Using Book Trailers to Promote Your Book

Guest Author: Dana Michelle Burnett

When I wrote my first book, I followed the advice on all the book marketing blogs and began trying to sift through all the information. One suggestion that kept coming up was to create a book trailer and upload it to

The idea seemed easy enough. I had used video a few times in my home décor business, so I figured it would be about the same. I gathered some pictures, found some music, and made my book trailer. Guess what? Nothing happened.

When I released my second book, I didn’t even bother with a book trailer. I didn’t see the point after the resounding failure of my first trailer. It wasn’t until my third book that I decided to try video again. This time, I did my research and tried not to repeat the same mistakes.

Video vs. Still Photos

In my first book trailer, I created a slide show and set it to music. While yes, it was cheap since I already owned all of the photos, it was boring! For my nextbook trailer, I bought royalty free video that fit in with my novel. Three separate video clips cost me little and gave me numerous options.


In my first video attempt, the music was almost cartoonish. Sure it fit, but it just didn’t fit with the brand I was trying to create. When I made the next book trailer, I was much more careful selecting the music. I wanted something epic and sweeping. I wanted it to fit the tone and feel of the novel, but it also needed to fit into the brand I was trying to create.


When I created my first video, I didn’t do a lot of keyword research. I just entered the words that I thought applied to my book. While on the surface that seems like a good idea, it’s so very wrong. For my next video, I used the Google keyword tool and a few tricks that I learned from my internet marketing days.

Write down a few keywords that are obvious for your novel and look these terms up in the keyword tool.

Sort the list so that the most searched for terms appear first. Select a few of those and search for them in quotes on Google and note how many total results for each site and how many with that term. Then do the same search for that term in the actual title on sites such as Squidoo, EzineArticles, and YouTube. (i.e. in search box of Google type “search term” ) in the actual title. Start with the lowest number in the title and work up.

Multiple Videos

As with books taking up virtual shelf space, there is something to be said for multiple book trailers taking up video shelf space. For my third book, I did a short coming soon video and a full length book trailer. When I finish my next novel, I plan on doing a series of three or four coming soon videos and then a full length book trailer.

Social Media

We live in a social world and to be successful, you have to take advantage of the social networks. When I uploaded my first book trailer to YouTube, I announced it once or twice on Facebook and Twitter and that was it. Needless to say, that didn’t work well. When I made my next set of book trailers, I mentioned them often on my social networks, but not in the same way as last time. It wasn’t “Hey check out my book trailer video”, it was “Just uploaded the first trailer for my new book, what do you think?”. Then in a day or two, “Do you think my book trailer is too hot? Getting some grief from some conservative friends”.

When I released the second book trailer, my comments were similar such as “Just finished my full length book trailer. Keeping my fingers crossed.”, “Waiting for the backlash, my new book trailer hotter than the first”, and “Which one of my book trailers do you prefer?”

The point is to ask for feedback. People like to be given the opportunity to comment and give their feedback on random things on Facebook and Twitter. Each time someone comments, their friends might become curious and check out what it is that they are talking about.

Book trailers, when used fully, can become a useful tactic in your book marketing plan. By combining book trailers, press releases, social media, blogging, and article marketing, you can set yourself apart from other authors and books.

Dana Michelle Burnett is the author of Home Decorating for the Real World, Ghost Country, and Two Out of Three. She is currently working on a paranormal romance that she hopes to release in the fall/winter of 2011. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and her own website and blog.

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