Indie Authors with Book Video Trailers?

Are you an Indie Author with a book video trailer? Want to be featured in a blog post and YouTube video about the process? If so, we’re planning an upcoming feature on this blog and my YouTube channel and are currently accepting submissions, which can be left in the comments below. The judge’s picks will get featured in the future, but all can be seen below in the comments. Here’s what we need from you:

1. Link to the YouTube book video trailer–just copy and paste the YouTube URL in your comment and it will post below

2. Brief description of how it was made (who made it and what programs)

3. Cost range: free – under $100 – under $300 – under $500 – more than that

4. Do you believe it has sold books? Was it worth it?

5. Advice for authors making one

Space is limited for the judge’s picks in the future, but all relevant videos will be published below in the comments. Here’s an example:

Would you like to comment?

Home page of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks.
Subscribe to this blog for updates for indie authors and self publishing.

add me to Google Plus circles +Jason Matthews

About these ads

79 Responses to “Indie Authors with Book Video Trailers?”

  1. Sandra Farris Says:

    I would like to enter my book trailer. Where do I send the info?

  2. Sandra Farris Says:


    2271 views, published 9-26-2011
    Directed, shot and cut by Dennis Farris.
    Shot with a Canon 7D and Canon lenses.
    Visual Effects/Compositing by Dennis Farris using After Effects CS5.5
    Cut with FCP 7
    Cost Around $5000.
    I think it has sold books and I do think it was worth it. I think it is a way to attract readers, who hopefully will buy my other books.
    There are so many ways to make a book trailer and most aren’t as expensive as mine. There are also many places to place the trailer. Check out other trailers to get ideas.

  3. Martyn Tott Media Says:

    Hello Jason,

    I’m an indie writer and short film maker from England who came across your post. Thought I’d share my experiences.

    I have to say what a coincidence it turned out that my first book promo cost $2,271 dollars (I just converted it from £1,500 UK Sterling). Coincidence because 2271 was the same figure as the amount of Sandra’s film views! Anyway I digress… – great film by the way, really well made).

    I write for fun and promote things myself, originally the idea for a book promo was also to give potential film makers a taste if they adapted the book into a screenplay.

    Six Magic Numbers
    (535 views since Nov 2010 – * There was an older long edit that got around 1,500 views between Sep 2009 and the new version going up)

    The novel was based on real life events surrounding a missing lotto ticket, we shot this on a 5D MKII around my home town and the UK coast guerilla style using professional cast and crew who liked it enough to make it for expenses only, favours from classic truck owners and loads of friends. I edited it myself on imovie 6 as very limited funds.

    It was watching the DOP with his DSLR and editing the footage that got me hooked on the film bug as technology was changing fast and I have always loved film and photography. By my second novel I decided to do it myself for free in a day (not much choice with no budget!) with my own Canon 500D (I think it’s called a Rebel T1 over there). Obviously you’ll need to have film making skills as well as the gear but if you’re not confident or able to do it yourself there are usually very talented film students around who will get involved if it’s interesting to them or they want to build a portfolio.

    Five Still Missing
    (725 views since Nov 2010)

    The third book promo I made was with action figures which was loads of fun. It worked out quite well as it was a sci-fi pulp book with a tongue in cheek narrative. This only took a few hours to film and cost basically some creative improvising with camera work, torches and editing.

    Four aces & A black heart
    (52 Views since Jan 2013)

    Have these helped sell books? I think it does help especially with my first book which was inspired by some true life events but it’s so hard to know how much of a factor it was. I sold around 500 copies and then 500 more on e-book (you can load your film to the smashwords site).

    I think my advice would be to make sure the promo/film idea matches the story theme and feel. If you can do that without spending too much it’s a lot of fun too. Be inventive and don’t just hire anyone, check out film makers portfolio first, find someone with a look or feel you like then have a budget or it will run away quickly, filming is notoriously expensive.

    Hope that helps?

  4. Russell Cruse Says:

    I made this back in 2010 to promote my first novel. It’s just a jumble of images interspersed with text and a little music. All the images are, of course, pertinent to the plot.

