MarketShare: Book Trailers for the Win

I hear a lot of discussion about whether or not book trailers are effective marketing tools.  In my opinion, the question should really be ‘how they are effective’, not ‘if’.

Any possible thing you can do to share your message is valuable.  Asking if a book trailer can help you market your book is like asking if you should put a For Sale sign in front of a house for sale.

Book trailers can attract attention faster and more effectively than other methods.  They can be shared in blog posts, YouTube, and on your professional author profiles, to name a few. 

People may not have time to read a guest post or review but a minute long trailer is an easy and entertaining hook.  I’ve often said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a trailer is worth ten thousand.

Many trailers are rendered completely ineffective, however, because creators lose the point.  The purpose of a book trailer is to create interest and tell where to find your book.  Many of the trailers I see out now will either be too bland or lack the vital ‘where to find’ info.  Let’s be honest; the average internet user has a short attention span and a lot competing for it.

Your trailer needs to grab attention, excite and then tell where to find more.  If you miss any of these things, then it is not going be an effective tool.  A trailer is a gateway to your literary world.  The same as for a movie trailer, you need to think and design it dynamically.

Here are some trailers I’ve seen lately.  My intention isn’t to pass judgement on anyone’s trailer, but rather to allow you to see a selection in all price ranges and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.  Some of these cost nothing, and two cost nearly $2,000.  Whatever your budget, you can have an effective trailer as long as you remember its purpose: grab attention and redirect.

Watch these and let me know what you think:

  1. Malaika by Van Heerling
  2. The Highlander Trilogy by Maya Banks
  3. The Spy Who Left Me by Gina Robinson
  4. It’s a Book by Lane Smith
  5. Inside Realms by A.F. Stewart
  6. and of course my own trailer for End of Mae.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at
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8 Responses to MarketShare: Book Trailers for the Win

  1. Nice article! Apart from being a writer, I also designed websites for authors and I thought about expanding it to making book trailers. So I’ve been looking up for articles like this. Thanks Angela :).
    PS: I’m a fellow campaigner on your Adult Fiction group.

    • Glad to meet you Astrid! I need to get around and visit the campaign trail myself… we are in the midst of a major move so my computer time has shrunk, or been spent looking up cancellation numbers. It will all get done tho ;D

  2. Hi, Angela. I’m new on the campaign trail and stopping by to say hello.

    Trailers. Who knew. (Not me — I’m learning so much on the campaign re. the more “tech” end of marketing).

    Per the trailers, I have to admit — having majored in fine art w/ an emphasis of photography and filmmaking, I’m a little snobby in that department. The first trailer left me flat. The second made me laugh. The third, I’d liked to have gotten to the review/meat sooner. The fourth, loved it! The fifth didn’t intrigue me. Yours, however, did intrigue me. The combo of music and the female character uttering one word conveyed a sense of tension for me. The video did make me wonder if your book included references to second life. It’s a great idea. One I’d not considered.

    Thank you for pointing this out.

    • Thanks for your input… it’s interesting to hear an opinion from the fine arts perspective. The book the trailer advertises has no references to Second Life… it was just the medium the producer used. It’s a very effective and economical choice and trailers like that cost $100. The marketing book I wrote does talk about Second Life, as in how I used it for marketing purposes…. and trailers.

      Thanks for taking the time to give us your opinion… feedback is always apprciated, and I agree with your assessment (and will pass your comments on to my trailer creator ;D)

  3. Amy Eye says:

    The trailer for the Highlander series cracked me up! I thought it was amazing!!

    I also thought the one for “It’s A Book” was adorable as well, and, of course, you know I LOVE your trailer!

    The others were good as well, but those were the ones that really stuck with me!

  4. Hi there! Campaigner here :-)

    That video for “It’s a Book” is so cute!
    I think you’re right that it’s vital to include WHERE someone can find the book at the end of a trailer. If someone’s interested then you want to make it as easy as possible for someone to find your book.

    xx Rachel

  5. Van Heerling says:

    Hi Angela, I enjoyed reading your article and I wanted to thank you for including my trailer “MALAIKA” in your blog.


  6. hello says:

    Hi! Nice piece! I loved the 4th trailer like the other commentors. But it did look like it had a budget. The other, not so much. That made the difference here. And the creativity in the 4th was a little more in depth. But all of them were good in their own way.

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