When movie companies promote a film, they do so with something called a trailer. That's the 2-3 minute advertisement for the film that you see during the "coming attractions" at the theater and on TV. For the past couple of years, publishers have been doing the same thing for books.
You wouldn't think that books lend themselves to video, but a well-produced trailer can boost interest in a book and gain readers that it otherwise might not have had. We have become a very visually-oriented society, and video sells.
So, what can you actually do with a book trailer, you might ask? Here are a few ways you can use that 30 seconds of video for maximum impact in promoting your book:
Your web site: When a reader visits your web site, try to have it set up so your video starts playing automatically when they get to your home page. It's an attention-grabber, and it will let the reader know right away what your latest book is all about.
Social video sites: Susan Boyle became world-famous because of her video that appeared on sites like YouTube, which logged more than 120 million views of her performance on the UK show "Britain's Got Talent." Although Boyle didn't win the talent contest, she became an instant media sensation and still got a record deal. Her CD has sold millions of copies. Of course, her video went viral, which means that people shared the video with their friends and family, and they shared the video with their friends, and so on. If you have an attention-grabbing video, it could be shared and passed around online, getting you the kind of exposure you would never get from a book tour.
Blog tours: A blog tour is a virtual book tour. You don't actually go anywhere. Bloggers review your book, interview you, host Q & A sessions and give your book exposure on their blogs. A blog tour is usually comprised of visits to 10 or more blogs over a period of a couple of weeks. The book trailer could be used on the blogs to promote your upcoming appearance.
Electronic press kits: EPK's, or electronic press kits, are emails which are sent to the media which contain links to your web site, an online bio, a sample chapter of your book, and yes, your book trailer. The press release sent to the media might simply include a link to a static web page which includes all of these things. Think of an EPK as an online newsroom which gives the media all the background info they need to know about you and your book.
Book signings: Chances are, you've got a digital version of your book trailer. Why not bring a laptop and have your book trailer play continuously at your table while you are signing your books? It will certainly be an attention-grabber!
It is easier now than ever before to distribute video content. You're only limited by your imagination!