Book Trailers (tm) & Author Web Sites discussion

Book Trailer™ Information > Book Trailers (tm) - An Introduction

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message 1: by Dee, Group Creator (last edited Nov 29, 2008 01:58PM) (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
What is a book preview video? Similar to a movie trailer, "book preview videos" promote a glimpse into a book through a movie-like preview, teasing the viewer into reading the book. While movie trailers are a long-standing tradition, and a staple to our movie viewing pleasure (or annoyance), book preview videos are a rather new phenomenon to the world of book promotion.

The actual term "book trailer"(tm) is the brain child of the innovative group Circle of Seven Productions. And is a trade marked term.

Still in its infancy, book preview videos appeal to the Internet generation...a generation that is often more in-tune to gathering information and entertainment online, rather than sitting back and enjoying a good read. Not just a fad, preview videos are slowly catching on, especially as a way to bring attention to non-mainstream titles and up-and-coming authors.

The book preview videos are generally a sixty-second spot, although there is a popular trend to create mini MTV style movies of varying lengths. The majority of book preview videos focus on the book's cover art, with taglines and book snippets placed over (or inserted in between) static images depicting the book's characters and plotline. Most book preview videos also include background music, and some even insert voiceovers.

Still others are major productions with sound (original music, dialog and SFX), breathtaking cinematography, as well as live action or animated characters. A few even have the quality of a movie trailer production.

However, authors, or small publishing houses, with strapped budgets, limited movie-making experience, and restricted software access create the majority of book preview videos. The good news, for new authors, is that promoting a book through the creation of a book preview videos takes more imagination than cash flow.

Internet royalty-free images, music, and sound files are abundant. Free movie making software comes pre-installed on newer computers: Window's Movie Maker, or Apple's iMovie. Free hosting for your book trailer is available through You Tube, or right here on GR.

So, that's book preview videos 101...please share your experience with viewing and/or creating book preview videos with the group. We can learn by sharing knowledge.

Dee Marie

message 2: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 30 comments Dee,

Are you a member of Circle Of Seven Productions Inc? If not, you should be aware that the term "book trailer" is a trade mark of COS Productions and you incur some liability if you use the term.

Not a lot of people know this. As more people decide to make promo videos for other people (for profit) they need to be aware of the legalities. Scrap Fairy Designs offers "Book Peeks" for instance.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

message 3: by Dee, Group Creator (last edited Dec 16, 2008 04:58AM) (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Rowena,

Thank you for the TM info. My Bad, as I was unaware that "book trailers"(tm) was a trade mark term. As we are not actually creating "book trailers" (tm), nor are we making money from the creation of book preview videos, within our group, we would not incur liability under the law, if members occasionally slip and use the term instead of the proper "Book Preview Video."

I have however, gone through (and will go through), the groups various threads to change the information titles whenever possible to "book preview videos," and I encourage all of our members to insert (tm) after the word "book trailer"(tm) or instead use the preferred "book preview video," or "Book Video".

There is no question, that "Circle of Seven Productions" is an outstanding producer of their trademark products. However, the actual "act" of creating a "book preview video" is not restricted to just their company. Any author has the right to produce a "book preview video," as long as they do not tag it as a "book trailer" in the advertising of their final product.

Thank you again for keeping up well informed.

Dee Marie

message 4: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 30 comments Dee,

Well done. It's both smart and professionally courteous to be aware, and to observe the niceties.

I understood every point you make, and my intention was simply to comment pre-emptively to assist my colleagues.

Rowena Cherry

message 5: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Rowena,

As a long time journalist, I fully respect and understand being cognizant of copyrights as well as trademarks. Thank you again for bringing the information to our group. It helps everyone to be aware.

Perhaps we can persuade one of the members of the "Circle of Seven" team to become a member of our group. I am sure their input would be both informative and helpful in educating others as to their thought process in creating a trademark, as well giving helpful hints to those wishing to use their services.

