Video Book Trailers for Fun (and Profit)

Video Book Trailers are a big marketing tool for writers.  They provide a fast, fun means to get the idea of your book across and whet people’s appetites for your book.

It’s too bad so many think about the marketing and the content and not about the fun.

It’s a simple fact that unless you have access to some actors and great video editing/CGI technology, you are probably going to do a slideshow-type book trailer.  You know, the kind with still photos and transitions, often with just captions and music in the background?  There’s nothing wrong with those, but it’s even more important to keep the content fun and interesting.  It’s also important to remember that (aside from the postings on YouTube and the like), videos are going to be posted along with the summary, cover art, etc.

Rather than thinking in terms of one video that summarizes or basically retells the back-cover blurb, try something different that looks at the book from a different angle.  Here are some ideas:

1. Author “about the book” interview 

2. Story from the point of view of the main character, done in his voice

3. Highlight of one of the characters.  This can be especially useful if they are favorites from a previous book.  (Kind of like the one they’re airing for Despicable Me 2).

4. Shameless teaser.  Don’t give the plot, etc.  Just hit the fun and tell them nothing.  Some movies do this, and quite well.

5.  When you have reviews, do one with snippets of the reviews

6.  Read aloud.  If you have a good voice, you might try reading a section aloud, especially if your book will be in audio format. 

When you make videos like these, the keys to remember are to be interesting, be short, and have fun.  Marketing, like writing, is meant to entertain as well as inform.   

Guest post by Karina Fabian. Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem) and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering), Karina Fabian’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George,  zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.



  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Jo. I hope folks will get some ideas from the post and the videos.

    1. You gave me some new ideas :) All the best with the rest of your tour.

  2. An example of a well-done trailer that inspires you to want to read the book, look at the trailer for Avery's Battlefield and Avery's Crossroad created by Journey Forth. It's great!

  3. Thank you so much for these great insights! I can't wait to apply them to my own trailer!


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