Book Trailers Are More Important Than Ever

Guest Expert: Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Book trailers, similar to movie trailers, are an opportunity to showcase in pictures and sound what a book is about. In other words, a book trailer is a video that can be watched online.

Now more than ever these book trailers are important because video has become so popular on the web. People really enjoy watching short videos.

You can get a double whammy for your book trailer by first uploading it to YouTube (get your own YouTube channel) and then embedding the YouTube code in your website.

On YouTube you use keywords to help get your book trailer found. Of course, you also put your book website URL in the video description box.

Then you bring the YouTube video code into your website so that people can watch the video on your website.

You can also share the YouTube video URL on other social media sites on which you participate. And you can embed the video URL on your book’s Facebook Page (not your personal profile account).

In fact, you can have more than one book trailer for the same book. You can have several book trailers, each focusing on a different aspect of your fiction or nonfiction book. You can upload these all at once, or add them as you create them.

For example, for a novel you might have a video on each one of your main characters. You can talk about what each character’s goal is in the novel and what the obstacles are to that character achieving his or her goal.

Or, for a nonfiction book, you might decide to have a separate video on the topic of each main section of the book. People who are interested in one section may watch that section’s video, while a video of another section may appeal to different people.

Here are a few tips for an effective video:

If you are in the video, be conscious both of what you are wearing as well as the background of the video. You don’t want, for example, dangling earrings or a messy room to distract from people paying attention to your video.

Keep it short; under two minutes is good. Again, you can break up a 10-minute video into five separate videos. Just be sure to give each video a distinctive and descriptive title so people can easily know which video is about what.

Do NOT spam social media sites by leaving your video URL everywhere. Only share the URL in appropriate places.

Do think about the lighting when you make a video. It is not necessary to have extensive lighting, but you do want people to be able to see what is going on in the video.

Do NOT read off notes. The video should be an opportunity for you to connect with your potential book fans. Look straight at the camera as if you were looking at a person’s face and talk authentically about your book. If you don’t like what you recorded, do another take.

Finally, you do not have to strive for perfect videos. People are not expecting slick videos; they are expecting an honest representation of what your book is about.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has two videos on the website of her novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.” The first is a video created for her that describes the period of the novel during the Vietnam War. The second is one of Phyllis explaining to book clubs why the novel would be a good choice for them to read.
Phyllis is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC and she writes for the company blog at

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