Book trailers are a popular way to introduce and promote a book or ebook. A book trailer is similar to a movie preview, which is also called a movie trailer, so you can look at a book trailer as a preview for your book. An effective book trailer not only introduces a viewer to your story, but compels them to want to purchase the book.
Here are some basic considerations for a book trailer video.
- Typical length is 30 to 90 seconds.
- The video files need to be hosted somewhere. Video files can be located at some free and low-cost file storage services such as Amazon S3, or they can be hosted on your website. Some hosting companies do not allow video hosting or they may limit your monthly bandwidth. YouTube is a good freebie choice if you have a tight budget.
- Videos can be produced in high definition 720p resolution for YouTube, but that is not recommended if you wish to host the video on your web site. YouTube uses proprietary tools that maintain several versions of a video. They display a lower resolution, low bandwidth version by default.
- The complexity of a book trailer can run the gamut from simple slide shows to full production high end videos using actors and stages. The high end can cost thousands of dollars to produce. We focus on more cost-effective mid-range videos using audio and video enhancements, plus kinetic typography and video effects to create memorable videos.
Consider your audience and hosting requirements when choosing the resolution for a video.
The preferred resolution for videos hosted on YouTube is high definition 1280×720 (720p) pixels. Videos can be sized to almost any resolution to fit your web site or mobile device. A 640×360 or 640×480 pixel size is the preferred size for most websites, and there are a number smart phones that will not display videos wider than 640 pixels. This includes older iPhone models that are still very popular.
Another consideration is the limited bandwidth available for smart phones.
Smart phones do not download data at the same speed as home or business Internet connections. The file size must therefore be kept small to avoid choppy playbacks and long delays while downloading videos. We can keep the file size small when the length of a video is short.
The following are important elements for an effective book trailer for the fiction genre. Keep in mind that an effective video must fascinate, excite and entice the viewer. The goal is not only to entertain viewers, but to compel them to purchase your book. A book trailer is not a summary of the story, but a teaser that builds desire to find out what happens in your story.
The structure of an effective book trailer video for the fiction genre includes these elements.
- Establishes a time and a place. This starts to build imagery in the viewer’s mind. This is most important when the story takes place in the past or future.
- Introduces the event or incident that sets the story in motion.
- Reveals the effect or possible consequences if the events continue on this path. Start building empathy for the characters that are affected.
- Introduces your main characters. Create a challenge to the course of events. There must be someone who can save the world or challenge the situation.
- Creates a cliff hanger. This is the part that compels the viewer to want to learn the outcome.
- Call to action. Where can the viewer buy the book? That may be your website, Amazon.com, another website, or all of these sources.