Dee Marie

message 6: by Gary (last edited Jan 21, 2009 12:29AM) (new)

Gary Tenuta (code9) | 21 comments If you've written a book then you know the importance and the difficulty of reaching the masses of potential readers. One excellent way to do that is to have a book trailer video! As an author myself, I know how true this is.

My name is Gary Val Tenuta. In addition to being a writer I'm also a graphics illustrator with more than 15 years in the graphics business. So I created a book trailer video for my novel, The Ezekiel Code,

I posted it on YouTube, MySpace and elsewhere on the net and it has generated thousands of hits to my book's official website in just a short time! It continues to generate hits day after day and will continue to do so as long as the video remains posted! And that could be forever! And it's FREE! Unlike paying a fortune for a one-time static ad in a magazine or a newspaper, the book trailer video just keeps on going...and going...

Now I'm creating book trailer videos for other authors! Would you like to be one of them? I'm charging less than many other book trailer producers! For details and samples of my work please visit

Still wondering if it's a good idea?
Let's see what the experts are saying:

In an article from CBC News (July, 2006), Steve Osgood (of HarperCollins Publishing) said about book trailer videos:

Osgoode reports that consumer interest in them “has far, far exceeded what we expected.” Moreover, the viral marketing online is paying dividends, he says; retailers have increased orders for recent HarperCollins titles..."

In a New York Times article (August 3, 2006) about book trailer videos Kimberly Small, a senior publicist at Workman Publishing said:

"Put something out there that really entertains, and you know people are going to respond,’’ she said. “And if they are entertained, they just might buy the book.”

Steve Bennett, of, shines more light on the subject:

"Movie trailers pull us in with drama, comedy, even fear, and get us longing to go to the theatre. Film producers have long understood the promotional value of "previews" or "trailers" to entice the public to a particular movie. As a promotional medium the trailer has always proved a winning formula and a crossover to the literary world has been inevitable due to the recent changes in the Internet."

If you don't have a video trailer for your book, you are missing out on the hottest, most cost effective book marketing tool yet!

Again, if you're interested in having a book trailer video produced for your book, please visit for details and sample videos.

Thank you! And here's wishing you tremendous success with your book!

message 7: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandynathan) | 6 comments Hi, everyone! I'm new to the group. I have two books out and am anxiously awaiting videos for them. My daughter does web video stuff and author videos. Unfortunately, mom tends to be put at the end of the line, production-wise. But I know they'll be great, whenever I get them.

Gary, I will take a peek at your site and videos.

I'm trying to be on a web vacation myself over the holidays, but here's a gift for everyone. This is a slide show of a Native American Spiritual Retreat that my daughter put together for them. these are all stills. Music is provided by my other daughter. HOLSTON CONFERENCE GATHERING SLIDE SHOW

This show is promoting a retreat, not a book, so it's longer. It has some amazing pow wow shots, and shots of the retreat's spiritual leader, Bill Miller.

Happy new year, all!

Sandy Nathan


message 8: by Gary (new)

Gary Tenuta (code9) | 21 comments Hey Sandy -

Amazing pow wow shots, indeed! The traditional native garb is stunning. I bet there was some incredible bead work on some of those outfits. Very nice guitar work from Lilly, too. Thanks for sharing the slide show.

Best new years wishes. :-)

THE EZEKIEL CODE official website.

message 9: by Dee, Group Creator (last edited Dec 31, 2008 04:43AM) (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Sandy,

Welcome to the group :] I added Numenon to our shelves, I love the subject matter.

Thanks for sharing the slide show. I lived with my aunt on the White Swan Indian Reservation, off and on in my youth. The slide show brought back many wonedrful memories :]

Dee Marie

message 10: by Ed (new)

Ed | 12 comments Good to see you on this Group sandy-

I thoroughly enjoyed the slide show your daughter produced. Pow Wows were outlawed in Canada for generations, but are now making come back as Natives re-create their culture.

The Blanket dance fascinated me. It took hours of research to put together the scene of one in my book. This slide show it the first time I have ever seen it done by real people. I tend to think I got it right.

