Book trailers (my experience and marketing advice)

3 years ago | Blaise Corvin (Member)

Hi all!

I wanted to drop by and share something with the collective. Some of you know me, some of you don't. I used to be a serial writer but I've transitioned to only publishing, and I'm about to go full time.

When I was a serial writer, I saw a lot of to-do about book trailers.

In short, do them for your readers if you'd like or it's part of your brand, but they don't really work well for acquiring new readers.

I have some pretty loud trailers, rap videos in fact. Here's the URL to the trailer for book 3 of Delvers LLC (which just came out).

So far, my experience is that trailers are a novelty, but most readers don't really care. The louder, funnier, or better looking they are, the more fun your readers will have. My rap videos just keep getting more over the top, and that is a deliberate choice. The more I groan and hide my face, the more my readers enjoy them.

For ads, you're better off with still images or type. I think a possible exception might be a gif.

It seems like books + videos just don't mesh in the minds of the consumer.

Anyway, others may have different experiences, but my take is that your promotion money is better spent elsewhere. That said, I do plan to continue paying for these rap videos for every book in the Delvers LLC series. Some readers expect it by now. Plus, who knows, maybe they will go viral or something. You just never know.

The book trailers that are just canned music with a few generic, solid-color screens w/ type are never going to go viral, though. They're probably not even worth your time to throw together. Based on my experience, a shot of your cover and a really well written blurb seems to still be the best way to interest new, would-be readers.


Visit my site, I have punch and pie.
I also have two stories: Delvers LLC and The Crimson Artifice. :)

Read responses...


  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Useful info, thanks. I've always doubted the usefulness of book trailers, it's good to have confirmation.

    One thing I MIGHT try someday (if I earn enough to justify the cost) is a book trailer with voice-acted character quotes, used as an ad on youtube exclusively. You know all those youtube playlists for film music / epic music? There. The trailer itself would include epic music as well. I might also commission a new track from one of the many, many fabulous composers who share their work on youtube.

    Imagine a superhero trailer using a music track like this one:

    And then imagine it with badass voiceacting.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  2. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    As someone who made my own book trailers (teasers) to generate hype before my serial went live, I can attest to that. Most people generally don't care. I'm still really proud of the videos and the work that went into them, but yeah, a lot of it goes unnoticed.

    By this point the serial itself provides its own advertising, which is good. I consider the teasers another piece of the puzzle now, so to speak.

    With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if I end up doing more, though. But it'll probably be short films set in that world rather than straight-up trailers or teasers. (In fact that was the original plan for one of them.)

  3. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    i do know that Kickstarters with actual trailor videos have more shares, impressions, and backers.

  4. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    If they didn't work, traditional publishers wouldn't use them (which they do). Might be more a case of people not searching for them, but finding them through influencers/aggregators, as well as the publishers themselves. If you don't have them to back you up and give your content a push, you'll just vanish into the YouTube miasma.


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