Select Page

October Q&A: Book Trailers

October Q&A: Book Trailers

‘I’ve seen a lot of great book trailers for traditionally published books… but is there any point in making one as a self-published author?’

We put your question to Matador’s Digital Manager, Dan Norris, and asked him to give his unbiased opinion on the benefits of producing a trailer.

‘In short, yes – but only if you’re going to do it well and use it effectively. Book trailers can be great digital marketing tools, providing an excellent visual introduction to a book – provided they are created to a professional standard. Keep your aims in mind. This should be a short (usually one minute) video introduction to your book that hopes to entice potential customers to buy it. As such, the trailer should highlight key themes and hint at the book’s content (accompanied by images and music that combined, tell a story – but not necessarily the story). As with cover design, don’t try to depict all of the key events in the book, just give a veiled overview of the types of topics that they might expect to find. Additionally, they must include all of the essential information: publication date, pricing and purchase information are crucial.

Why are they Beneficial?

• They give you the opportunity to market your book in a visual way.
• They are a quick way to communicate the genre of your book.
• Trailers integrate into other platforms easily – if you have an author website or social media pages for example, they can work really well on there as part of a marketing strategy.
• Video is one of the fastest – if not THE fastest online growing medium, which means that they can optimise search engine optimization (SEO), ie. they can lead to your book being found in relevant online searches.

Things to think about

Make sure any sounds you use are appropriate and that you have the rights to use them; try a royalty free stock sound effect site like Getty to ensure the sounds are of a high standard. As a guide, you’re looking at paying about £5 per sound or £35 for ‘unlimited’ sound effects.

When looking for other types of media, think about using Creative Commons, which offers a vast database of media that is available for legal use, sharing, repurposing and remixing. Their licenses help bridge the copyright conflict so that the Internet can reach its full potential, including your book trailer!

Have you identified your audience? This is an important step in deciding how to pitch your trailer and where to display it.

Crucially, what are you going to do with your trailer when you have it? Do you have an author website? Are you confident using social media? Do you have a Youtube or Vimeo account? Without a platform/outlet, there’s perhaps little point in producing a trailer.’

About The Author

Various staff work on the Self-Publishing Magazine, contributing articles and features.

Video Update!

From the editor…

As of the end of May, my time as the editor of the Self-Publishing Magazine is coming to an end. Thank you all for getting in touch over the last year. I’ve loved hearing from so many of you and it’s been fantastic to be able to share such high quality submissions from indie authors and other industry professionals.

I’m very excited to announce my replacement, Jasmin Elliott. She has a sound background in book marketing (having worked with both local and national media, marketing Matador books for over three years). As well as this, she has already contributed articles for the site and devised some of our editorial concepts, including our first ever ‘Author Life’ feature, which proved very popular.


Jasmin has so many exciting ideas lined up for the site in the coming months; we wish her all the very best with this. Keep checking in to see all of the changes, and join us on social media to wish her luck!

Wishing you luck with your self-publishing projects.


We would love your feedback

We would love to hear your thoughts about our website.

Please fill in our survey by clicking here; your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Indie Pick


This is the latest ebook in the Autobiography of an Assassin series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

This is a man who has no fears, no qualms or inhibitions about what he does – a ruthless predator. He had compassion, once. He was capable of deep caring… love, even. For a while, the killer in him was subdued, tamed and contained.

But when tragedy strikes a psychopathic killer such as Martin, his method of coping with grief is extreme. Deprived of the love and normality that he had enjoyed and treasured, he returns back to type.

Written as an autobiography, in this fourth book of the series, we see the world through a psychopath’s eyes.

Recent Tweets