    I suppose the only thing that makes it interesting is that all the images, text and music are entirely my own work. I don’t use anything I haven’t made myself, partly as a matter of pride and partly to avoid copyright problems. I would advise anyone posting on Youtube to be aware of this issue.

    I used Photoshop and Moviemaker for the whole thing. Needless to say, all it cost was the price of a little electricity.
    There’s a lot wrong with it and If I were to do another, I’d learn from these mistakes. It’s also too long. I enjoyed doing it, though.

  5. pankhearst Says:

    Miss Tyson made this yesterday for our brand new book CARS & GIRLS. She had a budget of $4M and spend approximately twenty seven cents. I honestly think it’s the best book trailer I’ve ever seen.

    • pankhearst Says:

      I’m sorry. I should add that it has already sold one copy of the book and been viewed 12 times. And that I think It is definitely worth it, not just in terms of VFM but also because it gives a really good picture of the enthusiasm we have for our book.

      Advice for authors making a trailer? Don’t spend a fortune. You are not George Lucas and will never make that money back. Do express your personality and show readers why your book is worth their time and attention.

  6. Steve Cypert Says:

    Scapemaker, by Steve Cypert

    559 views as of May 27, 2013

    Published November 19 2012

    I simply made the video using Window’s Live Movie Maker using photographs I shot over the years as a photographer. I wrote all the text. I licensed the music through POND5.com for under $10. Entire project cost me about 2-3 hours of my time and the cost of the music.

    I don’t know if it has sold books. But it has received more attention. There have been over 160 comments and has only been out about 1 month as of today (May 27, 2013)

    I have posted this video to my blog (thefictioneer.blogspot.com), YouTube, Goodreads, and Facebook. Many other readers/bloggers/fans have posted the video to their social media.

    Advice: If you don’t have money don’t spend any. Pond5.com is a great site to get live action, music, images and anything else you will need to provide the meat of your trailer. Use the talents you have and believe in them to fill the gaps. Just do it!

  7. Russell Cruse Says:

    You can’t stop T when she sees a camera. She’d probably have paid you!

  8. Elizabeth Bailey Says:

    http://animoto.com/play/DKqj4u702XAzta4jVplDcA
    I don’t know how to put this on so it plays, but the link is above.
    Published May 16th
    I have no idea how many views or whether it has helped sales as yet.

    It’s a free site on Animoto where you can create your own 30 sec video using their really easy peasy programme. I’ve made another one since.

  9. gmvaseyG Michael Vasey Says:

    Made it myself, as you can tell, using music my son composed and recorded to promote my novel The Last Observer coming out end of August 2013. I am debating having something professional made but I’m not at all sure book trailers sell books…..I think even this amateur effort has informed a few folk of the books existence tho…

  10. Mark Roman Says:

    Hi Jason,
    Here are the details of my trailer.
    1. Viewed 374 times, published 15 May 2012.
    2. Original was made by my publisher. It consisted of the voiceover, backing music and stock video clips. I felt the clips detracted from the voiceover – and vice versa. With the help of a friend, I added the cartoon sections, in the hope of bringing out what the voiceover guy was saying. I used gimp for making the images and Microsoft Movie Maker to string it all together.
    3. I don’t know what my publisher spent. Possibly around $100? My cost was zero.
    4. Don’t know if it was worth it. I suspect, possibly not. It’s difficult to convey the ‘flavour’ of a book in a short movie. And if it looks unprofessional, it’s probably a turn-off. Maybe that’s been my trailer’s problem!
    5. I’d advise to get professional help, unless you have relevant experience already.
    Cheers,
    Mark Roman.

  11. Diane Griffith Says:

    I would like to add the video trailer of my book. ‘CHASING DREAMS IN LEFKAS.’

