How Publishers Are Using Book Trailers to Sell Books

Publishers are increasingly using “book trailers” to raise awareness for their books. We are certainly using them here at Thomas Nelson. For some projects, they are very, very effective.

Yesterday, we held our Quarterly Team Meeting at Thomas Nelson. This is a meeting with all our Nashville-based employees. In the meeting, we report on our most recent quarterly performance, recognize our top performing divisions, preview a few of our “coming attractions,” and then hear from one of our authors. (Yesterday, we heard live from Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect.)

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In the “Coming Attractions” section, we always introduce a few of the books we are about to publish. Several years ago, we started doing this via video. Initially, it was simply the author talking to our team. But over time, these videos have become more and more sophisticated. Today, they rival movie trailers.

In the old days (three years ago), these videos didn’t provide much utility beyond our quarterly meetings. However, today we use these videos to raise awareness for titles well beyond the company’s walls. They often become the launching pad for the marketing campaign.

Depending on the author’s platform and our assessment of how social-media-friendly the topic is, we produce these videos months before we publish the book. I believe they provide five benefits. They provide a means to:

  • Sell our internal team on the project.
  • Create intrigue and initial buzz.
  • Provide a tool for fans to use in spreading the word. They can post links on Twitter and Facebook or even embed them in their own blogs.
  • Generate ancillary content and promotion on eRetailer sites.
  • Introduce prospective readers to the book in a way that can’t be done traditionally.

These videos have become so popular that we have created our own YouTube Channel.

In addition to the Majestie trailer by David Teems that I embedded at the beginning of my post, here are a few of my recent favorites:

Slave by John MacArthur:

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead:

Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas:

Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker:

Plan B by Pete Wilson:

Question: Have you ever watched book trailers? What are some of your favorites?
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