How to Design a Book Trailer

by Suzannah Safi

Book Trailer Design

Do you enjoy listening to music? Do you watch a movie trailer before you decide whether you want to see the movie? Do you lose yourself reading a good book?

If so, you are not alone! A good many people watch an online preview before they make the decision to buy a book or view a movie. That's why a well-crafted book trailer is one of the best ways to reach more readers.

Apart from having watched a good many book trailers myself, I have been in business for 5 years providing graphic design services to many authors and at least 4 publishing houses. Passion for creating graphic designs is what keeps me going through a competitive field - and I have a really good sense of what works.

Why do you need a book trailer?

In today’s internet/digital world and gadgets, a book trailer provides authors with a pathway to entice and entertain their readers. People are visual and a book trailer is your chance to bring the book to life and engage readers with sound, pictures, motion clips, words, and music.

The characters, scenes, and plot of the story are all brought together in one package to entertain and grab the reader while they learn what the book is all about.

The book trailer is an effective tool, and increasingly, authors are beginning to understand its impact on their promotion strategy and sales.

More and more authors are taking action with self-promotion, as they realize that publishers can’t and won't do all the work for them. The key to growing and being recognized is to use all the resources you can to promote yourself and your work.

Where can you use a book trailer?

  1. Conferences and events
  2. Book signings
  3. Book clubs
  4. The Internet
  5. TV or Movie Theatre.

What are the components of a book tailer that will grab the audience? 

  1. Time. (Spend the time to outline what you really want to show the reader)
  2. Patience. (Creating a book trailer is important for the promotion. Don’t rush it. Readers will feel how much effort you put into your book trailer.) 
  3. Good Tools. (A simple slideshow is not a trailer; invest in good software that can help you accomplish a dazzling movie for your book.)
  4. An Understanding of the Marketing Strategy. (Watch other trailers and analyze why you like one over another.)
  5. Passion for Art and Design.  (Designing a book trailer is like writing a manuscript: you plan, outline, research, learn the craft, edit, proofread, and edit again. You must have enough passion to follow a similar process with your book trailer.) 

A few pointers...

  • The key to making a good-quality book trailer is to introduce mystery, suspense, and the promise of a world that readers will enjoy. I can't emphasise enough how important it is that the book trailer should be well planned. You haven't got a lot of time to show a reader what your book is all about, so you have to maximize it. Think: "Less is more". That is the key to standing out from the rest.
  • Duration: It is important to make the trailer from 1 minute to 1:50 minutes so it won’t bore the viewers. You can always add a little more if you feel the need to do so. 
  • A poorly planned or poorly presented book trailer can cost you that one chance you had at attracting interest. Take whatever time is necessary to do a good job.
  • When creating your trailer, it’s important to keep in mind that a book trailer is the first step in your marketing strategy. A successful video is a blend of artistic skills, advanced tools, and marketing talent that will present the book in a fascinating way.
  • The text used is crucial to the success of your video; it shouldn’t be more than one short sentence per frame, so it can be read comfortably. Experiment, and tweak sentences or words to convey the right amount of information - that is, just enough to capture the reader’s interest.
  • The trailer should give a different peek into your story; it should complement the blurb, not repeat it. A common mistake authors make is to use exactly the same text - thus giving  readers only one look at the book. This narrows the chances of grabbing readers’ attention.
  • The way you put your video together is vitally important if you want it to succeed as a marketing tool. If the video doesn't fascinate them, it can hurt you rather than help you sell your story.
  • The use of suitable video effects/pictures is an essential part in making a book trailer more professional. However, it’s not how many effects/pictures you use, but what and how you use them. Remember: quality, not quantity.

I hope these tips give you some insight into how much a good book trailer can contribute to your marketing campaign, whether you choose to create the trailer yourself or hire a professional. 

Don’t underestimate any channel for promotion - we authors need all of them!

© Suzannah Safi

Suzannah Safi
Book Trailer Design

Suzannah Safi can design a book trailer to help you promote your work. She also offers exposure and promotion through her YouTube channel which is picked up by hundreds of websites. In addition, she announces the production to 3000 readers, authors, producers, editors, and publishers through her Facebook site and Twitter. Suzannah welcomes questions, so don't hesitate to contact her if you'd like to know more.


Here are some samples of top quality book trailer design created by Suzannah: 


You can check out further examples of book trailers and book covers that Suzannah has created for many successful and talented authors at BTD (Book Trailer Design)


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