Want to create a book trailer? Ask yourself these 3 questions

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create a book trailer

Should I create a book trailer? A lot of modern-day authors ask themselves that question. The answer is not as simple as yes or no. You’ll have to consider various things because a book trailer is either a hit or a miss. 

Most authors only benefit from book trailers when they are professionally done. This leads to high costs on average, making this form of marketing unsuitable for beginning writers. Therefore it is not often advised to create a book trailer unless the author already has the equipment and skills in place. 

create a book trailer

Let’s face it; the internet is a beautiful tool for marketing but also the place where beautiful creations go to die. If your work doesn’t stand out, it will drown in the sea of likewise products. Trust me. I have been there. But just because the internet is gigantic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. It just means that you have to think things through. So before you invest time and money creating a book trailer, ask yourself these three questions.

Do I have the skills?

Ouch, a painful question but maybe the most important ones. We live in a world where we can edit videos on our phones, so the software will never be the issue. Using the software might seem easy, but it’s tricky. We are so used to the high quality of movies that a simple home video won’t hit the spot for most people. Your trailer needs to be of high quality, shot with the proper gear.

If you never professionally filmed edited videos or have years of experience, you might want to leave it up to professionals. I am not talking about your cousin Joe who also filmed your wedding. No, I’m talking about people who do this for a living. And that means it will cost you money. But honestly, a bad trailer might do you more harm. After all, it can make people refrain from buying your book or taking you seriously. 

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So step one is asking yourself: do you have the skills? Can you film the trailer and edit it yourself on a high-quality level? If not, are you willing to spend a budget on people who can?

What will it trigger?

When creating a book trailer, the storyboard is an important step of the process. You write and draw out your scenes, which lets you see what you create before shooting it. In the case of your book trailer, this means you have to adapt your story. You’ll have to turn it into something that draws people in, makes them curious, and want to know more. You are making a promise to your reader. That promise has to be spot on.

In reality, this means that you have to hit the same vibe in the trailer as you do in your book. The visual world must match the literary world (tricky because envisioning is personal). You also have to keep the reader’s imagination in mind if you choose to portray characters. You want to tell about the story but not give away too much. If you already struggle with the blurb, this will drive you insane. 

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With every frame, every scene you put in your trailer, you’ll have to ask yourself the question of what it will trigger. You will need the help of an audience to establish if what you want them to feel is actually what they do feel. It takes a lot of time and a lot of practice. 

How will it reach my target audience?

Another question you’ll have to ask yourself is if the video will reach your target audience. Preferably you will have followers on your Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and other accounts, so getting the video to them isn’t that hard. But this question is important when you want to grow your audience. How will it reach them, and what impact will it have?

Over 80 percent of our internet traffic is video. How will yours stand out? But even more important, how will yours reach your perfect reader. Internet is a mass medium. So you need to be aware of how to target your audience and who they are. You don’t want to end up on the pile of scrollable content. You want to engage people to watch your video and buy your book. Spend time researching target marketing.

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Before filming your trailer, spend time finding out who the target audience is. Do they even appreciate book trailers? What are the demographics, and how can you use this to make sure they get to see your video?

So, should I create a book trailer?

Well, that’s totally up to you. I’ve given it a try with one of my books. But even with my professional editing skills, it was a hassle. It didn’t come out half as great as I wanted it to be. That doesn’t mean I might not try it the next time, just that I will go differently about it.

There are some amazing book trailers out there, but I believe that we must keep one thing in our mind. We are writers, and our audience loves to read. We live in a world of words. So unless you can suck them into your world for about thirty to sixty sections, I’d stay away from the trailers. There are plenty of other ways to lure people. 

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