How to Create an Enticing Book Trailer — Secrets from a Professional

Getting ThroughBecause of my passion for the message, and the drama of the subject, I really wanted a book trailer for my latest release, Getting Through What You Can’t Get OverSo I went on a quest, hunting for the most enticing book trailers, hoping to glean insights and ideas.

When I searched on YouTube, high-profile author websites, and via Google searches, I was surprised. There wasn’t much out there, and what was, frankly,  with few exceptions, didn’t entice me to read the books they represented. Especially those filmed for my genre of creative non-fiction.

For transparency sake, I’ll confess. I turned most off before I finished watching.

But quality wasn’t the only issue I had while doing my homework. When I looked at pricing models by those who offered the service, I was appalled at what some of them wanted to charge. (No wonder there are so many self-made book trailers.)

But I knew I wasn’t gifted in the creative realm of film-making. I needed the help of a professional. So what to do???

It was around this time my niece got married. A couple of weeks after the ceremony, she invited an intimate group of close family and friends for a wedding video party. The videographer was there, and he unveiled his masterpiece. I was VERY impressed. His creativity in weaving the footage into a story, really captured my attention, and held it.

When the party was over, I waited until everyone else had left, and asked my niece how much he charged. The price was right. This young creative was building his portfolio, and although he was smart enough not to give his services away, he didn’t price himself out either.

Daniel Thompson Videographer

Daniel Thompson Film & Photography

I asked the videographer, Daniel Thompson Film and Photography, if I could speak with him.

“Have you ever filmed a book trailer?”

“I’m not sure what that is.”

I explained. Then asked if he would consider working with me to create a trailer for Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. I outlined what I wanted.

“I’ll provide you with plenty of information, much more than you’ll ever use, and I’d love for you to take it from there, use what you need and discard the rest. Don’t be afraid to get creative. You’re the expert, the professional in this field, not me. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job.”

So I emailed him a document, full of information. (If you want a copy as a sample, just email a request to anita@anitabrooks.com).

We did a couple of filming sessions, one at a book signing I had at Barnes & Noble, per his suggestion. And though I don’t like to see or hear myself, I think he did a great job of making the trailer feel warm, inviting, and allowing the flaws of imperfect hair, makeup, etc., add to the real-ness of the message.

Getting Through What You Can't Get Over Book TrailerHe also included things I wouldn’t have thought of. A few touches of dramatic flair. Flipping through the pages of my book. Looking up toward Heaven. A closeup of me autographing. Little things people respond to. You can watch it here and tell me what you think.

Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over book trailer

If you’d like to create a great book trailer, and this area of creativity is not your forte, plus like me, you need to squeeze dollars, I have some suggestions:

  • Hire Daniel, he’s amazing!
  • If you live too far from Daniel, (I’m sorry!), find your own local creative, who’s building a photo/video portfolio, and willing to experiment.
  • Check with local colleges, or even high schools, asking the administration for referrals to a young, talented person who might do a great job.

Through the process, I learned secrets from a professional about how to create an enticing book trailer.  Slapping something together isn’t enough. Make sure it draws people in, and makes them want to read your book, not turn you off. I can’t take credit for mine, but I am happy with the outcome. It isn’t perfect, but in my opinion, it is enticing.

Have you used a book trailer? If so, what was your experience?

Black Friday Cyber Monday Marketing for Writers

Whether you participate or not, odds are you’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For bargain shoppers across the globe, they’ve become the holy grail of all shopping days. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, then you might think, no big deal. 

But you would be wrong. Women and men, all over America, rise earlier than the roosters to snatch discounted gifts — sometimes directly from the hands of an unfocused shopper right next to them. This is serious business.

See for yourself:

Here are ways we as professional writers can use the tips offered in the Hip2Save YouTube video for our marketing.

1. Be prepared. Make a list. Do your research. Check the layout.Question Mark

What this means for writers: Study your target audience. What interests them? When do they have time to read? Where are they going for fun? How do they handle tough challenges? Who do they turn to for help?

2. Know the best times to target your audience.

What this means for writers: All times slots are not made alike. Is there a particular season, celebration, or time of day that will heighten their interest in the message you have to offer? When will they have the least interest in what you have to offer?

3. Gas up beforehand to save time when the minutes count.

What this means for writers: Take care of everything you can ahead of time. Don’t wait to cover the fine details until the final moments before you launch a marketing strategy. Make a list and check it twice.

4. Prepare to stick it out for the long haul.

What this means for writers: Marketing books is not for wimps. Know in advance this is a long-term commitment, not a short-term hobby.

5. Buddy up to save time, energy, and money.Agenda

What this means for writers: Partner efforts with your peers. No two of us write exactly alike, so there’s no reason to fight for customers. Cooperate, don’t compete. You can save much time, energy, and money when you pool resources with those who truly understand what you need to accomplish.

6. Don’t give up if you don’t get the results you want the first time.

What this means for writers: We’ll all try some things that won’t work, but with persistence and tenacity, we’ll learn along with way, and become leaner and meaner marketing machines.

7. Ask yourself if the deals that work for others will really work for you.

What this means for writers: Don’t try to mimic everything you see or hear. Look for good marketing fits for your personality and message. Trying to force yourself to be someone you aren’t will water down your efforts.

8. Keep good financial records so you can measure the effectiveness of what you spend, and potentially save wasted money in the future.

What this means for writers: Let’s face it, you’ll have to invest money in your marketing, but you don’t have to break the bank. And one way to ensure it doesn’t happen is to monitor your spending, so you can make informed decisions when future marketing opportunities come along.

How to Write a Press Release

A Good List Helps You Prepare

9. Promote your books/products to the growing number of buyers who are skipping Black Friday and waiting for Cyber Monday deals.

What this means for writers: For decades, books have made great gifts. But how people get them has changed drastically. Instead of fighting the technology tide, why not jump in? Create your own Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales events. Better yet, partner up with several of your writing peers, and create a wave of your own.

We live in a culture driven by perceived value. This is a vital piece of information for those of us who have something to sell. We should always create good content with lasting impact, but sometimes we have to prove it to the world. When it’s all said and done, that’s what strong marketing does.

Happy Holy Days and Merry Christmas!