Book Trailers: Why To Use Them; How To Make Them by Lisa Towles

Let’s welcome back Lisa Towles as she shares with us “Book Trailers: Why To Use Them; How To Make Them.”  Enjoy!


We all know what book trailers are. 

Some people — okay like me, for instance — search Twitter or Instagram and just watch them, one after the other, swept away into different storylines and alternate worlds. 

For others, the very term book trailers garners eye rolls, frustrated sighs, or outright fear. 

Digital marketing and modern technology platforms can feel overwhelming, when combined with the daily challenge of finding time and motivation to do what we love most: write. 

Benefits of a Book Trailer

Aside from the mechanics of how to actually do it, book trailers have obvious benefits and also some secret rewards that can power-up your confidence and elevate your writing career. 

They’re easily shareable across a broad spectrum of online platforms, many of the creation tools are free, and the best news of all — the entry bar is far lower than it used to be. 

For a viewer or potential reader, a short book trailer can make your book memorable — and, when it comes to book marketing, memorable is a powerful virtue. 

How do book trailers influence potential readers? 

I like to think of a potential reader’s decision-making process as a pyramid. 

decision-making pyramid

Book Cover — Level 1

When a potential reader first sees your book cover, it’s an immediate visual connection that, when done well, pulls them in so they want to know more. 

Genre — Level 2  

Is this book a genre in which they like to read and spend time? 

Synopsis — Level 3

What is your story about, and does it represent a world your reader would enjoy? 

Multi-media — Level 4 

Even more than a short description of your plot, your reader wants to envision how your book will make them feel. 

An eye-catching 1-minute (or less) trailer can bring your story to life with other elements besides text, like music to set the mood and atmosphere, imagery that supports your book’s themes, and details about when it’s coming out and how to access it.  

Reviews — Level 5 

By now your potential reader is sold on the idea of the story and they’ll want to gauge its quality by hearing what others — editorial reviewers, other authors, readers — say about it. 

Ready to give it a try? 

Read on for how to make a book trailer…

5 Steps to Making a Book Trailer

1. Write Your Script 

You’re a storyteller, so it’s logical that you’ll start with a story. Aim for a 15-line — or less– script to serve as a teaser to get readers interested in learning more. 


Zak Skinner – What are you running from?

      • College freshman, he sees something he shouldn’t have
      • An on-campus organized crime ring
      • Students taken, forced to commit crimes on camera
      • While hunting for the truth
      • Zak discovers a deeper ring of crimes
      • A dangerous underworld, a shadow economy
      • One rabbit hole leads to another
      • How could this happen? How could no one know?
      • Zak must find a way out before he’s discovered
      • Before he’s trapped in there forever
      • (Add 3 testimonials)
      • By award winning crime novelist Lisa Towles Coming November 2021

Once you’ve written your own script, celebrate! 

You’ve just accomplished something meaningful (and you can tweak it later if needed). Set this aside for now. 

2. Find Appropriate Music   

Go into the library in the tool you’re using and search for a music clip that captures the mood and atmosphere you want viewers to feel when they learn about your story. 

Most tools have filters, so you can refine your search. 

The right music can turn your script into magic! The example below shows the music library filter in the tool Lumen5:


3. Create A Timeline 

Copy the script you wrote in Step 1 and paste it into the script section of the tool you’re using. Most tools will create a timeline for you, where each line of your script has its own frame. 

4. Edit Your Book Trailer

Scroll through your timeline and make sure your script looks correct in each frame, then search through the tool’s video clip library to find clips that match each line of text in your script. 

    • Upload your own custom content to your video timeline, like your book cover. 

5. Publish and Share!

Now it’s time to preview, tweak, finalize, then publish

Check out a recent Lumen5 book trailer I created for my book The Ridders.  

Your Turn

Ready to create your first book trailer? There are many creation tools, try Lumen or Canva to get started. 

After creating your first book trailer and posting it to your social media accounts, this new capability becomes part of your book launch “playbook,” which you can use every time to get readers excited about each new story. 

You can even make a book trailer about short stories as well as novels. 

By pushing yourself to continually grow by learning new tools and platforms, you gain independence, confidence, and more power and control over your evolving writing career. 

writing career

I am here to help! 

If you have follow-up questions or get stuck, feel free to email me:

Here’s to your success! And if you need help getting started, reach out to me. 



Lisa TowlesLisa Towles is an award-winning Bay Area crime novelist and a passionate speaker on the topics of writer support and strategic self-care. Her June 2022 thriller, Hot House, was a #1 Amazon Bestseller (Kindle) and won First Place in the Book Fest 2022 literary awards in the category of Mystery & Crime. The Ridders, a new political thriller, will be released on November 30 by Indies United Publishing. Lisa attributes part of her success to the fellowship and support she gets from membership in Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and also from her trusted relationships with local, independent bookstores. Lisa has an MBA in IT Management and works full time in the tech industry. Check out The Ridders on her publisher’s website to read an excerpt, watch the book trailer, and read editorial reviews. You can also pre-order it on Amazon.

Connect with Lisa Towles 

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Also by Lisa Towles on Writer’s Fun Zone


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