Part Two: How to Show and Tell to Sell Your Books (Hint — Create a Dynamite Book Trailer)

by Karen Jonson

How One Author Sold Me on His Book With a Powerful Book Trailer and Reading

In my Indie Book Marketing Workshop, I provide two lessons on creating videos to help sell your books. I believe that many authors overlook the power of video in their book marketing journey.

Kevin Fedarko's publicity photo by Kurt Marcus.

Kevin Fedarko’s publicity photo by Kurt Marcus.

Kevin Fedarko is not one of those authors. In my opinion, he has created one of the most powerful book trailers I’ve ever seen. It’s an inspiration to all authors.

I heard Kevin speak at the annual Texas Book Festival in October. I look forward to this event every year because for two days I can immerse myself in books and the authors who wrote them.

The event runs from 10:00 to 5:00 on a Saturday and 11:00 to 5:00 on Sunday. I couldn’t find a session I was interested starting the day on Saturday. The first one that sort of interested me was an 11:15 session called “A Wild Ride.”

I didn’t have great hopes — and I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear one of the most compelling sessions I’ve ever attended.

In fact, by the time the author showed us his three-and-a-half minute book trailer and read the first few pages of his book, I was sold. I wanted to read his book immediately. What’s more, I came away hoping it would be made into a movie.

Part Two of my series on “How to Show and Tell to Sell More Books” discusses the power of a great book trailers. You can read Part One on giving a powerful book reading here.

The Power of Video to Sell More Books

In my Indie Book Marketing Workshop lesson on book trailers, I share the following insight with authors:

Videos are all the rage in marketing — and, with millions of views daily, they’re power is climbing every year. Reports say that 80% of internet users are watching videos. Of those internet users, 46 percent said that after watching videos about a product, they would be more likely to click through for more information than without a video.

According to a recent survey from Social Media Examiner, 76 percent of respondents cited YouTube and video marketing as their top marketing expenditure in 2012. Only one percent said they plan to spend less on video marketing in 2013. This makes video the sixth most popular content marketing tactic (behind social media, case studies, and blogs).

All this means is that, as an author, if you don’t have any videos promoting your book, you are missing a huge marketing opportunity. This fact alone is reason enough for authors to create videos to help spread the word about their books. And the first video they should create is a book trailer, which is a video advertisement for the book, much like a movie trailer. The goal of a book trailer is to capture someone’s attention in under two minutes — so that they’re interested in purchasing your book.

Interestingly, at almost four minutes, Kevin’s video is well over the traditional two minutes. But you know what they say: Rules are made to be broken. In this case, they can be broken when your video is so riveting people (like me) wish it was an entire movie.

Watch the book trailer here. What do you think?

QA With the Author — My Burning Question

When the MC asked for questions, I was the first to raise my hand.

“I loved your book trailer and book reading. And I can’t wait to read your book.

“I have two questions: Who created your book trailer? And when is the movie based on your book coming out?”

Everyone laughed and the author looked truly humble.

“Thank you,” Kevin said.

“The video was created by a national Geographic photographer who I’ve known for years.

“As for a movie based on my book, if there is a movie producer in the audience please call my book publicist.” The audience chuckled.

I hope there was and I hope they do! The Emerald Mile will make a great movie.

Until then, I’m thoroughly enjoying his book.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg November 10, 2013 at 12:10 am

I’ll say one thing…well a few things. Between you and the book trailer, I want to read that book and see that movie too! And your point about the book trailer is well taken. Thanks for taking us on this ride!


Karen Jonson November 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Linda,

You are welcome! I love this: “Thanks for taking us on this ride!” — how appropriate.



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