A book trailer is usually what comes to mind when authors think of using video to promote their work. However, video is such a versatile medium! Here are ten ways to use video in book marketing to get you started.

BOOK TRAILER

TELL ALL by Chuck Palahniuk
published by Doubleday

First on the list is your average book trailer, of course! Slightly more antiquated and traditional than cinematic book trailers, these types of book trailers usually consist of stock image slideshows, simple animations, and press blurbs. They’re extremely low budget, and tend to sacrifice quality, but tend to get the job done. Typically this is the type of video that publishers pay for, and more often than not these videos are produced in-house.

CINEMATIC BOOK TRAILER

INTO THE CURRENT by Jared Young
published by Goose Lane Editions

Compared with the average book trailer, cinematic book trailers are shot and put together by professional filmmakers. The differences in the end results can be seen immediately — cinematic book trailers belong in movie theaters and are often mistaken for movie trailers. Chris R. Moberg’s trailer for Jared Young’s debut novel is so good, it won the Jury Award for Excellence in Title Design at SXSW in 2017!

BLURB TRAILER

THE BOY WHO KILLED CATERPILLARS by Joshua Kornreich
published by Marick Press

Blurb trailers are just that — a mini-trailer that showcases review blurbs in an edgier fashion to capture the attention of viewers and incite them to pick up your books, instead of roll their eyes at slideshow blurb trailers reminiscent of the pre-social media era.

SIZZLE REEL

THE TALISMAN – Stephen King and Peter Straub
published by Random House

Sizzle reels transform your stories to the big screen. In this example, director Matthieu Ratthe creates a demo scene for Stephen King’s THE TALISMAN using its first chapter. Provided that they are produced professionally, sizzle reels are often mistaken for movie scenes, and also demonstrate the visual potential of your story.

AUTHOR’S TRAILER

IN SEARCH OF LOST CAUSES – Hamid Dabashi
published by Black Mountain Press

Perfect for authors of academic texts, nonfiction, and fiction alike. Author’s trailers allow you as the author to introduce your own works. It gives authors an opportunity to speak directly with readers and offer a bit of behind-the-scenes thought processes that go into the creation of a work.

CHARACTER TRAILER

CUT by Adam Cushman
published by Black Mountain Press

Book trailers are all about creating an atmosphere and setting a tone for a story. Character trailers introduce readers to key characters, allowing for an added layer of atmosphere and anticipation. These videos are great for character-driven stories!

TRAILERGRAM

THE POWER by Jennifer L. Armentrout
published by Spencer Hill

Those familiar with Instagram can probably guess what a Trailergram is: an extremely short book trailer, usually only a few seconds long that introduces a book in a clear and concise manner. These videos are structured to capture the short attention spans of Instagrammers scrolling through their feeds.

SHORT FILM

THIS JEALOUS EARTH by Scott Dominic Carpenter
published by MG Press

Books inspire feature-length movies all the time, but there’s no reason that they can’t be adapted into short films. Short films are a particularly good idea for short story collections, as they give viewers an inkling of what kind of story they can expect from your book.

MOCKUMENTARY

HAPPY MUTANT BABY PILLS by Jerry Stahl
published by William Morrow

Reality show meets book marketing in this unique book trailer style. It’s comedic and gives viewers a laugh, but most importantly, it’s an opportunity for you as the author to shine and charm potential readers with your casual personality. If viewers like an author, they will likely check out their books.