Get a Free Ebook

Five Inspirational Truths for Authors

Try our Video Classes

Downloadable in-depth learning, with pdf slides

Find out more about My Book Therapy

We want to help you up your writing game. If you are stuck, or just want a boost, please check us out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Your Thoughts on Book Trailers?

Gina Holmes

I've received a mock up of my debut novel, Crossing Oceans, and it is beautiful!!! I can't wait to show it. When I was in the pre-contracted phase, I was worried I wouldn't get a contract. Then when I had a contract, I was worried that I wouldn't pull it off and earn the money and confidence I'd been given.
Now that the book is done, major revisions made, I'm really pleased. Is it okay to say I think it's really good?

So, now I'm happy with the novel and happy with a beautiful cover and so it's on to something new to fret about. (When I say worry and fret, I just mean a healthy concern that keeps me motivated, not a mistrusting of myself, God, my publisher or anyone else, honest.)

Now, I'm on to thinking about a book trailer. Jessica (Dotta) thinks they're very important. I'm not as convinced, but I do think they can help some IF they're done right.

Telling the whole story in a five minute trailer... not right.

Simply flashing the title, publisher, author's name and book cover, with cheesy music in the background ... not right.

I've been perusing many trailers lately, trying to gauge what works about some and doesn't about others and I've come up with a basic, 30-45 second script that I think will be effective, if I can actually pull off the technical aspect.

I'm curious what book trailers you've seen that do it for you, that would really make you want to buy the book. Go ahead and share links to ones that work for you, or ones that don't and tell us why they do or don't.

Here's one I thought was very good: The Embers, Hyatt Bass


  1. I tend to like trailers that are (1) Well-done, (2) Stylish and atmospheric, and (3) Provocative.

    I tend to dislike trailers that (1) Offer cliched, ho-hum storylines (like: "A broken heart. A haunted past. And the man who can help her love again" *barf*), (2) Give props to the book / author (like: "Winner of the Look Ma, No Hands Award"), and (3) Are long (like anything over 90 seconds).

  2. I tend to avoid trailers because they take too long to load. I'd rather just read about the book. But sometimes someone recommends a trailer - if it's got something to make people tell they're friends they've got to see it (as opposed to got to look for the book) then I'll watch it and it might influence me to look for the book.

  3. That trailer was beautifully done. Use every medium available to sell your book. As long as you feel comfortable with the way it's being presented, it should bring more readers your way.

  4. I just read an article about book trailers, and it was a pretty good one to boot - an interview with a woman who owns a company that makes (finish it with me)... book trailers! But I have spent over 20 minutes looking for the article (some very points in that there missing article) and have no idea if I found it on twitter on or here or WHAT. I'll keep looking.

    But for now, let me send you a link to a very good example - this is one that captures my interest and actually makes me want to read it. Because, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have before I saw it.

  5. I watched the link and it wasn't bad but lost me after about 45 seconds. Nearly 3 minutes for a trailer, is at least 2 minutes too long in my opinion. I think we need to be aiming for movie trailers which is tough of course since they can pull great excerpts from the movie, where we just have words and have to beg borrow and steal animation.

  6. I've liked the book trailers that were more like movie trailers in that they don't really tell the story, but instead they give the mood or flavor of the story.

    Readers are like Baskin Robbins customers. They want a tiny spoonful of flavor to see if they like what they see in the big 5 gallon tub. I don't choose ice cream that has a great title. I go by flavor.

    By the way, I love your photo. You're gorgeous. You should have an author photo on the back of the book.

  7. I'd agree Domino, about your 'just a taste' assessment. You just want to pique interest & raise questions, not tell the whole story or even a synopsis of the story. Thanks for the kind words.

  8. I tend to agree with Sheila. And it seems all the music sounds the same. It's weird to have words on the screen when you could just as easy read back cover copy. Some of them tell way too much or allude to too much. Too long.
    Not a big selling item for me.

  9. Congrats! You have been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger award. Get the logo and rules at

  10. Hi Gina and all - Misty Taggart did this trailer - - for my novel One Smooth Stone. I'd be very interested to know what you think. I've had good comments about it.

  11. I love my review - but it is way to long, for the next book, I want one that's much shorter. It's had about 1100 hits, and I guess that's not too bad for an unknown writer with a small press.

    THey're fun to watch and I enjoy them; and I think they could help people decide whether to buy the book, but, then again, I've never made a decision on a book based on a trailer! Maybe because I never watched them until my own book was out (just didn't know about them).

  12. of course I meant trailer - not review! had review on the brain :)

  13. Here is one that I made: The Muse by Fred Warren. It's not that hard to find actors and do it like a real movie trailer :)

  14. Grace, that was really funny. Is his book a comedy? If so, good job.

  15. Marcia,

    I think your trailer is good but just slightly too long. I think anything over a minute is too long. Maybe I have ADD but I think (and this is just my opinion of course) but that you can't hold people much more than 45-60 seconds on these. But, I liked your trailer.


Don't be shy. Share what's on your mind.