Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

Excellent Book Trailer Idea for a Non-Fiction Book

Book trailers have been a hot topic among authors and book publishers in recent years. And for good reason. With so many people consuming video content on YouTube and many other websites -- and doing so from desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets -- it makes perfect sense to communicate with readers and potential buyers using video.

But a lot of authors have the wrong idea when it comes to creating video clips that promote their titles.

Some think they have to spend a ton of money on slick production to do it right. The truth: Going the expensive route might impress some people, but it isn't necessary to be effective.

Other authors put together video clips that are simply blatant sales messages: "Just published: The new book from Joe Blowhard! Buy Now!" Reality: Unless you're Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, this type of announcement message will fall flat and lead to few sales.

There's a better way, especially for non-fiction authors wanting to gain traction in the marketplace. This video promo for Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson is a prime example of an effective book trailer:



Why this book trailer works:

  • It actually teaches you a small lesson based on the subject of the book. If the topic of "where ideas come from" intrigues you, there's a good chance this video will leave you feeling like you learned something. It might even inspire an "Ah-ha" moment of your own. And that's your real goal with any form of book marketing: to get a reader to think and feel something when they are exposed to your message!

    If you get to the end of this four-minute video and think, "Hey, that was pretty cool," there's a good chance that Steven Johnson and your new awareness of his book will occupy a favorable spot in your brain. And that's exactly how audiences are grown and author careers are built.

  • It uses a good combination of audio information and visual stimulation. Obviously, a lot went into creating this video and coordinating the spoken-word elements with the time-lapsed artwork. You don't have to go to that extend to be effective, but you should think of creative ways to meld audio and video to share a story or make a point related to your book.

    One low-cost option I just came across is YouTube's new feature that allows you to create animated videos, slide shows, and other clips in your web browser -- all for free. Visit www.youtube.com/create for details.
The bottom line, when it comes to creating video book trailers for non-fiction books: Share something of real value based on a section of your book, and do it in a way that will please the eyes and the ears of anyone who takes the time to watch and listen!

What are your thoughts on effective book trailers? I welcome your comments below.

-Bob

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