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Author Trailers

Why Author Videos Are The New Book Launch (Updated)!

By January 28, 2024February 14th, 2024No Comments

*This post was created by Film 14, a production company that makes book trailers. Check out our comprehensive book trailer library!

We’re not saying author videos should replace a book launch entirely, we’re just saying they’re the NEW book launch. In today’s world, no book launch is complete without strong video content. What better way for authors to reach their audience online than with a cinematic author video?   

Book Trailer vs Cinematic Author Video 

Ok, so we know book trailers and author videos are the wave of the future, but what’s the difference between the two? The difference is in the format and presentation. 

The purpose of an author video is usually to interview the author either answering questions or describing the nature of the book. A book trailer is more like showcasing the movie inside the book. That’s not to say author video interviews can’t be cinematic and just as interesting. On the contrary, an author video on YouTube should be cinematic. While the author may be simply talking about a new book or taking us through a career retrospective, the video should show some relevant footage. 

Having fun with Author Videos

Here’s an author video example featuring indie publishing phenom Jennifer Probst. Filmed at her home, this personalized approach is alluring for both new and existing fans. 

A Cinematic Author Video Done Right

Author video interviews can be used to help sell a new book or the author themselves. It’s more acceptable for author videos to be longer than usual because rather than showing short snippets designed to hook our attention, they’re more like mini-documentaries with the author as the main subject giving a “talking head” style interview to the camera. Obviously, we shouldn’t bore the audience entirely, so good author video craft dictates breaking things up with some interesting b-roll footage while the author does the talking. The whole point is to sell the author’s work in an interesting way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. 

One of the first author videos on Youtube

The Film 14-produced author video for the late Warren Alder was among the first ever filmed and is an unguarded entry to the life of a celebrated author. This video shows us sweeping Manhattan skyline views from the author’s apartment, along with shots of him at work typing on the computer or writing in his notebook, while he explains his life as a writer to us in an inspirational 2 minutes that made me google his name in order to learn more about his books. Mission accomplished. 

Watch more author videos here.

Cinematic Author Videos vs A Traditional Book Launch

It’s more important than ever for authors to embrace the online tools at their disposal. It’s true, the traditional book launch toolbox is full of valuable tools for book marketing that every author should use when planning a new release. However, none of them can hold a candle to the power of video as a tool for continuing to reach new readers years after the initial book launch. 

Aspects of a Traditional Book Launch

Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients of a traditional book launch that can be enhanced with video to achieve the ultimate goal of getting your work into the most reader’s hands. 

  • Blasting your email list

  • Paid advertising online such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube ads. 

  • Guest blogging

  • Strong PR

  • Getting reviews, interviews, and media appearances

  • Constantly evangelizing your new book on social media

Doing any of these things without a book trailer or author video is a waste of time in today’s world. The people want content they can watch!

A Book Launch on Steroids

A book launch is temporary, a video lasts forever. For the sake of the actual book launch, the weeks leading up to and following the release day, a compelling video will serve to spike interest and pre-orders and maybe even help your book gain more media attention than not having one. The two are not mutually exclusive–a book launch can exist without video, however, there’s something that the press surrounding an initial book launch won’t do; continue to help your book find new audiences years down the line. 

How To Make A Cinematic Author Video

Film 14 is the go-to resource for those who want to make a book trailer or cinematic author video that is compelling, looks great, and has the potential to reach millions of viewers. 

We’ve been at it for years and our catalog speaks for itself. A video for a book doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but it certainly can if you have the budget. Regardless of the size and scope of the project, Film 14 makes cinematic book trailers and author videos designed to spread the word about your book for years to come. 


Patrick Salway is a writer, musician, and actor living in Los Angeles. Follow him on social media @blone_noble and @veneer_publications. Listen to VENEER.

If you enjoyed this piece, check out 14 Book Trailers with Millions of Views!


Need a book trailer? Film 14 offers book trailers for authors and services such as audiobook recording, book cover design, and more! Check us out here, or shoot us an email! Want to make your own book trailer? Check out our free guide!