Thank your daughter for sharing it with us.

message 11: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandynathan) | 6 comments Hi, everyone! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm glad you liked the slide show. The Gathering Retreat just knocked me flat. I've gone back every year since 2003, except for the last two, when I've been on the injured reserve list. Now back in action and plan on attending in 2009 again.

I wanted to give everyone my little ebook, Tecolote Finds a Friend. I did it as a prize for an Amazon Bestseller day I had a few weeks ago; I'm just giving it away now, for fun. It tells the story of a little premature horse born on our ranch a few years back. He had to fight for survival from his first breath. It's a tear jerker and true, a photo essay. I'll have to figure a way to post it. Well, later, I'll have my daughter show me how.

Anyway, yes, Native Americans have had to struggle to practice their religions and customs. Seeing them in the Gathering is amazing. The Gathering is sponsored by the Native American Ministries of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. It's also a stretch for many Christian Indians to be able acknowledge their heritages. Hence, the Gathering.

I wanted to add a "heads up" to those who said they put Numenon on their shelves.

My book Numenon is a spiritual thriller about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native shaman. Someone called it, "Bill Gates meets Don Juan." It has a very strong spiritual and Native American threads. It would be R rated, if it were a movie. Numenon doesn't contain anything worse than you'd see in any popular TV program, like "24" or most movies, but I like to make sure people know.

If you're interested in finding out more about the Gathering Retreat, my book Stepping Off the Edgehas several chapters which occur in the retreat. It features an interview by Bill Miller, who is an amazing person and musician,of Mohican/German descent, and spiritual leader of the Gathering. Several of the book's illustrations are of Bill and the people of the Gathering. Stepping is G rated, has been used as a fundraiser for the Gathering, and has six national awards in a bunch of categories.

Just want to make sure no one's surprised.

I've already got many of your books on my shelves. Gary, I've got your Ezekiel Code with a stack of books next to my computer for reading ASAP.

All the best,
Sandy Nathan
Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice

message 12: by Gary (new)

Gary Tenuta (code9) | 21 comments "Bill Gates meets Don Juan." Well, that hooks me right off that bat! What a great line. I definitely have to add Numenon to my buy list. By the way, the cover of Numenon is GREAT! Who did the cover art for you?

message 13: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandynathan) | 6 comments I'm glad you're hooked! Thanks for the add.

The cover is a group effort. I'm very visual and got the image of what I wanted in my own dear brain. I wanted a compelling icon. The cover image is supposed to be the Numenon Corporation logo. I tried to reproduce my inner image, doing a bunch of drawings, and finally discovered that what I wanted already existed on a Shiva Nataraj (the dancing Shiva) I had in my entrance hall.

My daughter, Zoe of the Gathering slide show fame, photographed the nataraj and then photo shopped it, making the face larger, the ring of flames smaller, etc., resulting in the image. She also did an early cover used on the advance reading copy.

Patricia Bacall of Bacall Creative in LA did the final design work, coming up with that distinctive N and all the rest.

Quite an adventure. Thanks for the complement.
Numenon by Sandy Nathan

message 14: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Judith,

It is an honor to have you among our group's members.
I just took a cyber stroll through your web site. I was very impressed with your work!

Love the video for "A Poodle in Paris." Very innovative :]

We all look forward to your input on the making of a great book video. What the consumer is looking for. What sells!

Thank you so much for joining our group :]
Dee Marie

message 15: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 30 comments Hello, Judith,


I have three videos (for Mating Net, Insufficient Mating Material, and Knight's Fork) and at some point I need to do one for the first book in the series.

Do you enter your videos in the NewCoveyTrailerAwards polls?

I'd always looking for more places to show my trailers and promo my futuristic romances! By the way, are you on LinkedIn? That's a great place to make professional connections, too.

