How to Make a Great Book Trailer – Part 1 of 4

Cat watching a great book trailer

Making a book trailer isn’t difficult, but the truth is there are very few book trailers I’ve seen that are any good. Many authors think the book trailer needs to show what your story’s about. The reality is that no one cares what your story’s about. They only care what experience your book will deliver. Too many book trailers I’ve seen spend the whole time showing the back cover blurb instead of expressing the emotional experience their book conveys. This is a series of articles on how to make a book trailer. Not just any book trailer, but a great book trailer!

What is a book trailer?

A book trailer is like a movie trailer in that it’s a form of promotion and shows the storyline. A book trailer is unlike a movie trailer in that it can be shown before the book is written, there’s no dialogue, and there’s no smell of popcorn.

 

Why have a book trailer?

Author Arielle Ford wrote in The Huffington Post: “…in one minute or less you can tap into the visual, auditory and emotional senses of your potential reader with a book trailer.” Also, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Are you listed?

 

What makes a good book trailer?

  1. The promise of an experience – the viewer should feel the emotions that they’ll feel when they read your book. The more emotional or visceral the experience, the higher the likelihood of your fans-to-be to buying your book.
  2. Clarity – The viewer should understand what the heck they’re watching.
  3. Reviews – Great reviews are very convincing for browsing readers. In the text of the video, show a few reviews.
  4. Call to action – This can be as blatant as “Buy your copy today at Amazon.com!” or as subtle as showing the word, “Amazon.com.” If you don’t have a call to action, your viewer will enjoy the experience of watching the video and that will be the end of it. Give them instructions on what they need to do next to continue having that experience.
  5. Good search engine optimization (SEO) – We’ll cover that later.

The 6 parts to a powerful script

1. Start with your “What if?” pitch. “What if you decided to marry your long distance lover, then discovered she’s on a hit list?”

2. One short sentence or two summarizing your elevator pitch. “One by one, the 36 righteous are being assassinated and Nathan’s girlfriend is number 36.

3. The title. “Fighting with God, The Death of the 36 Righteous.”

4. Your high concept pitch. (Optional) “A Jewish version of The Bourne Identity.”

5. Show three to five reviews. “I could not put the book down!” – Michael Connelly, “Better than The Bourne Identity!” – Robert Ludlum, “Barany’s writing is masterful!” – Lee Child

6. Call to Action. “Get your copy today on Amazon.com.”

 

The text so far

What if you decided to marry your long distance lover, then discovered she’s on a hit list? One by one, the 36 righteous are being assassinated and Nathan’s girlfriend is number 36. Fighting with God, The Death of the 36 Righteous. A Jewish version of The Bourne Identity. “I could not put the book down!” – Michael Connelly, “Better than The Bourne Identity!” – Robert Ludlum, “Barany’s writing is masterful!” – Lee Child. Get your copy today on Amazon.com.

 

Place the pictures

Break up the sentences so that each phrase is a sentence of its own separated by a picture. Don’t worry about what the pictures should look like, just stick them between each phrase.

What if you decided to marry your long distance lover, (pic) (pic) then discovered she’s on a hit list? (pic) (pic) One by one, the 36 righteous are being assassinated (pic) (pic) and Nathan’s girlfriend is number 36. (pic) (pic) Fighting with God, The Death of the 36 Righteous. (pic) (pic) A Jewish version of The Bourne Identity. (pic) (pic) “I could not put the book down!” – Michael Connelly, (pic) “Better than The Bourne Identity!” – Robert Ludlum, (pic) “Barany’s writing is masterful!” – Lee Child. (pic) Get your copy today on Amazon.com. (pic) (pic)

 

Here are examples of videos with most of the six components.

Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land (I posted this on YouTube two months ago and it’s had already over 800 views):
1. Title – “Alice’s Sexual Discovery”
2. High concept pitch – “An erotic version of Alice in Wonderland”
3. Elevator pitch
4. Reviews
5. Call to action – “Alice’s Sexual Discovery on Amazon”

Requiem for the Author of Frankenstein (By the way, this video is not up on YouTube yet. Four minutes is way too long to be a book trailer.):
1. Title – “Requiem for the Author of Frankenstein”
2. “What if” pitch – “What if you could travel in your dreams and meet Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein?”
3. Transition into elevator pitch – “Wife of Percy Besshe Shelley, friend to Lord Byron. And what if you learned the truth? The truth about her writing, the truth about her feminist beliefs, the truth about her lovers.”
4. Reviews
5. Call to action – “Now available at Amazon”

 

 

In part 2 I’ll go over where you can find free royalty-free music and free royalty-free images for your video!

 

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Book marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra now to begin the conversation on how he can help you. You can connect with Ezra via FacebookTwitter, contact him through this blog, or by email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM.

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3 Responses

  1. Joie Seldon says:

    This is fabulous advice. So clear and non-intimidating.
    While your examples are fiction, I’m assuming the same applies to non-fiction.
    THANK YOU!

  2. A very useful information! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ezra Barany says:

    Joie,
    I’m glad this article helped you. And yes! The same thinking of matching the promise of your book’s experience also applies to trailers for non-fiction books!

    King Samuel, anything for your highness.

    -Ezra

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