Video book trailers do not sell books. Sample chapters, good reviews and word-of-mouth sell books.


Video trailers provide a visual way to draw attention to the fact the work exists. Beyond that, it doesn't say much about the experience of reading. If you bought my Cleansing Eden crime novel from Amazon, you wouldn't be watching a video.

So are they worth the effort? They are if you...


1) Like to make video book trailers.



2) Create something buzzworthy.




3) You already have a massive audience and want a different way to get the word out.


I fall into 1). Choosing pictures, music and copy is interesting to me. Did it sell the Cleansing Eden novel? I don't think so. But I had fun doing it. As with much of creative writing, this is the litmus test. If I enjoy it, I'm going to do it.

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Maybe he doesn't NEED to have any body else do his cover.  It's not rocket science.

Maybe he's not a total moron and can format his book.  LOT'S of total morons manage to do that.  Second graders do it.

Easy not to lose money on marketing:  don't spend money on marketing.   



You couldn't be more correct.  My case may be a little different because I'm also a photographer and have worked with Photoshop for four years and already have a CS5, Lightroom 3 and a variety of Nik, Topaz, and PhotoOne plug-ins to create special effects.  You can see my cover at  After contracting with a professional book cover designer in New York, I realized I could do a better job.  The same isn't true of trailers.  The professionally made one surpassed my expectations.  It is the cost that deters me.  I paid over $1500 for it.  That's why I'm making that decision carefully.  Also, I'm blessed with having the time to do both.


Clearly you have the skill set to do covers. Also, you understand the cost of a professional handling a task you may not be able to do yourself.

A friend recently told me he designs his own covers after watching a tutorial on Youtube and using Paint - the program that comes with most computers.... I don't know.......... 

He must be incredibly talented because Paint just isn't strong enough to compete with programs like Photoshop that provides layers, channels, blending, and masking.  Doing a cover can seem be easy but there is a lot of skill needed to use these extra features to get a cover that looks like it was made by a pro.

Back to trailers.  I've been comparing movie trailers to book trailers.  Movie trailers have the advantage of having a ton of images to work with that are specific to the movie. I have found that movie trailers tend to use a lot less printed material that carries the main message and allow images of the characters to do it.  Again easier in movie trailers.  But I found a 3d technique that allows a still image to appear to move.  Here is an example: .  This might work in a book trailer.

 Also, it is clear that both pro book trailers and movie trailers are carefully story-boarded to make sure it conveys a specific message.  I'm convinced that book trailers need to "look" more like movies trailers because people are familiar with them.  For a mystery or thriller that means action, action, action.  Still working toward an answer to a dozen or more questions.

More to come.

One minute videos don't need to be storyboarded. The programs used for them don't even really work that way.

There is absolutely no reason to think that book trailers need to be like movie trailers.  In fact, I get the impression it's a REALLY good idea not to consue the two.  

By the way... movie trailers are made from movies.  They have jillions of feet of professionally produced footage to work with.

I also get the impression that the professionally made book trailers that credit production companies are among the worst, and the good ones are very often home-made.

Anything that gets a book before a potential customer is good.

I think that's as good a bottom line for this stuff as any, Brian.  Whatever sucks in those eyeballs.

I like your videos.  It looks like some of it is video and some is camera mapping.  Any way I like it.

I've done book trailers for both my novels, and another to push music sold from my site. I enjoy making the trailers. They are a way of getting attention for your book. I make no claim as to whether they sell books, or music. DIVA trailer   ABSOLUTION trailer   EDNA WHITE music   You decide.

Maybe you could share with us the process by which you derived the statistical information that videos don't sell books?

I site this source:

"90% of video trailers don't sell anything." - Ben Sobieck

Totally anecdotal. I'm open to other interpretations, though.

Oh, well then.  Does HE have anything to substantiate that claim?   The internet seems to convince people that using a number grants magical credibility.

And as we all know 97% or statistics numbers are just made up.


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