How to Create a Book Trailer with Free or Inexpensive Tools

Posted On May 26, 2012 By Amy Harrop With 8 Comments

Learning how to create a book trailer to promote your book with free or inexpensive tools is easier than one might think. Any author, who has taken the time to write and publish a book, desires to see it read by their intended audience. One way to increase the number of people reading your book is to create a quality book trailer. All you really need is a computer, high speed internet access and a few photos of your cover.

Higher Conversions

It is best to keep a book trailer between thirty and sixty seconds long. For this reason it is important to choose a phrase for every 3-5 seconds of the trailer. Typically, you have ten seconds to hook the viewer, the next ten to engage them and the last ten to persuade them to buy your book or seek more information. Make these phrases count. Make them poignant. They should convey the heart and soul of the message or story from your book.

Another essential element of a successful book trailer is the selection of music. The music should express the primary feeling or emotion of the book, but make sure it also keeps the attention of those watching and listening. If you or someone you know has a great speaking voice, consider adding a voice over to the trailer. This can easily be done if you have a built-in or external microphone. Finally, you will want to gather some additional photos that help present your book to its intended audience. There are a number of sites that offer royalty free use of photos. Just type in “royalty free photos” on Google for a list of sites. This also applies to locating royalty free music.

Trailer Production Tips

Mac and PC users alike, once armed with music, photos and enticing phrases, can begin producing their book trailer. On the PC you will most likely use Movie Maker and on the Mac you will use iMovie. The first step is to produce an intro that will hook the viewer quickly. This can be a combination of pictures, music and commentary. Think of power phrase such as, “Now Available” “Coming to a Kindle Near You” “Hot New Release of 2012,” and feel free to get some ideas by watching Hollywood movie trailers.

For the middle portion of your trailer, feature two or three highlights that will make the viewer long for more. Think of your trailer like your book. Make each transition a page turner. This is especially essential for the last part of your trailer. Leave the viewer wanting to know more. Think cliff hanger. Be sure and leave information at the end of how they can easily find your book, your website and any social media sites you wish to promote.

If all this is overwhelming, there is another solution to create your book trailer. is an online movie making website. It is very easy to use. They provide music and pictures, or you can upload your own. They have a free thirty-second version or you can pay a very small one-time fee to create a longer movie. Once created you can upload your movie to YouTube, Facebook or download it to your computer.




  • Hey, Amy:

    This is great advice, however, it would be very helpful to see an actual sample of one of the trailers. Would you happen to have one you could share? Or provide a URL where we could see one?

    Thanks for all the assistance you provide.


  • Hi Mike,
    Thanks for your comment! I am actually in the process of putting together a case study which will include book trailers…I will share the urls when available, should be in the next week or so. For now, I would just got to Youtube, type in book trailer and you should see some different types come up.

    • Did you ever put together those case studies? I’d love to look them over. I have a friend who was curious about just how much impact a book trailer can create.

      • Thanks for your interest! This was actually incorporated into Kindle Full Disclosure…which was a ‘behind the scenes’ product released a few months ago. Hoping to do more training about book trailers soon though.

  • Excellent post, Amy, and very timely for me. My book launch is June 26th, and I’m getting ready to create my trailer. I appreciate all the info you share. It’s very helpful. Thanks!

  • Thank you Amy,
    Very good tips for the beginner that I am :)

  • I am learning so much from your blogs and emails!

    Thanks for sharing….it is appreciated!

  • […] for royalty free music and use this site for some good tips on how to create a free trailer with moviemaker which is already in […]

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