Everything you need to know about book trailers

1. How exactly is a book trailer created?

First, the author or publisher sends us a summary of the book. Usually it is also helpful to have a reading sample and, if available, visual material. We then create an initial concept and a voice-over text, which is clarified with the client. We then commission the speaker and research video footage online. If the trailer is to be shot in its entirety, this research is not necessary. Then the process moves on to the film production process. Based on harmonious music, we edit the videos and create animations if required. For almost all trailers, we add a 3D book cover animation at the end.

2. What factors make a good book trailer?

In our opinion, the trailer must make a promise to the viewer that will be fulfilled when the book is read. The viewer feels this promise through an uncertain expectation while watching. This can arise from a completely unconscious foreshadowing that only arises from the atmosphere of the video, or it can arise from a clear statement that the potential reader wants to know more about.

3. What can an author achieve with a good book trailer?

First and foremost, of course, attention. It makes him stand out from the mass of constant new publications. But a book trailer can also open up new groups of readers who come across the trailer through well-placed video advertising or while browsing on YouTube. A video can be placed in places where the potential reader might not have noticed the book at all without the trailer.

4. Can a book still get by without a trailer nowadays? How will this marketing tool develop in the future?

With already well-known bestselling authors, a book trailer is of course more of a bonus. A trailer is a great opportunity to make your book stand out from the crowd, especially these days! All advertising platforms show video ads first and then text ads or banners. 

In the future, it will become even more important to stand out from the emerging mass of videos with a professional trailer.

5. How important is the choice of music for the trailer?

Very important. All elements of a video production that subconsciously influence the viewer and convey a mood must be implemented in particularly good quality. Of course, this also means that each element must be used carefully and to the right extent. The sound level in particular quickly manipulates us into interpreting the images we see in a certain way. 

You can test this in a simple self-experiment. Let a film run quietly on your PC and meanwhile play different pieces of music.

6. Why does marketing with a book trailer make sense?

Video marketing is currently on everyone’s lips. With increasingly better internet connections and higher data rates for mobile devices, playing short videos, whether informative or atmospheric, is becoming more commonplace.  With e-books, we lose the haptics that intuitively attract us when we discover a book in a bookshop. Deliberately chosen paper, cover and embossing have an effect on us that is difficult to describe. Online, the book trailer picks up on this point. In just a few seconds, the commercial captivates the viewer. Videos are prioritised by all major platforms. This means that the Facebook algorithm, for example, displays video content much more frequently than text and images. If you decide to produce a trailer, you will stand out from the crowd, especially with a cinematic book trailer. Because even though video marketing is becoming more widespread, most people just use an app, shoot a scene themselves at home or insert photos one after the other in a simple editing programme.

The reader, who is mostly used to Hollywood and Netflix productions, naturally notices the difference immediately and is unconsciously influenced by the quality of the book trailer.

7. What advice can you give to a first-time author publishing his first book about video marketing?

That depends on whether he has the opportunity to invest in his writing career in advance. If so, we would advise doing it right from the start. He should produce a very good trailer and put enough budget into online advertising with the help of a marketing professional. In the long run, this will definitely pay off. 

Often, however, this option is not available.  But before an author creates an ineffective trailer consisting of, for example, a few iMovie text inserts, ve should, in my opinion, rather exhaust all other free advertising measures first. 

If you want to try out video marketing on a small budget, even if it’s just to get your first experience, you can also book our short version book trailer and experiment with the many free possibilities to distribute the video.

8. Can any book be made into a book trailer?

Yes! There are numerous possibilities. With a non-fiction book, for example, an explanatory film describing the first facts or the core of the topic is also a possibility. With a biography, an interview with the person can be conducted or a mini-documentary can be created from archive material. There are no limits to the imagination. Almost anything can be enriched with moving images and an appealing soundtrack.

9. What should be the maximum length of a book trailer?

Most of the time, trailers range from 30 seconds to 1:30 minutes in length. In no case should they be longer. There must be a clear difference between a commercial and a trailer. In the case of a movie, a book trailer would be called a “teaser”. It is often shot before any footage of the movie is even available. It creates suspense and raises the expectations of the later viewer (in our case, the reader). The trailer captivates him and lets him fantasize about what he will experience in the upcoming book even before he reads it.

10. What is your experience when viewers start clicking away?

The viewer clicks away if no expectation is aroused. If, after the first 10 seconds, he doesn’t want to know what is conveyed at the end of the trailer, he will already click on the next video or close the open tab. Likewise, the expectation generated in the first 10 seconds must not be disappointed at the end.  There must be a certain satisfaction that the promise made to the viewer by the moving images has been kept. Otherwise, the viewer has seen the trailer, but is annoyed and clicks away afterwards.