Jill Nelson

Jill Elizabeth Nelson is the award-winning author of four mystery and suspense books, with more in the pipeline. She writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith, earning her the tagline: Endless Adventure, Timeless Truth. Jill speaks regularly at conferences, writer’s groups, library associations, and civic and church groups. She and her husband live in rural Minnesota where they raised four children and are currently enjoying their first grandchild. Visit her on the Web at http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com for her speaking schedule, excerpts from her novels, and book giveaways.

Get Your Book Trailer Noticed—For Free!

Book Video

Reluctant Runaway

Book Trailers are a hot craze in book promotion today. The idea is to create an audio/visual “teaser” to interest people into buying your book—the same concept that’s behind movie trailers. The good news for the low-budget or no-budget writer is that there are many avenues to post and promote your trailer at no cost.

First, if you don’t have a Book Trailer, and you’re a published author, you might want to look into making one yourself or having one made for you. I made my own Book Trailer using the Windows Movie Maker program that came free with my Windows software. (See Marylu Tyndall’s article in CFOM’s March ’09 issue for detailed instructions.)You can view my trailer here on the left for an example of what can be done with the Movie Maker program.

YouTube is one of a number of places you can post your trailer for viewing. This one is a secular site that hosts a wide gamut of homegrown videos for public delectation. YouTube has Channels where you can categorize your video for maximum visibility to people looking for your kind of material.

Another wonderful Web host for your trailer is GodTube.com. On this site you can be relatively assured that those who post and view share the Christian outlook on life.

Multi-published author Timothy Fish hosts his Book Trailer on Google Video, but he says, “I do not expect to have many people who find it on Google Video first. I really expect that people will learn about it from other links to it, and then they will view it as either an embedded object or on the Google Video site.”

Your choices of where to post will depend largely on what audience your book is geared toward—reaching the lost or enriching the saints, or maybe both. Any social networking site is a good place to post your trailer. These may include ShoutLife.com, MySpace.com, Facebook.com, or LinkedIn.com.

Anywhere you upload your Book Trailer, check to see if there are groups within the site where you can additionally link your video for added coverage. For example, when I signed up for GodTube, I created a group specifically for writers to post their trailers.

Here are the instructions for posting your uploaded trailer to the group I created. After you’ve joined GodTube and uploaded your trailer, go to the Write for Jesus group page. You can find it by doing a search in the Groups category. On the Write for Jesus page, click the option Add Videos. Any videos that you’ve uploaded to GodTube will be shown, and you can click to add your Book Trailer to the group.

Another way to get your Book Trailer noticed is to show it at speaking engagements or book signings. I have taken my laptop computer to book signings and played my trailer for people who stopped by my table. It was also a draw for passers-by to see the trailer playing on the screen.

Susan K. Marlow, author of wholesome adventures for children, says, “I think Book Trailers are going to explode in popularity. I show my Book Trailer during school visits and the kids love them. Two hundred fifty kids at a time can learn about my book in one minute twenty seconds—and in this new generation of visual kids, you can’t explain better than showing a trailer.”

Finally, don’t forget to post your trailer on your own Web site. Wherever you promote your site, you can use the trailer as an added enticement for people to drop by. And don’t forget to exchange links with people to your Web site video page and/or to your hosting or posting sites. Creating and networking links is a key to getting your Book Trailer noticed by an ever-widening audience.