The Fine Art of Book Trailers

The Fine Art of Book Trailers –

While the major motion picture studios mastered the art of movie trailers long ago, many authors and publishers are still bumbling their way through early attempts at duplicating the movie trailer’s success.

Essential Ingredients     

In order to determine what goes into a good book trailer, it’s essential to identify its purpose.  First and foremost (lest we forget in our eagerness to entertain), a book trailer is a promotional piece—an ad for a book, pure and simple.

Effective Promotion

When it comes to promotion, what’s effective is an elusive creature, subject to the vagaries of the carefully guarded and often poorly understood “secrets” of marketing.  Small wonder then, that book trailers are all over the map in terms of effectiveness.

Learning the Ropes

I’ve recently embarked on producing/writing a book trailer for my first mystery book, Dark Side of Sunset Pointe.  And while I have more than 30 years hard-won experience in sales and marketing, it’s a whole new ballgame for me when it comes to the publishing industry.  As an interested observer in this phenomena of the book trailer, it’s fairly obvious that the same basic rules apply.

Does it:

  1. Capture attention?
  2. Create interest?
  3. Deliver the message?

As an artist, it’s all too easy to abandon the basics of marketing in favor of “Art.”  Yet, no matter the gorgeous aesthetics, without delivering the message it’s a narcissistic masturbatory exercise at best.  And we all know how those turn out.  Still, creating interest is the Holy Grail, and the bar is set nearly out of sight for most of us mere mortals.  The key question becomes, does it entertain the target audience?

 In the Hunt

Take a look at these trailers and let me know your thoughts:

Did the trailers above, pass the acid test?  Did they get your attention, capture your interest, let you know a book is available for purchase, and where or how you can purchase it?

A Work In Progress

As for my book trailer, I’m taking it step by step, collaborating with a team of crack music video professionals.

Here’s a few stills from scenes in progress:

The Shooter

The Shooter


The Murder

The Murder

The Psychic

The Psychic






The Banker

The Banker

The Stripper

The Stripper








The Money

The Money

Interested in seeing more?

Here is the link: Dark Side of Sunset Pointe – Book Trailer

I’d appreciate seeing your book trailer recommendations.

(In case you missed it, earlier—my mystery book on

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Michael Allan Scott and a clickable link back to this page.

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