A Video Trailer is Your Book’s Virtual Cover

A somewhat frustrated author told me recently, “It feels like I have to sell every book.” She’s right. Getting noticed is tough business, even for the best of authors published with the “big” houses.

To have a hope of getting your potential readers to pay attention,  you need a strong marketing plan. As guest blogger and owner and executive producer of Trailer to the Stars Misty Taggart puts it, you have to be creative and you must meet people where they are. One way to do both is by adding a video book trailer to your promotion tools.  Read on as Misty explains how a book trailer can help boost your book sales.

Okay, fess up … how many books have you purchased simply because you loved the cover?  Don’t want to say?  Well, you’re not alone. I’ve actually purchased books because the covers complemented the decor of my guest room. Book covers are an enormous component of a book’s success. But, things are changing rapidly in the publishing world.  Your readers are now not only browsing through brick and mortar bookstores, they are browsing the Internet. Many buyers make their literary choices by viewing book trailers. This truth requires a change in marketing tactics for authors and publishers alike.

As an author, you know word of mouth leads to sales. Books don’t receive the huge pre-release marketing budgets that CDs and films enjoy. You have to be a bit more creative.  You have to reach out to readers where they spend most of their time… online. And while a great cover is a start, real word of mouth marketing today starts with video book trailers.

A book without a professional video trailer is a book that isn’t being marketed for today’s reader. If you are self-publishing or if your publisher is not providing you with a trailer, then step up and make sure you have one.  Give your book every opportunity to be noticed.  How many hours, days, weeks, months, years did you spend creating your manuscript? Now that it is being published, make the most of that window of opportunity.

A professional book trailer is written and produced in the perfect style to complement your marketing plans.  Professionals understand the flow and tempo of video.  Scripting and editing work hand in hand to embrace your book, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.  Photos, video clips and music are chosen and combined with the ideal voice-over.

Author Marketing Tip: Be sure to purchase and retail all rights to your trailer so you can use it anywhere.

With a professional book trailer, a whole world of marketing opportunities opens up to you. Your blog tours become more plentiful and interesting. At signings, you can play your trailer in a loop on your laptop to draw attention and bring readers (aka buyers) to you.  Many online bookstores will run your video only a few pixels away from the BUY button.

A well-produced book trailer can make the difference between a sale and a quick look. A trailer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg … but it does need to be professional.  The Internet has made your audience video savvy.  Think of your video as the second cover of your book.  Your book is being judged by not only its cover, but its virtual cover as well.  That is the evolution of book marketing.  Shrug it off as an unnecessary part of your marketing and you will be making an already risky marketplace even more precarious. 

Readers purchase books when they see a compelling video. Done well, videos effectively pull people into the story.  Once they become aware of your book, they talk about it, Tweet about it, Facebook about it, blog about it, and, most importantly, click the BUY button!

Want to know how a video book trailer could fit into your marketing plan? Let’s talk!  I will be happy to answer your questions about book video trailers and how to use them.  You can then make a well-informed decision.  Contact me at [email protected] for a free video consultation and take a moment to view some of our latest video releases at http://www.youtube.com/booksinmotion.

Mary - August 14, 2012

This sounds good, but where is the proof of these assertions? What industry magazine or publication actually proves that an author NEEDS a book trailer to sell books. Before I spend money on making a video, I honestly would like to see the real proof. Otherwise, this sounds like just another way to take away a hard working author’s money.

    Erin K Casey - August 14, 2012

    Good question, Mary!
    Although I’m sure someone out there has collected stats on the effectiveness of videos and their ability to influence book sales, I don’t have any to offer at the moment. What I can offer is my own testimonial that I’ve purchased books because of videos I’ve seen. The video on the Amazon page of “Love Does” by Bob Goff and Donald Miller is one recent example of a video that convinced me that I’d be interested in the book. Done well, videos can affirm an author’s credibility (for non-fiction books) and pique the reader’s interest.

    So, do you NEED one? I think authors need as much help as they can get to promote their books. A video is one tool (of many) that could fit in a comprehensive book marketing plan. Like anything, if you just put it out there and don’t drive people to it, it will end up like an unopened book on the shelf because no one knows about it.

    Thanks for the honest question! I’d love to hear from others who have (or have not!) purchased books because of videos.

Misty Taggart - August 21, 2012

Mary and everyone with book trailer questions,
You have to realize that with ‘any’ type of pr or advertising there is no way to tell EXACTLY which sale came from what ad. But if you look at the power of the internet, it is really not wise to just overlook the book trailer. People will not always read about a book . . . but they will view a trailer. Any author who wants to give their book the best opportunity for success can’t think of just putting it out there and expecting it to sell. Trailers start word of mouth.

Professional trailers are the ‘cherry on top.’ We want you to be siging books, not selling them yourself – person to person.

Even the big publishing companies use trailers. They know they work or they wouldn’t spend the money on them.

If absolute numbers were available we would all know exactly how to have a best seller. But those numbers don’t exsist. The only thing an author can count on is that if a solid marketing program is launched covering both print & visual ads they have given that book what it deserves. It’s a big marketplace. Adding another powerful marketing tool is the smart thing to do.

Let’s talk about it. [email protected]

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