  12. Diane Griffith Says:

    The video trailer of Chasing Dreams In Lefkas was made by the publshers in 2008 at a cost of around $250.
    I don’t know if it has helped t sell my book, but I hope it has.
    I have two mre video trailers made by the same publishers for my other 3 books.
    I would lke to add them onto this website. I am not sure what to do! I just posted the link to my first book, but don’t know if I should have done that. I would be glad of some advice.

  13. Valerie Tate Says:

    My trailer for CATNIP was created by Barb Lloyd of AuthorsAnon. There was no charge. I don’t know if it has promoted sales but I like it very much. Here is the link.

    My only advice to other authors would be to keep the trailer short. I have seen them as long as 5 minutes and it is hard to keep interest at that length.

  14. Jacoba Dorothy Says:

    Hi Jason,
    My husband likes to mess around with video software and made both my book trailer videos.
    Thanks for recommending your blog to post them.
    Cheers.
    Jacoba

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      Thank you, Jacoba. I believe you can’t put more than one YouTube link in a comment and have it turn into video that shows up so I’ll post your 2nd link here.

  15. Jason Matthews Says:

    Diane, I’m trying to explain how this works. The YouTube URL needs to be put in the comment section of the box, not where the author name of the comment goes. For example, the video you are trying to share is here:

    • Diane Griffith Says:

      IT MATTERED YESTERDAY
      For ‘girls’ of all ages!
      Remember 60’s-80’s when life was simple, and girls were naïve?
      Set in and around Liverpool. Stella is blessed with beauty, men want to possess her body and soul, but do they want her little boy?
      From heartache to happiness and passion. . .
      If you have a will to go on, you can overcome the very darkest hour.
      This book is based on my life story, it is about real people, real locations, and true situations. It didn’t come from thin air, it came from my heart.
      http://bit.ly/YYpXRJ
      AMAZON, KINDLE, B&N
      http://animoto.com/play/UJhuG1EeuhrFXwbkOLqshw?utm_content=main
      (I made this video trailer myself at no cost. Since I put my book on Kindle it has started to sell.)

      Proceeds from all my books help Animal Rescue in Cyprus. See my FB page

      • Jason Matthews Says:

        Diane, the YouTube link goes in the comments. Have you seen my responses above?

        • Diane Griffith Says:

          Thanks for reply. I have tried to post the video links to my books in this place with a short description. Now I see that the link to ‘It Mattered Yesterday’ has to be ‘clicked on’ to be seen with the description of the book.
          However, the video trailer of my other book, ‘A Moment to Remember, To Forgive Divine’ is showing above the description of ‘It Mattered Yesterday’
          How can I put a short description, and title with the video trailer? It looks as if it is this video is about ‘It Mattered Yesterday’ :-(

        • Jason Matthews Says:

          Diane, the instructions are to post the YouTube video URL in the comments box. Not the video at some other website because they don’t work. I have corrected the comments so all 4 of your videos now show. Thank you for sharing them.

  16. Keith Dixon Says:

    Hi Jason
    Here’s my book trailer for The Hard Swim, the third in my series of Sam Dyke Investigations.
    I made it myself using Adobe Premiere Elements and my own photography, so it was free! I got the music from an online free music resource – probably via Google, I can’t remember now.
    YouTube tells me it’s only been viewed 29 times so I think it’s highly unlikely it’s added any sales to my total, but how can you really tell?
    My advice to anyone making one is to try not to tell the whole story of the book, but to tease. Use a storyboard of some kind, just to help you give it some structure. If I had more money I would have used professionals, but even then I’m not sure how useful they are for gaining sales, so think very carefully before spending lots of money on a full studio production.

  17. Geoff Bain Says:

    Video was made for free by a great Graphics Designer, Kris Harmon of http://www.reflectionstudiosonline.com . The video has sold books – it’s had over 1,000 views. Advice is to keep it short (under 2 minutes) and compelling.

  18. Tristan Newton Says:

    Hi Jason,

    An interesting concept. Hopefully I haven’t missed the boat and you will be able to feature my trailer which I made myself.

    Thanks

    Tristan

  19. Elizabeth Bailey Says:

    I’m putting up another video. Very different from my first, which advertises my mainstream novel. I made it again with Animoto, and feel it does the job of introducing the book well – does what it says on the tin, as we say!

