As an example, thanks to Dungeon Keeper Radio, my novel Crier's Knife now has its very own book trailer!
If you have a book on the market, but you don't have a trailer for it yet, let me list some of the reasons why you should.
#1: Something Different
Everyone has a buy link for their book, or a link to a free preview of the first few chapters... but how many of them have a book trailer? Whether you go full-out with video production, or you stick to audio like I did, the point is that by changing up the formula you can catch people off-guard. So folks who might ignore a buy link, or just a picture of the cover, might click-through to see what a trailer is all about.
Once they've done that, you've got 'em.
#2: It's Good For Your Algorithm
As we all know, where your book turns up in search results is directly dependent on a search algorithm. However, while there are hundreds of factors that go into these digital number crunchers, one of those factors is how many sites link to your book. If your book trailer does absolutely nothing else, it can boost your signal and get you better results as long as you have it available online somewhere, and you make sure that buy link is front-and-center.
Of course, it helps if people are watching your trailer.
#3: People Pay Attention To Video
As technology has increased, more businesses than ever before are making use of video content. The reason is that, psychologically, people respond more to video than to any other form of communication. While images might capture someone's attention for a moment, video grabs them in a way that is much harder to ignore. By making video content, you're grabbing viewers hard, and giving them a pitch that will stay with them a lot longer than all but the catchiest of tag lines.
#4: More People Can Watch Them Than Ever Before
Accessibility is the name of the game, and the bigger your potential reach, the better your chances of finding new readers become. Given that huge swaths of the population have mobile devices where they will watch videos all day, it's quite likely that a trailer will capture their attention in ways that other, static ads never would. And as we all know, all it takes is getting someone to open that door for them to start eyeing your entire body of work... even if that trailer was only for your latest book.
#5: It's One More Thing For You To Talk About
The law of diminishing returns is never clearer than when it comes to you trying to drum up interest in your latest release. The first time you post about it, you'll get a small ocean of likes, shares, and most of your initial purchases. But the second time you post, you'll only get a fraction of that initial response. The third time you post, you're pretty much just down to your diehard fans.
However, whenever there is something new about your book (you were reviewed by someone in an online magazine, your were interviewed on a TV or radio show, etc.), that puts fresh life into your posts. You get more attention when you share fresh news than when you remind folks of something that's already happened, and a book trailer is just one more example of a fresh spin that can get a lot of eyes focused on your work.
Best of All, Getting a Trailer Isn't That Hard
Whether you have a YouTube or Vimeo channel already, or your trailer is being crafted by someone else, they tend to be relatively low-cost additions to your marketing plan. Especially if you have some basic editing skills, and you know where you can find royalty-free sound effects. Best of all, a trailer has the potential to earn you back what you spend on it several times over if it catches on and gets some real power behind it.
There are no guarantees when it comes to selling books, but as far as risky investments go, a book trailer is a pretty safe bet.
That's all for this Business of Writing post! Hopefully it helps some folks out there, and you enjoyed giving my book trailer a listen. For more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and be sure to follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. If you'd like to support me, then you can leave me a one-time tip by Buying Me A Ko-Fi, or you can become a regular patron at The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page. And, of course, if you'd like to get your hands on Crier's Knife, or any of my other books, just head over to My Amazon Author Page!