I think Sheila English is on GoodReads... if you wish to invite her to join this group.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry
Knight's Fork

message 16: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Hello, Everyone. I'm new to the group and look forward to exploring the posts in more detail. So much has changed in book promotion since my first novel came out in 2002. The publisher of my most recent novel is also head of Persona Principle and author of Blogertize (about using blogs to promote and market). See

Kunati Books designer Kam Wai Yu creates wonderful trailers for all the titles, some award-winning. You all might want to take a look at the variety of trailers at

Best wishes to all in building your audience!

message 17: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hey Rowena,

Shame on me for not inviting Sheilia earlier...I have been so busy writing my next book, that time has gotten away from me :]

Thanks again for the reminder...and LinkedIn, is an outstanding way to keep in touch with other writers, editors, publishers, etc. :]

message 18: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Rosemary,

Welcome to the group. I will be sure to add your novel to our bookshelves :)

message 19: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandynathan) | 6 comments Hi, everyone! What a wealth of information we have here! I need to check out Judith's videos and those on

Rosemary––are the videos scattered throughout the Kunati site, or is there a particular place to look? And, wow. The site is amazing. I'm going to study that.

I've started new blog, It's dedicated to longevity and sanity for writers. I've got post 3 up of a series on my Amazon Bestseller Day last December. What worked? What didn't? Would I do it again.

If you get on the site, I'd scroll back to the first day if you want Amazon from the Beginning.

Thanks for the incisive and intelligent comment on the site, Rowena. There's more to come.


message 20: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Sandy,

Your blog was tons of fun! Thanks so much for sharing :]

message 21: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Santangelo (groovygoddess) | 4 comments Please check out my book trailers on
my channel is called groovygoddess1966.

I am learning how to edit video a fun new hobby.

Melissa Stone

message 22: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Great job of filming Melissa :)

message 23: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandynathan) | 6 comments Hi, everyone. It's been a while since I've been on line. I've been occupied with the business of writing. I just got a manuscript off to the editor for a second pass, and so on.

I discovered They do amazing computer generated videos. You supply images and text, and select music. Their computer generates the video. They're smart, sharp, and stunning. Cost? $0 for under 30 seconds, $30 a year for longer than that. You can make an infinite number of videos. Here are two, which are for for my books. You can see the the variety possible:

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money A thriller.

Stepping Off the Edge A spiritual companion.

More news, I'm going to be on FULL POWER LIVING, an on-line radio program 2/1/2/09 at 9 AM PST. That's tomorrow morning. The show is archived if you miss it, but it is live, so you can call in with questions. I'll be discussing Creative Process with Ilene Dillon, MSW. Ilene has been a psychotherapist for 36+ years, is an author, consultant, and all round wise woman. Here's the link for the show: That takes you to the show.

I'll check out all the new resources people have noted above.

message 24: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Sandy,

Very interesting promotional concept :)

message 25: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (wwwgoodreadscompatriciajsmith) | 11 comments Sandy,
Loved your video,it was amazing. I wish you great success on your book. Thank you for sharing the link anywhere we can place a book video is a wonderful thing.
Have a wonderful day
Patricia Smith

message 26: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandynathan) | 6 comments Thanks for the good wishes, Patricia & Dee,

The amazing thing about is that every time you send your images and text through, you get a different result. You have to save the ones you like.

Oh, I was on the radio yesterday. Great fun. Here's a link to the archived program:


message 27: by Aretha (new)

Aretha Renia (aretharenia) | 7 comments Thanks for the info. I have been wanting to do one of these but was not sure how. I made a slide show to present at my book signing, but that is nothing like what you described here. I got my work cut out for me.


Aretha Renia

message 28: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Aretha,

I am in the process of getting getting a video started for Sons of Avalon Merlin's Prophecy...we are waiting for the snow to melt as many scenes will be shot outside...

*looks around to find Paul*

Be sure to check out some of the other threads in this section, and view trailers on YouTube to get an idea of what you like and don't like :]

message 29: by Paul (new)

Paul I'm here - OK, 4 days later, but I'm here. Actually working on the script now :)

message 30: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Oh that is OK Paul, I am very excited to see what you come up with, I know it will be wonderful :]

message 31: by Paul (new)

Paul I expect so he said modestly

Actually I've written about seven pages of script for the preview video. The trick now, since 1 page of script should equal 1 minute of film time, is to pare it down to 2 pages.