    I don’t know yet what it will do for sales, as I have not tested the market. But I think it may catch interest once I start putting it about:

    http://animoto.com/play/ok208OWFBjj20ok2IubOfw

    Thanks, Jason, for the opportunity to show it.

    Liz

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      Elizabeth, this is another great video. It’s a shame yours aren’t currently on YouTube. If they were they would be visible on this blog plus more people could enjoy them. Can you upload them to YouTube?

  20. valeriebelievinginhorses Says:

    -Here is the book trailer for my young adult novel, “Believing In Horses.”
    I learned how to use Windows Live Movie Maker, researched how to make book trailers on the web, watched many, and used my husband’s photographs. -Probably the most interesting part of the story is the music. I wanted to use Gaelic Storm’s music because I love it and thought it would fit. I asked them, and they agreed, for a small donation to a local therapeutic riding facility. For any interested, here is link to more of the music story:
    http://believinginhorses.com/blog/2011/02/12/the-story-behind-the-music/
    -I had 883 views on another channel, and then uploaded it to this channel, with 112 views. BUT, I show it when I do school visits, during which it is most effective for getting attention and quickly summarizing the book. I also have used it in the background for book signings, and again, it garners attention.
    -My budget – my time, plus the $150 donation. Do I think it was worth it? Absolutely! It’s posted on my website and I’ve blogged about it. Having the video on those sites increases Search Engine Optimization. I’ve had others share it on Facebook, it’s on my Amazon Author Page, Goodreads Author Page, and many other places. And although I don’t have hard data, yes, I believe it has sold books.
    -Advice to others? Keep it short. Mine it too long. Use video clips if you can (I didn’t). Use music that catches people’s attention. If you have a budget which allows a professionally-made trailer, go for it. If not, do your best with what you have. Thanks for the invite, Jason.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2S71RWQwyM

  21. valeriebelievinginhorses Says:

    I “believe” this link will share better – sorry.

  22. Linda Kovic-Skow Says:

    My book trailer for French Illusions was included in a “Pump Up Your Book” promotional tour. Alberto Rivers at Book Teasers Pub produced it in December, 2012. He worked closely with me for days, helping me choose the appropriate photos and accolades. Finding the right music was more difficult. I searched the internet for weeks, listening to French music, trying to choose a song. When I heard “Imposture” by Danielle Pauly, from the album Café de Paris, I knew I had found the perfect choice.

    Two hundred sixty eight people have viewed my book trailer, I’ve received 45 “likes” and numerous positive comments.
    I would advise authors to hire a professional to help produce your trailer. Keep it short, include reviews and take the time to choose compelling music.

  23. Samantha Fury Says:

    1. Link to Maid for Martin A California Love Trilogy Contemporary Romance

    2. I made this myself using images from Bigstock – deposit photos, and a few free sites. I used Wondershare software it cost about $90 two years ago. It took me about four days on and off to get it just the way I wanted it.

    3. I’ve long paid for my software so I consider this a free one, other than the time it took. The music cost me .99 cents and I have a subscription to bigstock and Deposit photo at this time and I love it I get 5 images a day from each site. I also make book covers so this is a huge help having such great images to chose from.

    4. I have two book trailers and I think they do help to sale books. It makes people want to read it, so it has to equal sales at some point.

    5. If you can afford the best, have a pro make you a book trailer, try to stay under 3 minutes, and watch the video several times and ask others to help pinpoint mistakes.

  24. astralcolt Says:

    1. Link to the YouTube book video trailer–just copy and paste the YouTube URL in your comment and it will post below

    2. Brief description of how it was made (who made it and what programs)
    I made this trailer using GarageBand and iMovie. Most of the footage is stock footage downloaded from VideoBlocks.com. I took the shots of the girl myself at a nearby university. I created the music in GarageBand, using various synths, and my roommate (who’s an opera singer) sang the vocals.

