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Written by Janina Müller

A book trailer works like a commercial for a book. It conveys the essence of a book and, by building suspense, entices the reader to want to learn more about and to buy the book. A book trailer helps authors stand out from the large mass of more than 70,000 book publications each year and draw attention to their book.

We are Greenwald Book Trailers, a video production company, and create trailers of all genres for authors and self-publishers.

How exactly is a book trailer created?

First, the author or publisher sends us a summary of the book. Usually, it is also helpful to have a reading sample and, if available, visual material. We then create an initial concept and a voice-over text, which is agreed with the client. Afterwards we commission the speaker and research video footage online. If the trailer is to be shot in its entirety, this research is not necessary. Then we start producing the trailer. Based on harmonious music, we edit the videos and create animations if required. For almost all trailers, we add a 3D book cover animation at the end.

What factors make a good book trailer?

In our opinion, the trailer must make a promise to the viewer that will be fulfilled when the book is read. The viewer feels this promise through an uncertain expectation while watching. This can come from a completely unconscious foreshadowing that only arises from the atmosphere of the video, or it can result from a clear statement that the potential reader wants to know more about.

What can an author achieve with a good book trailer?       

In the first place, of course, attention. It makes the author and his book stand out from the crowd of constant new publications. But a book trailer can also open up new groups of readers who come across the trailer through well-placed video advertising or while browsing on YouTube. A video can be positioned in places where the potential reader might not have noticed the book at all without the trailer.

These formats and features are always included in our work

Book trailer video or animation

For the production of your book trailer, we use high-quality video material, or we create an animated film using original drawings or illustrations from your book.

Enriched with effects, text animations and exciting music, your book trailer will captivate the reader.

We recommend a length of 40-59 seconds, based on psychological studies. If you need a longer trailer, we will of course implement this individually for you.

We would also recommend booking a professional speaker for your trailer.

Short version for advertising breaks

In addition, we create a 15-second short version of your book trailer. A short, suspenseful speech prompts the viewer to click on a call-to-action.

The short version of your trailer is particularly suitable for in-stream video ads on Facebook and YouTube. These are ads that are shown either at the beginning or in the middle of another video that matches your book.

You can also post the short version as a book teaser before your book is published. This way you can let your readers know that ‘something big is coming up’.

Janina Müller, How Book Trailers Bring Attention, on The Table Read

Vertical format for stories

You will also receive your book trailer as a vertical video. We will choose the perfect cut-out for every single cross section and create a vertical book trailer for your Instagram or Facebook story.

Upload the individual video clips in the correct order. This way your whole book trailer can be seen as an upright video on all platforms, even if it’s longer than 15 seconds.

On Instagram TV you can upload full-length vertical videos.

Janina Müller, How Book Trailers Bring Attention, on The Table Read

Optimized Thumbnails

Especially on Facebook and YouTube, it makes sense to use different thumbnails for your book trailer. On YouTube, large, high-contrast fonts in the thumbnail are favored and lead to more viewers.

On Facebook, on the other hand, the text is only allowed to make up 20% of the image, which often leads to problems, especially with advertising. That’s why we provide you with two thumbnails for your trailer. One that is perfect for YouTube and one that is optimized for Facebook and other platforms.


We provide subtitles for every book trailer as a SRT file which you can insert on YouTube and Facebook with just one click. You will also receive a version of your trailer with burned-in subtitles. These can’t be switched off but can be used on platforms that don’t support real subtitles (e.g., on Instagram).

Milan Grünewald, Greenwald Book Trailers, on The Table Read

Especially on Facebook, subtitles are not only important to enable people with hearing impairment to watch your trailer, but they also allow users who have their smartphone switched to mute to understand your trailer. They are also very important for search engine optimization because that’s how search engines like Google know what the video is about.

About Greenwald Book Trailers

Milan Grünewald is the Founder and CEO of Greenwald Book Trailers. He is a graduate filmmaker, and his creative work has always been concerned with the correspondence between the literary and audiovisual mediums. Before and during his studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, he worked in web design and online marketing for German publishers. Since 2008 Milan has been producing book trailers for self-publishers and several publishing houses.

Janina Müller, How Book Trailers Bring Attention, on The Table Read



Instagram: @greenwaldbooktrailers

YouTube: Greenwald Book Trailers

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Twitter: @booktrailernet

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