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How to Make a Book Trailer for Promotion. – Ndiwano

How to Make a Book Trailer for Promotion.

Trailers aren’t just for movies anymore. Some authors make compelling book trailers to create buzz around newly released or upcoming books.

Typically, a book trailer is a short promotional video that offers an intriguing depiction of the book’s plot, tone, and message, enticing viewers to read it. Usually, a book trailer is 30 to 90 seconds long. It serves to pique the audience’s interest without giving away too much narrative. Book trailers are video marketing tools that you can easily distribute across multiple channels like YouTube and other social media platforms.

A cinematic book trailer that hits all the right spots is a great way to put your book out there. A well-made trailer can grab the attention of thousands—or millions—of readers. For instance, the “As Dead As It Gets” book trailer has nearly 6 million views.

As a writer, video production might not be your forte; making a good book trailer might seem challenging if you’ve never created a promotional video. But with the right tips on how to make a book trailer, you can get it right the first time. We’ve also included some tips that may help those already skilled in promotional videos enhance their game.

In short, this article has everything you need to know about making a successful book trailer.

Useful tips to consider before making a book trailer

1. Write a script

2. Choose the right visuals based on the book’s content

3. Pick a video editor

4. Include soundtrack and voice-over

5. Publish your book trailer

Useful tips to consider before making a book trailer

A book trailer lets authors leverage the widespread popularity of video content, increase their book’s exposure, and engage with potential readers. Since a video combines visual and audio components, it can leave a more lasting impression than just words.

If you’re an author releasing a book soon or have recently published a book, create a great book trailer and stand out from others by introducing your book to potential readers in a unique way.

Creating a book trailer will require you to invest time and resources into the process, so it’s important to make the best of it.

And if you’re an independent professional skilled in video development but looking to dip your toes into making book trailers, read on.

To start, let’s get into the dos of making a book trailer.

Organize your trailer

Just like a movie trailer, the goal of your book trailer is to tell a story that captures the audience’s attention. The three-act structure is widely used in films and is largely considered a good industry standard.

Start your trailer by introducing your book’s main characters, setting, and premise. After setting the stage, introduce the conflict or twist and build anticipation. Next, feature a climax for your trailer without giving away too much of the plot.

Creating a storyboard to guide you when conceptualizing your trailer’s framework can be helpful. Tailor it to get your audience as emotionally invested as possible.

Use a hook

What makes a book stand out in the market? Why should readers pick your book over all the others? Your trailer should highlight what makes your book unique by using an effective hook.

A hook is an attention-grabber that sets the tone and context for your trailer. If your hook is weak, the audience may not watch the entire trailer. Your hook should convey the essence of your book in a compelling way within the first few seconds and get your audience invested in the trailer.

Include a call to action

Some authors may focus on making their book trailer as plot-heavy as possible and neglect the significance of a call to action. After watching your book trailer, you want your audience to buy your book.

So, a call to action is just as important as the trailer itself.

At the end of your trailer, add a brief call to action that directs the audience to the next step. This could be a short message stating where they can purchase your book. You can also add URLs to your Amazon sales page, website, and social media profiles.

Match the tone of your book

Your book trailer should convey the mood and style of your book. If a viewer likes your trailer and purchases your book, they’ll expect it to reflect the tone of the trailer.

For instance, if your trailer has elements of comedy in it, a reader will expect humor in your book. Ensure your trailer closely matches the tone of your book.

If your book uses more than one genre, highlight that in your trailer. For instance, if your book is a romance thriller, use the elements of romance and mystery in your trailer. This can also help you broaden your appeal to a wider audience.

Now, let’s cover some of the don’ts when making a book trailer.

Don’t make the trailer too long

Keep your book trailer concise to attract and hold your audience’s attention. If you make your trailer too long—especially longer than a couple of minutes—you run the risk of your audience losing interest.

Base your video’s length on the platform you’re using. For example, your audience might be more receptive to longer videos on YouTube than on TikTok.

At the same time, a trailer that’s too short may not properly convey your message or entice viewers to purchase your book.

Don’t give away too much

While your book trailer should allude to the most emotionally compelling portions of your book, don’t give away too much. After all, the trailer’s purpose is to leave the audience wanting more, convincing them to purchase and read your book.

Don’t neglect imagery and sound

A big advantage of using video content to promote and market a book is that you can use imagery and sound to engage with potential readers. When creating a book trailer, use visuals and audio that evoke viewers’ emotions. For example, in the “The One and Only Ivan” book trailer, Ivan’s emotions brilliantly come to life and leave the viewer wanting more.

Now that we’ve covered the dos and don’ts of making a book trailer video, let’s get into the steps of actually making one.

1. Write a script

The first step to making your own book trailer is writing a script. Remember that a creative script is the heart and soul of a trailer. Take your time and put forth your best effort when drafting your script. Check out our guide on writing a video script for more details on this process.