    3. Cost range: free – under $100 – under $300 – under $500 – more than that

    Free – my budget was exactly $0.

    4. Do you believe it has sold books? Was it worth it?

    I think it helped persuade people who were on the fence to pull the trigger and click “buy.” Since it cost me no money to make (just a lot of time), I thought it was worth it. It’s also just nice to have – a quick way to show people what you’re selling.

    5. Advice for authors making one

    The music is key. It sets the whole mood of the book. Even if all you have is stock footage, text, and production music, the right production music will really *make* the trailer. Music is very evocative, and people react strongly to it. So if nothing else, invest in the music!

  25. banistersmind Says:

    2. I made this trailer myself using Windows Movie Maker for Windows 7. Video footage was purchased from CanStock. Cover art imagery was photographed by Lisa Marie Mazzucco featuring American violinist Anne Akiko-Meyers.

    3. Cost all up was around $60.

    4. I don’t think it has assisted in sales of the book.

    5. Trailers should be no longer than about a minute to a minute thirty. Music is a really important feature of trailers as it helps connect viewers to your story.

  26. Debbie Edwards Says:

    Made using Windows Movie Maker by myself. Free music and photos from stock sites except for angel photo which was purchased from 123RF and used on front cover of book.
    Cost was just £35 for the angel photo plus lots of time searching for the right images and music.
    It’s only been out two days so haven’t seen any impact on sales.
    Tip: Keep it short and snappy. Choose music that suits your theme. Spend lots of time searching for pictures and music – it’s important!

  27. Elizabeth Krall Says:


    This is the first of my two book trailers, for my first novel ‘Ship to Shore’. I made it myself, in Flash. I had just done a course in Flash animation for my job, and this was a great way to practise what I had learned. I created the images (not the background photos) in Illustrator and animated the whole thing in Flash. It took me a while to get the goodbye wave correct with the Bone tool — initially, his arm whirled 360degrees behind his back, more ‘Exorcist’ than contemporary romance!
    Cost: $0, many, many hours of time. Do I believe it sold books? No. Was it worth it? Not to sell books, but it was good software training.
    Tips: Flash probably isn’t the recommended software for budding trailer-makers.

  28. Elizabeth Krall Says:


    This is the second of my two book trailers, for my second novel ‘Too Close’. It is very different in style and technique to the first one. I wasn’t going to bother with a trailer for this one, but another video of mine (completely unrelated to my writing) was getting quite a few views, and I noticed that ‘Ship to Shore’ video views increased after I posted it, presumably as a result. So, hope springing eternal, I quickly knocked up this one, using simple pan and zoom techniques and cross-fades, all of the cover image, in Windows Live Movie Maker. It took me far longer to edit the music than to animate the images, and I’m still not happy with the transition from one piece of music to the other.
    Cost: $0, a couple hours of time. Do I believe it sold books? Probably not. Was it worth it? Probably not.
    Tips: Keep it simple and short — it’ll keep the viewer’s attention, and you’ll get less frustrated while making it.

  29. Jason Matthews Says:

    The blog post will come out in about a week, so it’s not too late for a few more nominees.

  30. Marcus MacGregor Says:


    Hi Jason! Here is the 60-second trailer for my YA adventure novel, Wade Boss: Hybrid Hunter. I made it myself for under $100. The real cost was the time involved, and the years I spent learning the tricks of indie filmmaking (I got my first silent Super 8 camera when I was 13). Most of the shots are composites. All the elements that I shot myself were captured with a Panasonic AG-HPX255 that I borrowed from a friend. I lucked out and got some dirt-cheap stock footage, as well. The compositing was a one-two punch of Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. I composed the music myself with GarageBand, plus my brother played a few licks on the guitar, gratis. We are just now starting to get the word out, so we have yet to see what the trailer will do for us. Advice for authors wanting to make one? Make peace with the “Golden Triangle”: GOOD, FAST, CHEAP – you can only have TWO! Since most indie authors are working on a tight budget (CHEAP), if you want it to be GOOD (and you do), it will not happen FAST. For me, it was a bloody 12 rounds, but well worth it!

