.

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I admit I am not into videos at all (ok, I made a video interview for the first book I wrote, but it was more fun than other), but I believe that having a chapter freely available should be a better publicity for the book. Of course, your mileage may vary: if you are good and brilliant in producing videos, and you like it, probably it will help sales.

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