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video-marketing-for-authorsOur thanks to our “go-to” video book trailer producer Evan Staley for this guest post. And, attention all authors, Evan W. Staley Films has changed to Ink 2 Cinema, a company completely devoted to marketing books through the video process.

Many authors fall into the trap of thinking that a book trailer is the alpha and omega of book marketing. I’ve run into people that think “If I get a trailer, I don’t have to do any more marketing.”

In fact, it’s the opposite – your book trailer just the beginning. Trailers generate interest, desire, and curiosity, but not necessarily sales. So let’s break down what you need in a video book trailer, and what to do with it once you have one.

Elements of a Useful Video Book Trailer

In order for a book trailer to be successful it must be unique but also universal. The trailer has to pertain directly to the story being told. A list of key elements are:

  • A tailored score which emphasizes the style and theme of the novel in an entirely unique way.
  • Text that will intrigue the viewer and lend to the books creativity.
  • Carefully picked images. Each image is responsible for building the world of your book within the viewer’s imagination.
  • Fluid transitions – a book trailer needs to successfully move from beat change to beat change. (Beat change is any change in tone of the story.)
  • Rhythm; similar to being fluid, a book trailer is nothing without its rhythm. A book trailer has rhythm when a viewer is completely invested in it.

While it is important for the trailer to be unique, a trailer must also be “universal.” It has to connect with a very wide range of people. Even if the book is targeted at a very select demographic, each person within that demographic is extraordinarily different. They are just tied together by a common interest – whatever your book has to offer. This is the universal part.

Original music composed directly for the story, a set of images that depict the conflict of the story, and the words and text used to describe the story are the three main ingredients. And each ingredient must pertain to the story being told, to capture the minds and hearts of the your viewing audience.

I Have a Book Trailer – Now What?

Once you have a video book trailer that is short, concise, and accurate, you’re ready to show it to the world. After all, your trailer can be a very powerful marketing tool, or it can do absolutely nothing. It all depends on how you use it.

Things I believe book trailers excel at:

  1. Attracting interest within a specific demographic: You can share your video at a number of social media sites, including your own website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and more.
  2. Providing an easy way to expose your book to potential new readers. The audience just sits and watches for approximately a minute – they’re all yours for that 60 seconds.
  3. Pitching the book to potential bloggers/websites for marketing and sales purposes.

However, all this being said, it is very important to realize that the trailer itself does not create the magic. Think of the trailer like a wand, and the author like a wizard. While you, the wizard, are still capable of magic without the wand (video), the wand opens up a world of opportunity. The wand is useless on its own. For more ways to use your video book trailer, see Seven Ways to Use Your Video Book Trailer. How have you creatively used your own video book trailer? Please share with your comment below!

Evan Head ShotEvan Staley offers an unbelievable video book trailer price to our tribe of just $275. AND, if you’re a member of the Winner Circle, just $225 – $50 off! For the past two years he has been producing book trailers for publishers and authors around the U.S., and he truly believes that the synthesis between writing and film/television can be a powerful and inspirational combination. Contact Evan at

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One thought on “Elements of a Great Video Book Trailer (And How to Use It Once You Have One!)

  • September 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm


    Thanks for these great tips on making a video trailer. I was relieved to learn that I’ve done some things right in the trailer I recently revised for my book. Now I just have to follow your advice on places to share it.

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