Can Video Book Trailers Sell Books

Some authors dabble in videos like book trailers because they hope a video book trailer will sell books.

(Giveaway: Journal, Memo Pad, Pen. See details at end of post.)

Can Video Sell Books?

Not usually.

So if you want to do book trailers because you think it will increase book sales, think again. The time spent creating the video would probably be better used to write more.

Similarly, the money you spend to pay someone to make a trailer for you might better be spent in targeted advertising.

What A Video Can Do

A video book trailer or just an entertaining video can increase name recognition--especially if the video gets wide attention.

Of course, you know the resulting name recognition zooms to the stratosphere if the video goes viral.

Although none of my videos have gone viral, I have had a positive response to several of my videos.

Why Do It?

Two reasons: name recognition as mentioned above and fun. I love putting pictures, music, and text together in the perfect package to represent my vision of a book or an idea. I just wish I had more time to produce videos.

I've done video book trailers for my own books, for box sets in which I've participated, and videos just to entertain writers and readers.

The book trailers I do for box sets in which I've been included have been left on my YouTube channel even though the box set has been pulled from sale.

I do this because each individual book is still available for sale. I hope viewers will be interested enough in the authors' respective books to look a book up on Amazon or other ebook sellers.

How Many Actually Watch Author Videos?

In case you wonder how many viewers actually watch book trailers, here are the stats on my most viewed videos along with a little background information. (On another day, I'll do another post about those that didn't get lots of views and why.)

I've put these in order of release date with the newest listed first. If you click on the title of the video, you'll be taken to the YouTube video itself.

Célébrer l'amour avec des romans de Joan Reeves (1126 views)

I created this French language video to promote the French editions of my books because my French publisher was including one or more in a special Valentine promotion.

This was challenging to create because I've lost most of my French language skills. I used Google translate and asked friends who are French literate to view it first. It passed cursory examination so I went with it. I ran a Google Ad for a few days before and during the sale event, targeting French-speaking viewers.

Heat Lightning (607 views)

My romantic suspense novella Heat Lightning was part of the bestselling romance collection, Summer Fire, published in a limited release last summer.

When I published the novella under my own publishing account, I released a video to draw attention to it.

Heat Lightning has a lot of mystery and tension as well as some high drama so I really liked the music I chose for the video.

Love Blooms on Main Street (1,499 views)

This romance collection was published in the spring of 2015. This book trailer was challenging because there were so many authors in the set. To be successful, a video should be short. This one comes in at 1 minute 53 seconds.

That's the really hard part about creating a trailer for a box set. You need to represent each author and title, but that makes the trailer longer than desired.

I ran a 5-day video ad for the trailer and gained quite a few viewers. Although the box set is no longer available, each author's book is available so a viewer can find the book on a favorite ebook seller's site and buy it.

Cinderella Blue (1,312 views)

This video was created to draw attention to a new release.

I ran a week-long video ad prior to the release of Cinderella Blue. I'll probably run another ad at the end of the summer to jump into the fall book season.

I had fun matching the music to the content and the tone of the romantic comedy and created some image/text graphics to put the story premise across.

LuvU4Ever (1,533 views)

During the Christmas holidays a couple of years ago, I had an idea for a short story. I wrote it and published it while I had a house full of company.

After New Year's I created a video to draw attention to it. The video continues to be very popular.

Since the story is set during the Christmas holidays, I'll probably run a video ad for it this year just before I publish the second short story in the Moment in Time series.

Hit the Beach: Sand, Surf, & Romance by Joan Reeves (4,247 views)

This video promotes 4 of my romantic comedy novels and pitches them as great summer beach reads. In the past, I've run a video ad for a couple of days when summer starts. The viewing results are always great. I think that's because it's just a fun video to watch.

April Fool Bride (1,243 views)

Originally, April Fool Bride was part of Weddings on Main Street, a box set collection from a few years ago.

When I published the novella from my own account, I used this video to draw attention to it.

I plan to publish another novella in the All Brides Are Beautiful series.

I'll run an ad using the April Fool Bride video, and about a week later, I'll upload a video for the new novella then a week after that release the new book.

Fight Club? No! WRITE CLUB by Joan Reeves (4,452 views)

Making this video was so much fun.

I'm a fan of the movie Fight Club so I adapted Fight Club Rules to WRITE CLUB RULES.

I added some great techno music to it, and came up with a real winner as you can tell from the number of views.

I've run only 2 ads a couple of years apart for this video. I should run another ad I guess. The video attracts viewers--mostly authors--because it's fun.

Old Enough To Know Better (1,219 views)

I'll conclude with the first video I made. I'd never made a video before I tackled a trailer for Old Enough To Know Better.

I read a lot of YouTube posts and watched tutorials. The first cut of it was over 3 minutes. That was my first lesson in saying only the essence of what needs to be said about a book.

The finished cut is still too long at 1 minute 59 seconds--okay let's say 2 minutes. If I were creating that video trailer today, I know I could bring it in at less than 60 seconds.

That's the great thing about making a book trailer. You learn the skill of succinctly putting your story across in a very shot time.

Giveaway Prizes

I'm giving away a Cinderella Blue journal and a Memo Pad and Pen. Here's what you have to do to be entered to win:
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel
  • View any of the videos mentioned above
  • Return to this post, leave comment with your email addy
Giveaway Details
  • Prize awarded by random draw to a commentator on this post who subscribed to my YouTube Channel and left email address in comment on this post.
  • Prize mentioned is for winner in continental U.S. If winner is outside continental U.S., prize will be audio book or ebook--winner's choice.
  • Giveaway closes August 5 at midnight.
  • Winner chosen and contacted on or before August 9.

Takeaway Truth

So there you have it--2 solid reasons to create and upload videos: name recognition and fun. I just wish I had more free time to create more videos.


  1. I'm probably doing some audio work in the near future...we'll see. Like you, I think they're fun and who knows, maybe some will be interested in hearing me talk...I've had one or two tell me, once they hear me speak, everything of mine they read, is always read in my voice afterward :) So, maybe my name will "stick" :) I hope you're right, Joan! :) Great post! Lo

    1. Glad you liked the post. Let me know if you get an audition file up. I'd love to hear it. Good luck with your possible new venture.