Make Your Own Book Trailer Video for More Book Sales

What is a book trailer? Chopped ham? No! It’s chopped steak! Just kidding. It really is chopped ham.

It’s also a term coined by Sheila English to describe a video that promotes a book in very much the same way a movie trailer promotes a movie.

Above is an example of one I created for a client’s book The Boy Behind the Gate. In the above book trailer, I’ve shown the overall experience the book provides. But typically, the book trailer describes the storyline.

So do they work? Do book trailers really help make more book sales. Nope!

That is, if the only thing the trailer shows is the book’s storyline, then don’t expect people to salivate. And that’s what you want, right? To make potential readers salivate? Imagine your viewer seeing this video and the last words in the video were, “Fall in love with Christian the Lion at” That video has over 17 million views. If just 1% actually buy, that little video adds up to a lot of sales!

To get the readers drooling, you need three things in your video.

  • Clarity
  • The promise of an experience
  • A call to action

If your video doesn’t make sense, then your readers won’t salivate with anticipation; they’ll drool from feeling like they’re going out of their minds. So they have to understand what your video is conveying. That’s clarity.

The promise of an experience
The big one (as my bride and book coach Beth Barany so elegantly put it) is a promise of an experience. The trailer needs to convey the emotion they can expect to have from reading your book. If the trailer conveys an emotional romance and the book turns out to be a Physics textbook, that’s just wrong. But what’s worse is if the video triggers no emotion at all. If the viewer isn’t moved, they won’t be moved to learn more about the book.

A call to action
Once they are moved, the video needs to give clear direction on how the viewer can find out more about the book. Where to buy, that sort of thing. Without a call to action, your viewer will just sigh, laugh, cry, or scream without knowing how to get more of you. For more on how to make sure your book trailer sells books and what makes a good book trailer, read more in the post I wrote here.

Something I haven’t mentioned before on how to make a good book trailer is that testimonials are incredibly powerful. In my Amazon campaign last fall 2011, I made a quick video in the morning using several testimonials and after completing it, it even made me want to buy my book! I made over 75 ebook sales that day. I can’t say for sure that the video was the cause of those sales, but I am sure it played a significant role. You can see the unlisted video here. (I took it down after the promotion day.)

When I make book trailers for my clients, I like to use Animoto. Animoto is the fastest way to make a stunning slide show. I am always amazed by the results. Signing up with Animoto is free, and for extended options with the Plus plan, it costs only $30 a year. When I use it for my clients, I do go the extra step to make the video pristine by adding sound effects, quality music, and a clear call to action that doesn’t get cut off by the Animoto logo. But even without that extra mile, you can create a pretty impressive book trailer yourself for free.


Ezra’s book trailers have won first place and have been aired on television. For more information on how Ezra can help you by making a book trailer for you, contact him at EzraBarany[at]hotmail[dotcom].

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