How to Make Your Own Book Trailer Video for $77 or Less – Part 1

By on March 7th, 2013

Marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn explains why authors need a video book trailer on YouTube, and shows 10 steps to make one that can get on page 1 of Google. 

These days, it’s pretty much a given that every author needs a video book trailer on YouTube. What’s funny, though, is that just about every client who comes to me for a book launch—even those with major publishers—have no book trailer.

Back in 2008 I made my first book trailer for my book The Garden of the Soul. It wasn’t really a proper trailer, but a “video poem” with me reciting one of my poems from the book against music and images. Being very respectful of copyright issues, I got the music with permission from some former music tech students of mine, and I got the images from a photographer friend I had met on a Ning network I had set up. Here’s how it looked when it was finished:

Video Poem – Song of the Rose

The video was nice (and got nice responses from viewers) but it’s technically pretty basic. Still, it was impressive enough for my clients to start asking me to help them make their own book trailers. Since then, I’ve made quite a few of them, and I’ve fine-tuned the process down to a system now, which makes it easier for me to make them.

Given the popularity and strategic importance of videos today, I thought you might find it useful if I wrote an article series that could serve as a tutorial on how to make your own book trailer. The series will have 6 parts (or maybe 7…I’m still working on it!), spread of the next few weeks.

What We will Cover

In this article series, we’ll be looking at:

  • The many reasons WHY you need a video trailer
  • A step-by-step tutorial of the 10 steps for putting one together
  • Marketing strategies to make your video trailer work for you

Some of the information I’ll be covering will be a bit technical to some of you, while others will “get it” very quickly. I’ll try to explain technical things as simply and as clearly I can, and will include screen shots as we go along.

As you read through this series, I invite you to look at the videos I have in my book trailer playlist on YouTube. Hopefully these will give you ideas for your own videos. For the purpose of providing an example we can examine in detail, I’m going to focus on how I made my most recent trailer for my book Tweep-e-licious:

Tweep-e-licious Video Trailer

My strengths and limitations

Before we begin, I feel it’s important to tell you that I’m NOT a videographer. I don’t know how to use any of the slick video editing software on the market like Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro, Camtasia Suite or whatever else is popular these days. I use dirt-cheap resources for my videos.

In a way, that’s a good thing because I’m assuming the majority of you reading this are also not videographers, and you probably don’t have any fancy video editing software either. I’m also assuming you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on equipment OR on hiring a professional to do this for you…which is why I’m aiming to keep your budget down to $77 or less.

What I DO have is a background in audio production. I’ve been working with multimedia technologies in one form or another for almost 30 years, both in the music industry and the educational world. I also know a thing or two about how SEO works with YouTube videos.

This tutorial will NOT teach you how to make a slick, glossy video production, but it WILL help you create a nice, attractive, fit-for-purpose book trailer that could show up on page 1 of Google searches for your selected keywords.

PART 1: Why You NEED a Video Book Trailer

I’m a big believer in the power of video for two reasons:


Multimedia platforms (images plus sound plus voice) have long been known to capture people’s attention and communicate ideas better than single-media methods, such as the written word or audio alone. When I did my Masters in Adult Education and eLearning, we learned that creating rich, multimedia content is one of the fundamental elements in effective online leaning materials. Marketers know this too, which is why television and video are such powerful marketing media tools. Multimedia definitely is the most effective communication medium, and the Internet is the easiest and most accessible medium through which to broadcast.


It’s WAY easier to get your YouTube video than your website onto the first page of Google. This is because YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and has a page rank of 9 (out of 10). It is the 3rd most popular site on the Internet, outranked only by Google and Facebook. This means YouTube will ALWAYS appear ahead of other sites returning searches on the same keywords. If people do a search and see your video on page 1 of Google, they are likely to click on the link to view it on YouTube.

Of course, for this to happen, you need to have the right title, description and keywords so Google brings your video up in the search. And once people are on your YouTube page, they need to WATCH your video. And finally, once they watch your video, they need to go to your blog or website. For that final piece to happen, you need to have a well-made, engaging video that answers the answers people were asking when they did their Google search in the first place.

Mastering this process is not an exact science or a guaranteed method, but if your content is of good quality and relevant to your audience and you promote your video effectively, your video could be a great traffic generator for your site.

PART 2: The 10 Steps for Making Your Own Book Trailer Video

Below are the 10 steps you’ll need to take to make prepare, create and publish your video book trailer:

  1. Write video script
  2. Record voiceover
  3. Locate Music
  4. Edit voiceover, mix down and export audio
  5. Search for images
  6. Construct video
  7. Export video
  8. Upload to YouTube
  9. Write SEO friendly YouTube info
  10. Embed on your website

In the next article, we’ll look at steps 1 and 2. I’ll be showing you a script template I use with my clients to construct a video script, and give you tips on how to “perform” and record your voiceover. Even if you’ve never used audio editing software before, my tips will help you make a fine recording that is video-worthy.

Please subscribe to this blog to receive the rest of the tutorial as it comes out.

Please leave a comment below to let me know whether or not this article series will be useful to you.

And of course, if you’d rather have someone do your book trailer video for you, just drop me a line via the contact form on this site.

~ Lynn Serafinn

7 March 2013 

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul


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  1. Mike Wise says:

    Spot on. Thanks for this. About how long would you say before an effectively optimized video shows up on page one of the corresponding goggle keyword search? Understanding that depends on competition and other factors, but curious on your comment.

    Ps. Your page is difficult to use ona Droid.

  2. Hi Mike. Thanks for the comment, and I totally agree. Yeah, the theme on this site isn’t at all mobile friendly. As I don’t blog here much anymore (I use instead), I haven’t spent the time/money to update it. Something on the “to do list” after the summer holiday.

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