The Book Trailer: Types, Examples, And Platforms

book trailer

A video has better positioning in search engines and can be broadcast on different channels than a text or stand out from it. In this way, more people can find out that a book exists, and, if it is presented interestingly, it is possible to attract the public to want to know more.

What is a book trailer?

A book trailer video is an audiovisual piece about work that can have various drivers and purposes.

Some fans make their video version of a written production and share it. For example, Cristina Vittoria (characterized and with setting)  plays characters from the books that she likes for the Zenda website.

Certain readers give their opinions about books in front of a camera. That is, they create video recommendations. Those who give their impressions from YouTube channels are booktubers  (there are already contests for them).

The author or Publisher of a book aspires to promote it among users of the audiovisual medium.

Types of book trailers

The trailer of a book consists of an interview with the writer or someone from the Publisher (even another author), in an introduction by the creator (eloquent), sometimes with the reading of the first pages or, more commonly, in an introduction to the content through any of its characters, locations or data.

When a work is not published yet, any element that gives some information about it to announce its imminent release is called in the publicity field advance or teaser.

The forms of marketing and the uses of videos about a book can be varied. For example, a few weeks before the official US release of a  thriller, it was the self-destructing book, a book that would self-destruct 24 hours after starting it (although others had already materialized this concept ). Until paper copies arrived in bookstores, there were two ways of reading. Each one is explained on its own website; on the one hand, a free mobile application limited to a certain number of simultaneous users and, on the other hand, a supposed real experience in which the paper book would disappear in exchange for thousands of dollars.

Where to post a trailer

You can upload a book trailer to different sites or platforms:

  1. Youtube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and Instagram if the clip is short.
  2. Specialized websites such as BookReels.
  3. The writer’s profile on Author Central, if published on Amazon.
  4. Social cataloging communities like Goodreads.
  5. A book trailer contest ( video contest ).

Always study the rules (prohibited items) and characteristics (file formats, resolution) of each environment you will be in.

Let’s make it clear that this is a book trailer, both in the video itself and in the title and description. If we want the reader to be able to purchase the text, let us include next to its links to the stores where it is available or can be reserved (it should be on sale or pre-sale since the reader can forget about a book that will release “coming soon”). In the last seconds of a YouTube video, you can put hyperlinks on store logos, for example. To achieve greater accessibility, let’s make subtitles apart from the video so that those who need them can activate them on the platform. When we have more than one trailer because we’ve written multiple books, we might tie them together in some way.

How to promote a book trailer

First of all, users of these platforms can find the video. Likewise, the author, editor, or publicist will have the option of sharing the link on social media ( Facebook gives many visits to videos ) and on the web, reproducing it on the day of the book launch, a signing, or a conference in which it intervenes, a window or screen of a bookstore (such as Cervantes & Cia in Madrid) or use it as an advertising image, be it in banners or in the advertisements before the films in some small cinema. A QR code linking to the trailer can also be placed on the physical book itself, for example, on the band.

How to create a trailer

The content of the book selected for the video must be adapted to the audiovisual language and the expectations of its audience. As you will see, the book trailers with the most views are the most cinematographic or television. Some exploit the basic interactivity that the medium allows.

It is possible to arouse interest with limited resources and without revealing too much. If we want to present a story, let’s think about what makes that idea special and how to capture it in a simple way that corresponds to the tone of the text and suggests its genre. Surely there is a moment in the manuscript or in the backstory that conveys the essence of the story.

When reflecting on it, let’s be practical: let’s close shots, insert objects or customs that quickly place them in time or place, let’s take advantage of sounds, music, and a good narrator or character who tells the hook of the plot if they are needed.

By the way, whether we hire a voice actor or not, when there is a voice, it should sound realistic (spontaneous, not artificial) and be heard effortlessly over the rest of the audio. We do not have to use the real image. Maybe it is good to use drawings, whether static or animated, if we use special effects that are not crappy unless we intend to.

We need to hook in the first few seconds. Therefore, let’s reflect on the appropriate place to place the title of the book, the name of the Publisher or the producer of the video, as well as if they will appear quickly.

In a trailer, it is often convenient for the written or static to be a complement to the moving image and sound. Personally, I don’t see any use in quoting other people’s reviews ( blurbs ) or in remembering that you are the author of such a previous book (let alone indicating that it is a bestseller). However, sometimes banners or still images are the best way to present certain books, such as complex or text-based works. In any case, it is necessary to study what each typography transmits.

The key to a book trailer (and a cover ) seems to be a middle ground between arousing curiosity and not invading too much of what the reader would imagine in his mind when reading the manuscript. It is delicate to show the faces of the characters, but if they do, they must have the physical features that are described in the book.

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