Self-publishing is a challenging but rewarding process. However, once you’ve written your book there is still a lot of work to do to get it out there. You can leverage social media or write a blog but nothing will be as effective as creating a book trailer that catches your audience’s attention and keeps them intrigued about what you’ll share with them.
Video is the king of marketing: we watch almost 5 billion videos on YouTube every single day and they engage people more than ever before: they generate 1200% more shares in social media than text and images combined.
All that being said, not just any trailer will get you those amazing results. You need to plan your book trailer carefully to hook your audience from the first second and, at the same time, show what your book is about.
In this article, we’ll explain step by step how to do it right. Follow me!
1. Hook your Audience
If you’re familiar with movie trailers, then you have an idea of what we’re talking about. Book trailers aren’t so different. Your challenge is that you only have a few seconds to grip an audience and leave them craving more.
A trailer’s aim is to catch your audience’s attention from the first moment and, at the same time, let your readers have a sneak peak of your story.
In this sense, you need to leverage filming techniques to hook your audiences like special effects, close-ups of a character or important objects in your story or some intriguing images of your story´s location.
For instance, take a look at how they’ve created an intriguing and romantic ambiance with special effects in this video:
Your script will state word by word what the voice over will say in your video. It’s the key for a great trailer so you’d better take your time to do it right.
A great book trailer script should depict the imagery of your book. You can leverage your book description to do that but remember it should be the most thoughtful piece of writing you’ve ever created. Every word counts!
You don’t need to tell your whole story in just one sentence. Just offer a sneak peek to captivate your audience. Talk about your main character and the place where the story will be developed. Also, try to speak to the emotions your readers will feel: will they feel moved? Terrified? Amused?
Don’t forget to include your name and the book’s title to make sure they’ll stick in your audience’s memory!
If you’ve written a nonfiction book and your purpose is to inform or educate, state clearly your goal and breakdown a few topics that you’ll cover in your book. Also, you should explain why that information is important to the reader and how it will improve his/her life. As with any book trailer, commercial, testimonial or explainer video, it’s the impact of your product what will convince them to buy it.
Include your best book reviews if you have some! Keep in mind that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Pro Tip: Usually 160 scripted words in English is equal to around one minute of video. If you are doing a nonfiction video, that is great but always try to make your video short and keep it below the 2-minute mark. But, if you are doing a fictional book trailer, don’t fill it up with text and a rushed voice over. To generate more intrigue and suspense, use phrases that only leave your audience thinking and looking for more!
3. Draw your first Storyboard
This is a pre-production tool that shows in still images what the video will look like frame by frame. Like a comic, it allows us to see what the camera will show in each shot before we get into the production stage. The storyboard will also state camera movements, shots and transitions.
Remember that your video should stand on its own even on silent mode so include subtitles and text layovers.
If you are making your video on your own, here is some software to draw your storyboard.
This is a fine storyboard sample. VO stands for Voice-Over.
4. Create your Trailer
You can create your trailer video by yourself just by downloading some After Effects templates. Browse on Pond5 and EnvatoMarket to choose the one that better fits your book genre. If you prefer free software to do it your way you can leverage Animoto or Prezi.
After Effects, though, is the perfect choice to make a fully customized video. It’s a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Systems and used in post-production.
Basically, it’s software based on layers of video, images, and sounds that you’ll join together and have a final professional result. You can also leverage Photoshop to create the basic images for your video. You could create great videos with them. Here’s an Ebook trailer that we have made with my company Yum Yum Videos like 7 years ago and it still looks great! (It’s in Spanish)
This video was created and edited with Photoshop and After Effects, and with only the graphics of the book without any external drawings or graphics.
5. Choose the best Music
The job is not done yet. Post-production is also important to enhance your trailer and make it even more appealing.
The music will define the tone of your trailer. Bear in mind that the choice of the tune should represent your book genre. In general, music without lyrics is better to avoid the risk of overlapping the voice-over.
Most of the platforms we’ve mentioned that offer templates to create a video also have free music. Although, if you use professional software you’ll need to download your own sound files. Great music and sound FX provider is AudioJungle, and they are not expensive at all! Maybe for 40 $US, you could get great music for your video.
6. Record the voice over
Have you thought about recording your voice over by yourself? Bad idea! The voice over is the key to expressing your video’s emotion. On top of that, it needs to be funny if your book is a comedy or dramatic if it’s a romance. Bear in mind that not anybody will enhance your script with the right tone and emphasis so hire a professional voice actor.
Look for somebody who matches your target audience’s gender and age to help them feel related to the story.
Time to get artsy
Now you know everything you need to make your vision come to life!
A thoughtfully written script will help you convey your book’s message. Remember that your genre will guide your whole video style. Leverage all the technical tools we’ve mentioned and don’t forget to include reviews to show how your readers have enjoyed your work!
Make sure your story reaches your audience with a short and compelling trailer. Your book deserves it!