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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.

From the editor…

As we enter the autumn, the publishing industry is gearing up for the great Christmas rush. For self-publishers, this is often a frustrating time of year, with many not realising the long timescales that retailers work to. If you haven't already got your book in production, it's looking likely that it won't be ready in time for Christmas!

Even if you do get your book ready well in advance of the holiday season, getting retailers to take notice can be difficult. There are so many big books from the established publishing houses that it can be impossible to get noticed. That can mean that you forsake what appears to be the best selling season in favour of a time when there are fewer big books around, so in the early spring, for instance.


Yet that can work in your favour in fact... sell privately before Christmas, sell to the retailers afterwards when they are looking for new titles. A win-win for all!

In the next few months we will be altering the way that this magazine reaches readers, so watch this space!

Indie Pick


Held to Ransom – Book 3 in the Linmore Series by Jemima Brigges.

Joshua Norbery vowed never to marry for money, but is forced to accept the unthinkable; when he learns that a mortgage taken out on his family estate has been acquired by the bride’s father. The only way to regain it is to provide a son as heir to his father-in-law’s business empire.

Arthur Bradstone uses the threat of losing Linmore to ensure Joshua’s compliance, but no one seems to have told Joshua’s wife of the part that she is required to play.

Hardly has Joshua overcome the initial difficulties in his marriage, than shadows from his past threaten to tear it apart...

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