  31. Mita Jain Says:

    Hi Jason,
    I’m not sure if you are still accepting new book-trailers. Still, here is book trailer for ‘Dead Man’s Alibi’.
    The cost involved was $0. The main effort went in searching, selecting and editing pictures. I wanted the video to be symbolical and yet cryptic enough so that a reader can appreciate it more after reading the book.
    Once the editing was done, I used MS movie maker.

    I do think it has helped in raising people’s curiosity towards the book and helped in sales.
    My advice would be to make the video’s ‘tone’ match the tone of the book. It would help target the right audience.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      Hi Mita. Not too late at all. Just posted it. I like the style you used, similar to mine. Thank you for sharing :)

      • Mita Jain Says:

        Hi Jason,
        Saw your video too. It’s great and yes, as you said similar in style.
        As a viewer, I would like a little more hint of storyline to get enticed into picking up the book. But, that could just be my opinion.

        What’s your take on book trailers? Did this trailer helped you in sales?

        • Jason Matthews Says:

          I appreciate your opinion–thank you. My take on videos is that they can help but most often they probably don’t, especially the ones that aren’t made at least partially well. In my case, I only know of one reader for certain who told me she bought the book based on the trailer, so perhaps more will come in time.

  32. Oscars for Indie Author Book Video Trailers | How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks Says:

    […] a previous blog post, indie authors of all genres sent examples of book trailer videos for us to enjoy and learn from […]

  33. Dion Cheese Says:

    This video for my book Who Am I? The Chronicles of Cain, http://youtu.be/nWjCrdlX-rE …was made by Xlibris as part of a self publishing package. The video alone would have cost approximately six-hundred dollars to make. To answer the question as to whether book trailers help to increase sales, the answer is a resounding yes. But my advice is to use other resources such as Fiverr.com where there is an abundance of talent at unbelievable prices. Thus far I have made two other trailers where I have always received great responses. Most people will think that you have spent considerably more than you will actually ever pay.

  34. J.K. James Says:

    Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James – Book Trailer

    Cost $0
    I actually made a step by step “how-to” about my video that shows you where I got the software, how to use the software and how to make your own book trailer at: http://authorjkjames.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-make-book-trailer-for-free.html

  35. James Raven Says:

    This is the book trailer for my new thriller MALICIOUS. It cost me about $200 to produce with the help of a friend who did the final edit and pictures downloaded from a photo stock site. The music was free.

  36. Bruce Steinberg Says:

    This is less of a book trailer than it was a class assignment. Batavia, Illinois High School Junior Ethan Mole chose an excerpt from The Widow’s Son for is literature class. He memorized thee and a half pages, then performed it solo. Filmed and, later, music and promotional type information was added. The music was written and performed by my ten-year-old son. Is it as slick as the other productions? No. Is it short enough to be considered standard? No. But isn’t it cool to be selected as part of a literature class? Oh yes! And slick may be effective, but the words themselves determine whether a novel is good. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4VUuTSh9VM

  37. Adin Dalton Says:

    I would like to submit my book trailer to you for my novel Pyotr Ilyich: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jurDTlHXNNA
    I created it myself using WMM program, but even so it ended up costing me around $850. It has been up and running for about two months and I do not believe it has helped sell any books, but who knows. It was fun to make though, very challenging, and even though it was not worth the money, I feel my book deserves to have a trailer.

  38. Sharon French (@FitinfunSharon) Says:

    1. Link to the YouTube book video trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKXKEs5VsDc

    2. I made this myself with my Canon A2200 point and shoot.

    3. This was free for me to create.

    4. I do not think I have sold books with this trailer yet as it has not been widely viewed. I am very happy with it and and very glad I did it. This was my first trailer and I have done several more for my other eBooks.

    5. Advice for authors making one – just go for it. Don’t worry about being perfect. You can do it if I can and the first one is the one you improve from.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity. Sharon at fitinfun


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,493 other followers

%d bloggers like this: