How to Make Book Trailer

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Launching a new book takes a lot of preparation. One of them is making a book trailer —  a video ad that mimics movie trailers to get people interested in checking out your new book. While a movie trailer can be made by snipping scenes from the actual movie, a book trailer is not so straightforward.

How to Make a Book Trailer

The three common parts of a book trailer are images, music, and voice over.  These three must work together to make those who watch the trailer want to check out your new book immediately.


We assume you don’t have $1k to spend on the trailer. In such a case, it’s best to keep your cost down and make do with royalty-free images.

A picture of the book cover may even suffice when it comes to trailers. In fact, that’s the direction many writers took for their trailers. If you write children’s book and it’s laden with images, grab some and use them in the video.  Simple editing to make the pictures move about will make the trailer look much more appealing too.

Use book covers in your book trailer video

Sounds has tons of engaging ambient music and sounds for you to choose from. Whatever genre your book is, you can find some that will fit nicely. Anything from soothing natural sounds to a creepy and mysterious background is available there.

Don’t settle with the first music you find. Instead, pick two or more to go with the trailer so you can compare which one goes better with the overall theme.

Voice Over

While this is optional, a voice over adds a nice touch to your trailer. You can either narrate the story from a first or third-person point of view. If your voice character doesn’t suit the book, don’t be shy to cough up some money for a professional voice over. A short one won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Now before you put the three elements together, you need to …

… get to the storyboard

Moviemakers use storyboards and you should too. Making rough sketches allows you to make a story that flows nicely. See how you can mix and match all three elements so they look great as a whole. Using a storyboard also makes it easy to add and remove the parts that you feel don’t impart enough message to your potential readers.

How do you know what will make an impact?

Think about your audience. You already have the book done, right? That means you already know the perfect audience for the book and what will make them ticked. Keep your audience in mind as you make the sketches and you’ll be just fine.

Keep the trailer short

Most people have short attention spans. You have two minutes max to get them interested in your book. As your trailer drags on, the viewers’ interest starts to dwindle down. You can’t afford that.

If you check out the book trailers on YouTube, most of them are less than a minute long. A concise video that packs a punch is a world better than a long video.

Ask for feedback

Before sending the trailer out to the wild, showing it to a select few first is a great idea. They could be friends, families, or people who have subscribed to your newsletter and show interest in watching the trailer.

Showing people a preview of the trailer gives you the chance to tweak it further. It’s highly probable that the trailer still misses some elements that can add the oomph factor. Don’t miss this step, OK?

Once you get the feedback, make the necessary changes to make sure the trailer grabs attention and make those who watch it willing to share it with friends. A free promotion for your new book is always a good thing.

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