Book Trailers 101

Book Trailer 101:

TroubledSpirits  cover - CopyLast year was a life-changing year for me. Without a doubt the highlight was August 21st, the day my YA paranormal novel, Troubled Spirits was published by Black Rose Writing. As a soon to be published author, I found myself thrust into the unfamiliar territory of marketing.

One of the first things I did was to make a book trailerI’m using the word “I” loosely, because my trailer was filmeIMG_0062d and produced by Kyle at INHAUS PRODUCTIONS. It took all day to film the Troubled Spirits trailer and the cast was amazing.

IMG_0103 IMG_0109All the teens were from the local high school drama program and most of the adults were family.  During this process I developed a new respect for everyone who works in the filming industry. So much time, effort and energy went into this process!

Are you scratching your head and wondering what a book trailer is? You’re not alone. A book trailer is a video, usually around a minute and a half that tells potential readers about your book. In short, it’s like a movie trailer.  

In today’s fast-paced, technical world, the average adult’s attention span is a whopping 8 seconds. With only 8 seconds to grab your readers attention, new authors must step outside the box.

Book trailer benefits vary among authors and there is not a lot of data out there on actual sales generated. But one survey completed in Texas revealed that 34% of school librarians use book trailers in their schools.

For me a book trailer was a must. I was fortunate enough to have a talented friend, which was awesome, because I had no clue where to start.

To save you from cluelessness, here are a few tips to help you on your way to creating your own trailer:

  • Be sure to obtain the commercial rights for any photos you use. Using your own pictures is a great option, but if they contain people, you should have them sign a media release. You can also download images for free at Be careful, not all the images on this site are free. It’s divided into two sections. The top is for Istockphoto these images can be downloaded and used for a fee.
  • Another image source is  Once you sign up, you’ll receive ten photos every ten days along with permission to use them.This takes a little planning and patience.
  • You will also need the commercial rights for your music. Shutter Stock is one site that has music available for commercial use.
  • Don’t try to squeeze your entire plot into the trailer. Remember, this is a taste of your story–a teaser.
  • Research other book trailers and decide what you like or don’t like.

Once you’ve decided what type of trailer you want and selected your photos and music, here are a few tools to create your trailer:

If you don’t have the time, energy or desire to create your own trailer (like me), and INHAUS PRODUCTIONS here in Maine is a little out of your way, then here are a couple of companies who will do the work for you.

If you’re not on information overload yet, then here’s a link with a few more tips on how to make your own trailer, and another one on how to use your trailer to drive sales.

Last, but not least, I’ve thrown in a few more trailers for your viewing pleasure!

Want to share your trailer? Post a link in the comments.

Author: terileeauthor

I weave fantasies, save lives, rescue splinters, destroy dinners and explore the universe (at least the parts I can get to on foot). I blog about books, the writing process, ER nursing and the outdoors. Under no circumstance should you trust anything I write about kitchen related activities!

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