How to Design a Book
by Suzannah Safi
Do you enjoy listening to music? Do you watch a movie trailer
before you decide whether you want to see the movie? Do you lose yourself reading a good
If so, you are not alone! A good many people watch an online preview
before they make the decision to buy a book or view a movie. That's why a well-crafted book trailer is
one of the best ways to reach more readers.
Apart from having watched a good many book trailers myself, I
have been in business for 5 years providing graphic design services to many authors and at least 4 publishing
houses. Passion for creating graphic designs is what keeps me going through a competitive field - and I have
a really good sense of what works.
Why do you need a book trailer?
In today’s internet/digital world and gadgets, a book trailer
provides authors with a pathway to entice and entertain their readers. People are visual and a book
trailer is your chance to bring the book to life and engage readers with sound, pictures, motion clips,
words, and music.
The characters, scenes, and plot of the story are all brought
together in one package to entertain and grab the reader while they learn what the book is all
The book trailer is an effective tool, and increasingly,
authors are beginning to understand its impact on their promotion strategy and
More and more authors are taking action
with self-promotion, as they realize that publishers can’t and won't do all the work for them. The
key to growing and being recognized is to use all the resources you can to promote yourself and your
Where can you use a book trailer?
or Movie Theatre.
the components of a book tailer that will grab the
Time. (Spend the time to outline
what you really want to show the reader)
Patience. (Creating a book trailer
is important for the promotion. Don’t rush it. Readers will feel how much effort you put into your
Good Tools. (A simple slideshow is
not a trailer; invest in good software that can help you accomplish a dazzling movie for your
An Understanding of the Marketing
Strategy. (Watch other trailers and analyze why you like one over another.)
Passion for Art and Design.
(Designing a book trailer is like writing a manuscript: you plan, outline, research, learn
the craft, edit, proofread, and edit again. You must have enough passion to follow a similar
process with your book trailer.)
A few pointers...
The key to making a good-quality book trailer is to
introduce mystery, suspense, and the promise of a world that readers will enjoy. I can't
emphasise enough how important it is that the book trailer should be well planned. You
haven't got a lot of time to show a reader what your book is all about, so you have to
maximize it. Think: "Less is more". That is the key to standing out from
Duration: It is important to make the trailer from 1
minute to 1:50 minutes so it won’t bore the viewers. You can always add a little more if you feel
the need to do so.
A poorly planned or poorly presented book trailer can
cost you that one chance you had at attracting interest. Take whatever time is necessary
to do a good job.
When creating your trailer, it’s important to keep in
mind that a book trailer is the first step in your marketing strategy. A successful
video is a blend of artistic skills, advanced tools, and marketing talent that
will present the book in a fascinating way.
The text used is crucial to the success of your
video; it shouldn’t be more than one short sentence per frame, so it can be read
comfortably. Experiment, and tweak sentences or words to convey the right amount of
information - that is, just enough to capture the reader’s interest.
The trailer should give a different peek into your
story; it should complement the blurb, not repeat it. A common mistake authors make is
to use exactly the same text - thus giving readers only one look at the book. This
narrows the chances of grabbing readers’ attention.
The way you put your video together is vitally
important if you want it to succeed as a marketing tool. If the video doesn't fascinate
them, it can hurt you rather than help you sell your story.
The use of suitable video effects/pictures is an
essential part in making a book trailer more professional. However, it’s not how
many effects/pictures you use, but what and how you use
them. Remember: quality, not quantity.
I hope these tips give you some insight into how much a
good book trailer can contribute to your marketing campaign, whether you choose to
create the trailer yourself or hire a professional.
Don’t underestimate any channel for promotion -
we authors need all of them!
© Suzannah Safi
Suzannah Safi Book Trailer Design
Suzannah Safi can design a book
trailer to help you promote your work. She also offers exposure and promotion through her YouTube channel
which is picked up by hundreds of websites. In addition, she announces the production to 3000 readers,
authors, producers, editors, and publishers through her Facebook site and Twitter. Suzannah welcomes
questions, so don't hesitate to contact her if you'd like to know more.
Here are some samples of top quality book trailer design
created by Suzannah:
You can check out further examples of book trailers and
book covers that Suzannah has created for many successful and talented authors at BTD (Book Trailer