Monday, January 25, 2010

Mentor Monday - Book Trailers

I’ve been thinking a lot about book trailers lately. Do they really work? Do they encourage people to buy your book? And how hard is it to make one? Or are they just the next thing we’re supposed to do as writers, like joining Facebook and Twitter and having a web page and blog?

I still don’t know the answer, although I’m leaning toward a ‘yes’ after seeing Arthur Slade’s trailer for The Hunchback Assignments, a YA Steampunk series. Until I saw his trailer, I hadn’t heard of him or his books, but once I saw the trailer, I made it a point to go out and buy the book. The trailer was just that effective. But then, I’m into Steampunk, so maybe that’s why I liked it.

But how would I feel about a picture book trailer? I looked at a dozen and none of them appealed to me. Some were clever and funny, but they didn’t make me want to buy the book. But I think that’s just because I’m not into picture books. There were several YA and MG trailers that did peak my interest in the book they were promoting.

So, assuming book trailers were effective, the next step was to learn how to create one. Some people have professionals create theirs, other people do it themselves. Arthur Slade’s The Hunchback Assignments was done by professionals. A company called My Next Demo created the trailer for what I thought was a very reasonable $499.00.

But if you’re a creative type and know your way around technology, or have a family member who does, you might consider doing it yourself. Here is a site that offers a tutorial that shows you how to do it yourself, absolutely free. And even if you don’t yet have a book to promote, you could make one just to get the hang of it, so you’ll know how to do it when you do have a book to promote.

If you give it a shot, or you’ve already made a trailer, feel free to come back and leave the URL in the comments section, along with how difficult or easy it was so we can all learn from each other.

And if you want to take a look at some of the book trailers out there, check out

Happy trailer blazing!


Diane Mayr said...

Thanks for gathering all this info in one place! So far, the trailers I've seen haven't made run out and buy/read a book. If book trailers work the same way movie trailers do, then more of them are going to have me saying, "I'll skip that one!"

Andy said...

Great information, Barbara! Thanks for pulling it together.

I'm Jet . . . said...

Very good research to pull this together. One of these days, I may even make a book trailer. Um, after I make my website!


Mur said...

Very cool, Barb! I don't get the point of picture book trailers, either. Not sure if it's because I'm not a picture book person or the books are generally too short to bother with a trailer. I'd say the appeal for these things would be middle-grade and up.

reno said...

Very good overview of book trailers. You can view some more at . At the time of this post these were produced between $200 and $800.