How to Create a Book Trailer and Spread it Using Social Media

By on Sep 17, 2014 in Publishing, Sales and Marketing

how to create a book trailer

If you have recently finished writing and self-publishing an ebook or the traditional printed kind, chances are you are looking for venues to promote your masterpiece. One of the newer ways of doing this is by creating a book trailer, which is basically a video advertisement similar to the trailers designed to promote movies. Afterwards, you release the book trailer to the public through various social networking sites. But first, how do you create a book trailer?

Creating a Book Trailer

These days, creating your own short video is easy as you no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars on professional video editing software, nor have the technical skill needed to painstakingly shoot one from scratch. Most operating systems now have basic video editing software that’s built-in, and there are also freeware third party alternatives floating all over the Internet.

As for creating the book trailer itself, you can choose various formats such as getting actors to perform scenes from the book, or a person to introduce the content and topic or even employ animation. However, since you’re still starting out and probably doing this on your own, you can just do a simple text and image introduction and maybe even introduce the book yourself, if you are confident that you can do it. For technical instructions, there are more in-depth tutorials all over the Internet. For the purpose of this article, we’re assuming that you’ve already produced your book trailer – now what are you going to do with it?

Publish Your Book Trailer

You need to host the video first, if you want to get other people to view it. Right now, your best bet is publishing it on Google’s YouTube video site. Why YouTube? Well, because it’s a robust system that offers a wealth of sharing options. You’re likely to get a more stable, consistent streaming speed on YouTube compared to hosting it on your own site or some other run of the mill hosting sites.

One thing you have to look out for is copyrighted content. YouTube has strict policies against use of copyrighted content – whether it’s videos or music. So make sure you’re not using any copyrighted image, video, or music in your Book Trailer. Otherwise, it’s going to be deleted by YouTube.

Spreading Your Book Trailer Using Social Media

During the early days of YouTube, uploading your video on the service would be enough. However, these days the network is saturated and it’s hard to build a presence. You’re simply going to use it as a convenient place to host the video. If you get views from within YouTube itself, it’s icing on the cake but our focus is on other social networks.

Choosing Which Social Network to Share To

Different social networking sites cater to different interests and subcultures, so don’t go around spreading your book trailer on every social networking site you encounter. Make sure the audience will appreciate it. For instance, LinkedIn is geared more towards professional and corporate networking, so spreading videos related to certain genres of ebooks such an animated stories for kids, might not be appreciated there. Remember that a fine line that separates spam from promotional videos is whether or not the audience appreciates it, so don’t post your book trailer where it isn’t welcome.

Social Networking Sites to Try First

If you’re still not sure which social networks fit your niche, there are a few that you can try first, such as:

1. Facebook – with Facebook, you don’t need to worry about finding people who are interested because the network will do it for you. Regardless of your ebook topic, there’s probably a group of people out there interested. At the very least, Facebook is also home to your friends and relatives, who wouldn’t mind seeing your book trailer.

2. Twitter – if you have a fairly active Twitter list, sharing your book trailer is almost a given. Just make sure you use the proper hashtags in order to help your video find the audience that it needs.

3. Google+ – Google+ currently isn’t as big as the other two networks, but it’s growing all the time (currently having 540 million monthly active users) and is integrated well with YouTube so you might as well include it.


The odd thing about promotional materials on the Internet is that there’s very little room for mistakes – you’re putting yourself out there for the whole world to see so if you make an embarrassing gaffe, it gets spread easily. So the last bit of lesson here is to take it slowly at first: give your book trailer the same amount of dedication and attention to detail that your book required. Make sure it’s perfect, and try to watch other authors’ book trailers first in order to get a feel for it and avoid pitfalls.

Image credit: m anima on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0

Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.