Book trailers. Are they worthwhile?

30 Nov , 2015  

M. Jonathan Lee

M. Jonathan Lee – Author of The Page, The Radio, & A Tiny Feeling of Fear

By Guest Blogger – Jonathan Lee

You must have seen them by now. Background music, followed by a visual of a book cover and some neat quotes to hook you into the storyline. At the end, there is usually a link for you to immediately click through to purchase the book. But are they worth it?

The answer is a resounding, yes.

We live in a world where time is short and information needs to be relayed in a succinct manner. It appears that people no longer have time to spend hours reading through reviews or poring through bookstores. Information has to be passed quickly.

The main issue, of course, is the quality of the output. The description that I used in my opening paragraph seems to cover the vast majority of the book trailers available. Almost powerpoint-y in their presentation. They may look neat and tidy but offer nothing as far as getting people to share them on social media. And of course, this is the purpose. To get as many people as possible seeing the trailer and furthermore, buying the book.

This is, of course, the purpose of the trailer.

And so, as is always the case the more creative you can be, the more likely it is that people will want to share the trailer with friends. Check out this one.


If this is the type of novel that you read, then what better to drag you in with an actual reading from the novel. You’re suddenly face-to-face with the narrator. It’s perfect. This cannot fail to make you want to read the novel.

But, just as with most things in life, it seems that the more you spend, the more likely you are to get noticed. Some book trailers from the bigger publishers are akin to film trailers. Two a half minutes of retelling the novel in visual format. The question is then, does this go against the whole purpose of reading? Maybe. I mean, surely, the joy is to open a book and not know what is in store for you. Do we need to have the narrator’s voice handed to us? Don’t we enjoy reading his words and imagining what he or she sound like? Do we need to see action scenes in that two-minute segment showing us a storyline that we never dreamed was coming when we opened the book?

The answer is not necessarily. We just need to become clever with the output that we produce. Something different. Something clever. Something that makes that two-minute segment memorable. After all, if the world has moved toward visual output and that is what is needed to get people excited about something, then we need to join in and evolve.

Most authors do not have a bottomless pit of money. Nor do their publishers. And after all, authors are writers. Generally they are not filmmakers as well. So we need to get clever. We need to hone in on the things that will appeal to a reader and focus on these. Instead of going for something bog standard, like the below, that no-one will really watch – we need to think about something eye catching, and different.

And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Many phones nowadays make perfectly good videos. But probably the best route would be to get in touch with a young filmmaker who wants a project and wants to make a name for themselves. And these people are usually just around the corner. Try your local college or university. There are teams of students wanting to make their first mark in their chosen industry. And they are the ones with the knowledge most authors don’t have and the access to the equipment. Give them a try.

Book trailers are becoming increasingly vital.

Just make sure the one you produce is something people want to see.

It is also something else to talk about on social media other than ‘buy my book’ – it gives the potential reader chance to interact with you and maybe become a fan, ensuring more promotion via their social media and another person connected to buy your next book.

A great book that explains how well this process works is by Gail Powell – ‘Fanology: Create Fans. Sell Books.’ It’s well worth a read.

Fanology front cover newhttp://amzn.to/1lpqTft





Here is the book trailer I had made for my latest novel which was created by the team at ‘The Book Promoter’ – take a look…


and visit their site if you’re interested in having your own produced at a really affordable price.


The best advice I can give any fellow author is the more active and creative you are around growing your author presence, the more likely you are to be able to share your writing talent with the world and sell more books – which ultimately is the point for most authors.


Jonathan Lee is the author of –

The award winning ‘The Radio’ – For an interactive experience of the book CLICK HERE

The Page – For an interactive experience of the book CLICK HERE


His latest novel ‘A Tiny Feeling of Fear’ – For an interactive experience of the book CLICK HERE


All of Jonathan’s books are available to purchase on Amazon and www.oodlebooks.com






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The team at OTWT are committed to helping authors to grow their following and to sell more books. OTWT is the blog site for www.oodlebooks-author.com. The aim is for all authors (particularly those who self-publish), no matter how successful, to have the same access to the book-buying public as those signed to the larger publishing houses. If you have a blog post about you as an author, your book or anything topical, please contact us.

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