Book Trailers Serve No Purpose (Really?)

The cost to create a book trailer varies from $400 – $3000+.

Can a debut author justify this expense?

I’ve gone back and forth on the whole creating a book trailer thing. On the one hand, it’s a cool visual in an otherwise non-visual format. When we read books, we create the visuals, right? It’s one of the reasons why I don’t like it when authors show me what their characters look like, either on the cover, or in a book trailer. I want to formulate the images in my head without the author’s interference.  And this is why you haven’t seen Dezeray Jackson’s face — yet.

On the other hand, we live in an increasingly visual and techy world. I know this especially well because my husband, among many other things, is building a robot. Lots of people enjoy the movie-esk nature of a book trailer. I get it. This is why I keep experimenting with the concept.

But I don’t want to pay several thousand dollars to have someone create one for me. Nope. Can’t do it. Have you ever tried to measure the ROI (return on investment) on a book trailer? In my opinion, every marketing dollar spent needs to be measurable. I should be able to see its effect on conversions to my website, conversions to my book selling pages, and eventually to actual sales dollars. I’m not convinced that book trailers can have this direct impact.

If I could include clickable links that could be tracked, then spending a little money would make cents (see what I did there?), but so far I haven’t figured out a way to do this.

During the past two days, I’ve been experimenting with a new tool called Tawe (affiliate link.) Rather than explain the whole awesome thing, I’ll just show you what I did.


This was my first attempt and it took 31 seconds to create it. At first, I downloaded the free app so I could test it out. You use a single image (in this case from my phone’s gallery) to create a video. It was so simple that I wanted to publish what I made, but that’s a paid feature. I was HOOKED! I was already considering purchasing Videoscribe, so now I can use both amazing tools!

I made this second video yesterday. I encountered a glitch using YouTube’s video editor. When I’d add music, I’d lose the voiceover. So, I decided to roll with it and create notes and music with the video instead. If you can’t see the notes, go to my YouTube channel. For some reason the notes keep disappearing when I share the video. (I’m going to research why today.)

I also need to figure out how to make the music fade out.

The point is that for $29/month, I can play with Tawe and Videoscribe (affiliate link), create book trailers and cool presentations that I can actually use when I have speaking engagements. This is how a book trailer can be tied to ROI.  If it’s used to market to a specific audience in a specific way (email list that includes contacts for speaking engagements, for instance) then spending $29 can be justified because you’re able to tie it back to a specific person requesting your services.

For those authors spending $$$$ on book trailers, how are you measuring your ROI? How are you using the trailer as a marketing tool that grows your bottom line?

Tell me what you think in the comments.



About AuthorKDM

Author, essayist, storyteller, and creator of memorable adventures, Kori D. Miller offers this tidbit about her writing career: This writing thing has taken the front seat after years of backseat driving. I’m taking chances with my writing that I never took in my twenties or thirties. And, I fully believe Auntie Mame was right. Life is a banquet and I don’t plan on starving to death.

Leave a comment