The traditional route for seeing your book in print – submission to a literary agent who will then try to get a publishing house interested in your work – is no longer the only way to get published. eBooks are taking over and authors can see their finished work published in hours thanks to platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The only drawback to self-publishing is the amount of time an author has to invest in marketing their work.

One of the most recent innovations for book marketing is to create a book trailer video. You know the type of thing because you’ve seen them at the cinema. Before the film that you’ve actually gone to see comes on, you have to sit through about half an hour of trailers for films, teasers that make you go ‘Oh, that looks good, I’ll have to see that.’ A book trailer works in exactly the same way.

Here are five reasons why a book trailer video is a good promotional tool for the self-published author.

  1. You don’t need to spend any money. You can make your own book trailer using software downloaded from the internet. An excellent program is Windows Movie Maker, entirely free to download from the Microsoft website.
  2. You don’t need to hire actors or cameras. Photos and wording can get your message across just as well as moving pictures. You can use your own photos, or you can buy them from a company such as iStockphoto or Getty Images photo library. Just ensure you have the correct rights to use them for distribution.
  3. Your book trailer video can be uploaded to YouTube thereby increasing your book’s exposure. It can also be linked or embedded into your own website, possibly improving your website’s Google ranking.
  4. Someone who sees your video can easily share the link with a friend or add a link to their blog, spreading your message even further.
  5. Whether we like it or not, we live in a visual world, and images can have a far greater impact than just words.

Providing you have a bit of creative flair – and let’s face it, you’re a writer, so you must have – you should be able to create a decent book trailer video that interests and entices your potential readers into buying your book. Very little technical knowledge is required and a video can be ready to go in only a few hours.

A book trailer video is a fairly simple tool that can have a big impact.

Laura Dowers is a professional freelance proofreader, copywriter and secretary for LD Secretarial Services –

She has created her own book trailer video and offers this and other book services for authors who wish to self-publish.