First time I've done one of these, so I've included all the images and potential video clips I can think of. I'll now go through it again, tossing out those that are too long, too expensive, or ideally both the above and not crucial.

I'll email it to you when it's done, and we can go through it together.

Then it's just a question of assembling the thing from the resources we have - which will include still images, voice overs, sound effects, short video clips, perhaps some Flash animation, and, of course, a static page at the end that includes links so people can actually buy the book. ;)

message 32: by Paul (new)

Paul Then we stick it on My Space, Facebook, Bebo, Blogspot, U-Tube, your website, my website, any other website we can dragoon into place. :)

Then optimise the sites for search engine traffic using Google webmaster tools and site indexing, and away we go!!!

message 33: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Woo, Woo! Just too much fun!

message 34: by Brett (new)

Brett | 4 comments check out the trailer my friend made for my new book.
Watch it at

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Has anyone personally found that trailers directly create sales, or merely viewing hits?

message 36: by Brett (new)

Brett | 4 comments it is hard to know the answer to your question Alice. But I think getting your book in peoples' minds helps regardless of leading to a direct sale.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for your insights, Brett. And I guess "you have to be in it to win it" also makes sense.

message 38: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Brett, I liked the visuals :]

message 39: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hey Alice,

If your trailer is unique and well made, I really do believe that it brings in sales. Just look at Todd Fonseca trailer. He has tons of viewing hits and his book, The Time Cavern, has really taking off.

message 40: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Hendrix (sheilahendrix) I need to know what blogging is and how you're supposed to do it. What kinds of things are you supposed to blog about? I'm wanting to get started doing that.

message 41: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hey Sheila,

Blogging is a great way to promote your book if you have the time to post to your blog on a daily or weekly basis.

The more often you post, the more "followers" you will garner...and the more readers you will gain.

Blogging is like writing a public diary. If you are a writer, it is a great way to keep your readers informed of your book and other upcoming projects.

Many of our members also blog. They can give you a better insight as to how they use blogging to promote their novels.

message 42: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Hendrix (sheilahendrix) Thanks Dee. I'd like to talk to some of them.

message 43: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Rigler (laurie_viera_rigler) Hi, Dee -

This is a new book trailer for my upcoming novel
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

We had a lot of fun creating it.

message 44: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Hi Laurie,

How ironic, one of my best friends (who happens to own a bookstore) just recommended your book to me. She loved it :]

Great video, thanks so much for sharing :]

message 45: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Rigler (laurie_viera_rigler) Dee wrote: "Hi Laurie,

How ironic, one of my best friends (who happens to own a bookstore) just recommended your book to me. She loved it :]

Great video, thanks so much for sharing :]"

Hi, Dee.

It really is a small world! So happy to hear that. And very happy you enjoyed the video!

message 46: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
How exciting to be a "book of a month" ...

Well Done! Well done indeed :]

message 47: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (sherylmarasi) | 11 comments Hey everyone. Thanks for being so helpful thus far! I have a trailer question for you. I've done two for my book, and am pretty sure I'm only aloud to promote one (right?). Well, my book is a chapter book aimed at 6-10 year olds. One trailer is "kidded up", a little slower (yet happy) music. The other is very peppy, not "kidded up", but very cool! Should I gear the video more towards the kids or the parents?

message 48: by Susan (new)

Susan Price (susanbarrettprice) Great info on book trailers here. Thanks, all! I decided to dive in. Someone reminded me that "Half of all advertising is a waste -- but you don't know which half."

message 49: by Stuart, Mod-Squad (new)

Stuart (mccallum) | 45 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Great info on book trailers here. Thanks, all! I decided to dive in. Someone reminded me that "Half of all advertising is a waste -- but you don't know which half."" So true! Advertising is a very grey area indeed. In business, and as an author -especially - the hard work, promotion et cetera is generally not immediate it (may) pay-off when you least expect it!

To sum it up, may be 25 per cent in each of luck! (fingers crossed)

message 50: by Dee, Group Creator (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 673 comments Mod
Why (or where) are you allowed to only have one trailer?

Not having a roof over my house is making me waaaaaaaay confused :]

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