The truth is: you’re a writer. That’s who you are and what you should be spending your time on. However, in the current publishing landscape we find ourselves in nowadays, authors are expected to not only write our novel but also build a fanbase of readers then market and sell our novel to them. We’re expected to manage multiple social media networks, constantly write blogs, make author videos for youtube, write book reviews for other authors to cross promote, and network with other people in the industry.
As you know, writing and editing book is a full-time job in itself. Yet, the burden of marketing the work is also placed firmly on our shoulders. That’s why book trailers have gotten such a bad reputation over the years. Would you expect a construction worker who operates excavators to be able to do open heart surgery? Or a surgeon to be able to operate heavy machinery? Of course not. They are both highly skilled, specialized jobs that take training and expertise. There might be the odd exception of the person that can do both, but as a rule, people are good at different things.
The terrible rep book trailers have gotten over the years is well-deserved. Because authors have been forced to make promotional videos for their books themselves, the result is a ton of 10-minute-long slideshow videos with aliased text all with the ken-burns effect, random photos downloaded off the internet in varying resolutions and aspect ratios, all with sloooooow fades.
I’m not going to shame anyone. It’s not their fault. This is literally what the current state of affairs is for authors, and they are just making the best of their situation: surgeons operating bulldozers trying not to knock down their own houses.
But those authors have become frustrated and say “book trailers don’t work!” when the truth is… bad book trailers don’t work. Consumers have shorter attention spans now more than ever. People want video content – in fact, the human race is watching more video now than ever. But boring videos get no views. People even avoid 5 second intros now by dragging their mouse to skip ahead. You need to jump into the content and get there fast. It needs to look amazing and be right on point. You have precious seconds to get that person to decide to buy your book. It’s very easy to mess that up.
“… authors have become frustrated and say ‘book trailers don’t work!’ when the truth is… bad book trailers don’t work.”
So, what if you decide to hire a professional to help you? The first consideration is likely budget.
I’m not saying that book trailers need to be pricey, though they can be. You can get a professional one for as little as $75 or as much as $50,000. But before we look at companies that make professional book trailers, let’s see what it would take for you to compete with them head to head:
Here’s a break down a typical video editing suite :
You will need video editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, or Final Cut Pro X and Apple Motion. Then you will need a laptop or computer with a graphics card and enough memory and hard-drive space to operate these programs. Then you have to learn how to actually use the program. From there, if you want any plug-ins, that’s also going to cost you. Now factor in camera equipment (if you are shooting your own video) or stock footage (which you will need to buy) and music. You might get away with some free music (that’s also royalty free – YouTube’s audio library is a great place to get it)… but if they don’t have what you’re looking for, you will have to license music as well. The total cost would be in the thousands.
It’s not impossible, but is it worth your time and money when you could have a professional do it for you in less time with more skill and (likely) less investment? That’s a question you have to answer for yourself. But I can give you a list of some of the leading professionals in the industry to help you make that decision.
Regarding this list of 10 professional book trailer production houses: this is not an endorsement and these companies are not listed in any particular order. Click on their name to visit the book trailer production company website and decide for yourself if they are right for you!
10 Book Trailer Production Companies
- Film 14
- Circle of Seven
- Brilliant Book Trailers
- JKS Communications
- Corr Commercials
- Red Cloud
- Book Trailer Ninjas
- The Book Khalessi
On each website is examples of their work and their contact information. Sometimes pricing is explicitly stated, but most often you need to contact them directly for a quote.
If you have experiences with any of these book trailer production companies, please leave a comment below and share your thoughts!