How To Use Book Trailers Effectively. Interview With Darcy Pattison

Book trailers and online video marketing are really effective these days as there is a huge audience on YouTube and other sites consuming video. But how do you use video effectively? In today’s podcast, we explore book trailers in more detail.

Darcy Pattison is an award winning children’s book author and writing teacher. She teaches the Novel Revision Retreat across the US and has just released ‘The Book Trailer Manual‘ which teaches authors how to create and market their books with book trailers.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • Why book trailers are so talked about right now. Online video is a huge growth market with millions of views daily. 80% of internet users are watching videos so you have a huge audience you can reach through video.
  • Why do people stop watching book trailers? They have boring concepts, bad music and static images.
  • The YouTube aesthetic is ‘informal’ so you don’t need movie quality
  • Things that make a good trailer: Concrete details about your book, Make it Sticky and memorable, Unusual and a bit different, and humor is very important. (If you’re not very funny, you can be useful!)
  • Book of Spam toastvertising as an example
  • Your video is a multi-media elevator pitch, it’s not a description. You need to pull the reader in.
  • Example of book trailers: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter
  • Another example we talked about: Book Launch 2.0
  • You can use book trailers as part of a video series, including a talking head style video as well as a book trailer sales tools. You can keep people’s attention over a long period of time if you post more videos.
  • Having your own channel on YouTube is very important as it is considered more authentic, and can also help you promote as you can link to your blog and build a readership there. Remember to use the description box to include live links to your site – you must use http:// so that people can click through
  • Technical ways to create a video. There are free services like Moviemaker or ScreenFlow and also for animations. Darcy talks about SonyVegas HD software and her camera Kodak Zi8, similar to the Flipcam. You can get images from and also creative commons from You can get video from lots of different sites including For music, make sure it is upbeat and appropriate for your book and also the audience. Remember to be aware of copyright. You need to use royalty free music and images.
  • Ideas for distributing your video. YouTube is just one of the many sites you can load video to, although arguably it is the most important. You need to research where you can load your videos as many sites are audience specific. Remember to take your video everywhere so you can play it e.g. before a talk or at a school. Video is definitely relevant for all age groups now. Almost everyone online is watching videos.
  • Do book trailers work? It’s a case of using them to augment your marketing across many platforms. People will find your books in many different ways. They also love to make a personal connection. (This is the video I mentioned about the Shroud of Turin)

You can get The Book Trailer Manual here.

You can find Darcy’s other information at her site here.

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  1. Kyle MacRae says

    Hi Joanna

    Thoughtful post. I wonder what you’d consider a fair price for a professionally made book trailer? And whether there has to be (or at least should be) a direct return on investment measured in terms of views-become-sales. And who pays – author or publisher?

    It’s a fascinating area. We’re doing some market research here – – if you have a moment


    • says

      Thanks Kyle – I don’t think there has to be a direct return on investment for any marketing. It is all brand building and attention seeking in some way, which over time builds sales. I’m not sure what a fair price is, but I am currently looking into outsourcing for some of my videos – not specifically trailers. has a lot of options, as do Odesk and Guru.

      • Kyle MacRae says

        I agree about no need for a direct, or at least immediate, roi with marketing of this sort. But I fear that many publishers disagree! While they’re delighted to see authors doing their own promo work, they’re less keen to invest in it. For an author, paying (say) $500 or $1000 for a book trailer is a hefty investment – and risky or even pointless if there’s no direct roi in terms of additional sales. My hunch is that (well-made, punchy, catchy, brilliant) book trailers can and will sell more books directly IF used properly as part of a marketing strategy

  2. says

    Oh, this is beautiful! I need this kind of information so so so much! I am technically challenged! I really appreciate it when people share info like this, it’s terrific!
    Thanks again,

  3. Janice says

    I just had a book trailer for my upcoming book made, and she did a fantastic job and the price could not be better. Her name is Jasveena on I am just learning how to upload to YouTube, so I haven’t gotten how to send you the link, but if you go to my Channel on YouTube, Janice Walker (there are three so choose the one with the logo) and look for the video with “Movie Trailer” in the title. I only have 7 or 8 videos so it won’t be hard to find. She was absolutely fabulous and it was very inexpensive compared to what it would be elsewhere in the market place, and it was well worth the investment. She is one of the best kept secrets, and I am saying this for no other reason than I would like someone to share this information with me if I were looking for an inexpensive, excellent quality movie trailer.


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