ReelCountdown02There's no doubt about it. People online are reading less and watching more. The internet has gone visual.

What does that mean for you as an author? To grow attention for your book, full of wonderfully written words, you need a visual way to promote it. Enter the book trailer.

Book trailers are one of the latest ways authors and publishers are using to promote upcoming books. Like their cousin, the movie trailer, book trailers are short commercials for a book.

At Light Messages, we just completed this heart-thumping trailer for the debut novel from one of our newest authors: Five Days of Fear, a crime novel with a touch of faith by David Kovach.



Here are a few easy steps to create your own attention-grabbing book trailer:

Garner inspiration and knowledge by watching lots of book trailers. You can find them online at YouTube and book trailer sites such as

  1. Decide what type of book trailer you want to do. You can read a passage from your book, create a video compiled of still images, use a compilation of video clips, or mix video and still images. Some book trailers even use animation. The best type of book trailer for you will depend on the kind of book you wrote and your intended audience. The trailer's pace and look should mirror that of your book.
  2. storyboard02Create a storyboard and/or script for your trailer. A storyboard is a graphical depiction of each scene from your trailer. It will help you stick to the determined storyline and flow. Storyboards are, essentially, graphic outlines. The storyboard will also help determine the length of your trailer. Most book trailers run between 1-3 minutes. (We tend to favor the shorter side.)
  3. Choose the appropriate artwork for your trailer, be it still images, video, or animation. It is vital that you make sure you have the right to reproduce the images in your own trailer, which will be shared with the public. We repeat: do not poach images and violate the copyright from other people's websites. Nothing good can come of this. Two of our favorite spots for affordable still images, which come with the rights for trailers, are and––istockphoto also has excellent video clips and soundtracks for just about any length or genre you'd want.
  4. Create your video following the storyboard. There are a plethora of applications you can choose from you create a video for publishing online. Apple's iMovie is perhaps the easiest of them, but we've also seen excellent videos produced using Powerpoint or Keynote. Others favor Windows Movie Maker or PhotoStory (both are free products).
  5. Publish your video to an online video sharing site. We recommend always sharing on YouTube since it has the highest audience. But you also might want to check out Vimeo, and, of course, your author Facebook page. Embed on your website, too.
  6. Be sure to tell your friends, family, and other contacts about your video. Make it a point to ask them to share the video with their friends, family, and contacts.
If you've already written a book and begun to sell copies of it, you could forgo the work of making your own trailer and instead ask your readers to do it for you. Host a contest and offer a special prize to the winner.
However you decide to go about, remember that your book's online promotion isn't complete without a solid book trailer.

Do you know of any recent book trailers that warrent a good shout out? Post a link to them here and share the love.


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