Who here has made a trailer for their book? I started playing around with one this morning, and I'm surprised that it's actually fun.

I have 2 questions:

1. How do you legally add music? Is there a web source for music that's okay to use, or is there a good way to get permission to use someone's music?

2. How helpful have you found it to have a trailer? Has it impacted your marketing in a strong positive way, or have you found it a waste of time and creative energy?

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Thanks so much to everyone for helping me. In case it's useful, I found this cool sound resource: http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/ where all the music is free (and royalty-free), and you can browse by mood.

The results of my 2-day experiment are here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIvU4-Sfxko

Incompetech is wonderful. I used some of his free music, too. Glad you found him. Did you check out Partners in Rhyme? Good for gunshots, explosions, etc., although I had to download Audacity (free) for blending the multi-track audio.

J. Gunnar Grey

Ok, you've got a book trailer, now what? What do you do with it?
Well, the first thing you do is get feedback. So I've changed mine completely since that (now defunct) link--another lesson in "never publish your first draft." And then I think you do what you can with it. You link it to your website (or embed it inside). You stick metatags on so it shows up in search results. And you...anyone with more experience than me?
I hadn't planned a trailer for my second zoo mystery, but my son owed me. Having a professional video editor owe you one is not a bad thing for an author. And, not to brag or anything, it's, like, FABULOUS. You have not seen a book trailer like this. http://zoomysteries.com to view.

I take photos everywhere I go that could be useful on my blog or website, and--far better--I get my sister to take GOOD photos. iStockphoto.com and copyright-free music helped also. I liked stockmusic.net.

Will it sell books? Beats me. Fun, though.
I just 'released' a trailer for my crime novel Yin Yang Tattoo. I have been working on it for a few weeks with a great young artist in Scotland, Azlan Mckechnie of www.geikoworld.co.uk

I did it to try and generate some attention on the Web. I was lucky that a good friend has a recording studio and was prepared to do a custom soundtrack. I did the voice-over narration myself, partly because my protagonist shares my nationality and therefore my accent, but mainly because my fee was manageable. The total production outlay was a ridiculously modest sum.

The youtube link is here.

Ron McMillan
My co-author of 'f2m;the boy within' made our book trailer and although it's up on Youtube, ours and the publisher's sites, the other value is during author talks. A book trailer provides variety and has concentrated information about publisher etc to end with.

In future, I intend making a trailer for any new books, but 'f2m; the boy within' had the themes of punk music and transitioning gender...so music was not a problem. My co-author was also a musician.

I've put together a number of trailers, one of which is on my profile page. It's quite easy and not expensive - in some cases, it's free. For music, I'd check out iStockAudio or AudioJungle. They have free downloads on occasion, in addition to the ones you pay for. They're made for commercial use, and are royalty-free once you purchase or download.


You can also download a lot of interesting background sounds and sound samples for free. For example, try Freesound at http://www.freesound.org/index.php. There are a lot of other ones.


I often make slide show videos with musical accompaniment. There are a lot of places to get free, commercially available photos. Check out Veezle, which is a free photo search engine, at: http://www.veezzle.com/.


You can see more of my "home grown" book and story trailers at: http://www.viddler.com/explore/bostonmargy/


Trailers are part of marketing. They'll be as effective - or ineffective - as you are as a promoter. That being said, a good trailer can peak interest and maybe encourage people browsing online to visit your site.


Good luck!



What a very helpful post.  Thank you.
You're welcome. Perhaps I'll put together a blog posting on the subject.

Last year I created a video trailer for my suspense thriller, ABSOLUTION. View it ABSOLUTION-Booktrailer


I bought the rights to the music at neosounds.com They have an excellent selection, which is not expensive. I'm a musician and the right music was really important to me. As for the photos, some were my own. Others I got at Fotalia.com


Yes, I've found it very helpful as a marketing tool. However, it's important to make it short and punchy. People just won't watch something much over a minute. At least I won't. Figure out exactly what you want to convey. Don't tell the story of the book, just hit the highlights. Include any awards and be sure to include the address of your website ... or wherever else viewers can buy the book. Hope this helps. 

Thanks. I'd never heard of neosounds. I checked the website and it has some really nice material. Thanks!


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