The Value of Video Book Trailers


The motto is, “They’re not just for movies anymore.”


We’re talking about video book trailers. There’s a ton of statistics to show that video book trailers are increasing in numbers, but are they increasing in popularity and do they really influence potential customers to purchase your book? These questions only lead to the big-daddy question of all, “Are they worth the money!” Let’s take a look at the whole picture and some specific details. Hopefully you’ll have enough information at the end of this paper that you’ll be able to make an informed decision.


The New York Times reported back in July of 2010 that “the [video book] trailer is fast becoming an essential component of online marketing.” I think this is true for many authors. Not every author mind you, but many. Video book trailers can be a great marketing tool if they are well made and highly promoted. Authors who are willing to “put themselves out there” can really utilize this to the fullest.


What Exactly is a Video Book Trailer?


For the most part, it is like a movie trailer, but designed to encompass the essence of a book instead of a movie. However, there are several differences. Because movie trailers are taken from parts of a movie, the images throughout the trailer are moving. Book trailers are different in that, most contain static images with overlaid text and music. And while movie trailers are created months in advance of a movie release, most video book trailers are created as the book is released, or just after the book is released. But regardless of when a video book trailer is made, it can be value added to your overall marketing plan.


How Often are Video Book Trailers Viewed by Potential Readers?


Video book trailers views vary, from having thousands of hits to just a few here and there. While the quality of the video is very important, often times it’s what you do with the video that makes all the difference and whether or not potential readers see it. But also remember, that nearly 80% of internet users are watching videos. That’s a huge potential audience and one you’ll want to tap.

So here is some helpful information to assist you in making an important decision about whether to market your book using video book trailers.


Deciding Factors


Probably one of the more important factors in deciding whether or not to have a video book trailer made is the cost. Costs to create video book trailers can vary from $250 to $25,000. One would assume that paying the higher fee would get you a higher quality video, but that’s not necessarily true, so be sure to do your research. There are hundreds of companies on the internet that will gladly help you create a video. Take your time and investigate them before making a final decision. If you are one of the lucky few who have been picked up by a “big six” publisher, they might foot the bill in creating the video book trailer. Otherwise it will most likely have to come out of your pocket.


As with any marketing product or plan you’ll always want to determine the BOI (Benefit of Investment). Benefits of investment can be tracked in several ways, there are direct benefits and there are indirect benefits. Direct benefits are those benefits that are immediate, concrete and for the most part measureable. Indirect benefits are less concrete and may not pay off except in the long term and are difficult to measure, but yet they exist.


Direct Benefits


One of the primary direct benefits of having a video book trailer is increasing the sales of your book. If there were a direct correlation between how many people watched your video and then went to buy your book that would be awesome. You could then truly tell whether or not your investment in the video was paying off. But most often, that is not the case. Of course you can see how many people viewed your video, especially if you have it uploaded on YouTube or another video sharing site. But the number of video hits and the number of sales of your book in all likelihood will not match. What’s important to remember is that a video book trailer is a promotional tool for authors or publishers to get people excited and talking about the book, not necessarily to buy the book. That will hopefully come later.


Indirect Benefits


Most often, as in many marketing approaches, the indirect benefits are better and have a greater long-term impact. You’ll need to remember several things about marketing. First, it should always be multi-dimensional, meaning that a single approach or doing only one thing is rarely effective. Marketing becomes effective when authors use a variety of tactics to create buzz about their books and more importantly, about themselves. Author websites in conjunction with a video book trailer or social media in conjunction with a video book trailer will always be more effective than just one of them individually.


Keep in mind that your video book trailer is working for you 24/7. Long after the video is complete and has been uploaded to dozens of websites, it’s always available for viewing. Whether readers find it by intentionally by searching for it or if they simply stumble across it, they can view it and they don’t have to get you out of bed.


So What Qualities Should You Look for in a Video Book Trailer?


Here are a few things that we feel are critical to creating a great video book trailer.


·         The video should match the style and tone of the book

·         You should have a high-resolution version for uploading to internet websites and other distribution outlets and an email version for sharing via email

·         It should tell people where they can purchase your book

·         It should create intrigue or curiosity by engaging the viewer

·         It should be between 45 seconds and 90 seconds

·         It should include video clips when possible


If you already have a video book trailer up and running then we supportively give you tons of KUDOS for your efforts and for understanding the importance of providing audiences with different ways to receive your promotional material. If you are still on the fence or need more information about what’s right for you, we would love talk with you and/or help you get started. Services for video book trailers are available through Maple Creek Media starting at $595.00. We can provide personalized one-on-one service and great pricing, along with creative content to help you make the most of your investment.

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