If you don’t know where to start, follow these steps to write a script for your book trailer.

  1. Create an outline. Start with an outline or a storyboard for your script. Write down what you want your trailer to look like (if possible, write a scene-by-scene breakdown).
  2. Give a short synopsis of the story. While you shouldn’t completely summarize your book in your trailer, giving a short synopsis can help the audience understand your story’s context and tone. Your short synopsis should act as your trailer’s hook.
  3. Write the plot points you want to include. Next, organize the trailer script into a three-act structure by writing the main plot points you want to include. Your trailer should have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  4. Introduce your characters and their motivations. If you want your book trailer to be successful, your audience must connect with your characters and their journey throughout the story. It’s generally best to introduce the most important characters in the beginning and then introduce smaller characters throughout the video as necessary.
  5. Include teaser quotes and paragraphs. If there are any memorable quotes or paragraphs in your book, include them in your trailer’s script without giving away any spoilers.
  6. Revise your script. After writing your script, revise it at least once to ensure the narrative ties together and uses the right tone.
  7. Add a call to action. Your script should end with a brief and impactful call to action. This reminds your audience to purchase your book.

If you haven’t written a video script before, try free scripting software like StudioBinder or WriterDuet. These programs have different templates and tools to make the writing process easier. For further ease in the process, consider hiring an independent script writer from to take the job off your hands and provide professional material.

We also have a helpful article on how to create a storyboard and share your vision.

2. Choose the right visuals based on the book’s content

A book trailer video lets you use powerful imagery and set the right tone for your book. So, how do you make an immersive book trailer with the right visuals?

  • First, write down what visuals you want to add. You can add photographs, video clips, graphics, and more. Various websites offer free stock photos, such as Pixabay and Unsplash. If necessary, make small payments for these assets, as the imagery you use can make or break your story.
  • Next, collect your visuals. Consider hiring a professional photographer if you want to add pictures of your book or the book’s setting. If you wish to include graphics and animations, you can hire a professional designer on to make them for you.
  • You can also portray fictional characters from your book in the trailer or even feature yourself. Regardless of the type of visuals you choose, ensure they align with the book’s content and tone. Feel free to take inspiration from other great books (read reviews on Goodreads!) to see which the readers found most interesting.

3. Pick a video editor

After writing your script and choosing your visuals, it’s time to put your trailer together. It’s a good idea to work with video editing software. When picking a video editor tool, consider budget and price, ease of use, video format support, advanced editing tools, and special effects.

Some of the most popular video editing software include:

You might also consider hiring a professional video editor on to create and edit your trailer for you.

4. Include a soundtrack and voice-over

Consider including a soundtrack and voice-over after editing your trailer. While the way you do this depends on the trailer’s script, content, and tone, we have a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Layer sound effects and background music. This helps the audience feel in sync with the intended sound effects.
  • Contrast the sounds with silence. This helps create a moment of suspense.
  • Add special effects. Special effects and sound effects create an all-encompassing experience for viewers.
  • Use movements and effects to create cinematic sounds. This helps the viewer feel a great sense of excitement.
  • Ensure everything plays within the narrative structure. This is important because you don’t want your audience to be confused by the sequence of events.

The best book trailers are elevated by high-quality music tracks and voice-overs. So, it’s important to create meaningful, relevant audio that impacts the viewer.

You can use video makers to create and add music to your trailer or hire a professional to help you with the soundtrack. You can also consider outsourcing the voice-over by hiring voice talent on to read your script professionally with good recording conditions.

5. Publish your book trailer

Once your book trailer is ready, it’s time to publish it. You can share your book trailer on several platforms to ensure it’s seen by as many potential readers as possible. This includes YouTube, Trailershelf, Amazon product pages, blogs, social media platforms, and more.

Spend some time researching relevant keywords, adding striking text and thumbnails, and editing and uploading your video to YouTube to maximize your trailer’s engagement. Uploading to YouTube can also help you gain exposure, as viewers can easily share your trailer with their friends and family.

You might also consider advertising your trailer by buying ads on different websites and blogs (you may have to create a shorter version of your trailer). If you have an author website, don’t forget to upload your book trailer there. You can also share it across social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Get a book trailer the easy way

A book trailer is a great way to get people talking about your newly released or upcoming book. However, creating book trailers requires pre-production, post-production, and editing expertise. If you’ve never made a promotional video before, creating an awesome book trailer on your first attempt might be difficult. Consider hiring professionals on to help you with the process.

You can either outsource the entire process or hire professional video editors and producers to assist you with different tasks.

Need a crew for your new book trailer? can help! Find independent writers, directors, and actors on All professionals undergo our trusted verification process and are backed by years of relevant work experience and certifications. Browse our selection of top film professionals to find the perfect film crew for your trailer.

If you’re an independent professional wanting to assist authors with developing book trailers, sign up on today! We have tons of opportunities for you.

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