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How to Make an Author Trailer

Updated on September 15, 2012

Cindy Vine's Author Trailer Video

How to Sell Your Brand as an Author

Most books are not best sellers. In order to be successful as an author, you have to continue to publish. After a while, readers become accustomed to the writing style of their favorite authors, and they may look forward to reading the next book by the same author. In fact, they may actually take an interest in getting to know the person behind the writing.

All of this used to happen quite unconsciously when readers developed a taste for their favorite authors. But today we are told that we need to market our brand.

What does that mean? It means that you need to come across as a consistent personality across a multitude of books that you have authored. Each of the books may be completely different from the others. But still, the readers need to know what it was that made the same author come up with such different fare.

An author trailer is one way to do this. It doesn't need to be expensive or complicated. It just needs to tell the world all about you -- and how you relate to your books. One author trailer that I feel is especially well done is that of Hubpages's own Cindy Vine.

Meet Cindy Vine

Focusing on Particular Events in an Author's Life

What I love about Cindy Vine's author trailer is the way that she ties in the exotic locations where she has been and where she lives with the everyday routines and the people in her life.

Another approach that can be effective in an author trailer is to focus on a particular event in a writer's life. This can be seen in the following trailer about John Wheatcroft.

John Wheatcroft in Japan in WWII

Books by John Wheatcroft

Focusing on influences in a work

In marketing my own novel, Vacuum County, I have focused on the different inspirations and influences that contributed to the writing process.

The following video explains the Biblical influence in my novel.

Biblical Inspiration for Vacuum County

The Phoenican Influence in Vacuum County, and How Cabeza de Vac led to Hannibal

As if one obscure reference in a novel were not enough, my novel also calls upon historical texts concerning the explorer Cabeza de Vaca and the famed Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca.What's the connection? Here is a video in which I explain my thought process.

The Connection between Cabeza de Vaca and Hannibal

The Element of Prophecy: The Mt. Carmel Massacre

Besides the things that inspired the writing of Vacuum County, there are also those elements of the book that foreshadowed the future. Just because a book seems to be about a historical event, a reader should not assume that the historical event predates the writing of the book!

The Prophetic Element in Vacuum County

The author's personality and surroundings

In making your video, you should probably take into account not only what you say, but what the viewer will deduce from watching the video footage. You don't need a fancy camera, and lighting does not need to perfect. In my first author trailer, I am back-lit. That was the natural lighting in the room, but I was not displeased by the effect. In the second author trailer, I talk about Vacuum County while Bow does his own thing. So the verbal message may be one thing, but the subtext is my relationship with Bow.

The third author trailer I made is set against a background of my bookshelves. Since Vacuum County depends on many other books for its existence, this seems to be an appropriate subtext to the story of how I came to write about events that had not yet happened.

Conclusion: Author Trailers Vary

Author trailers vary. They depend very much on the personality of the author, the lifestyle he or she leads and the tenor of the author's books. An author trailer can be general, like that of Cindy Vine, covering many books, or it can be specific to a particular aspect of a particular book, like my author trailers about Vacuum County.

An author trailer is a good way to allow readers to get to know an author. It is very easy to make one, and once you get the hang of it, you might even want to make several.Selling your brand has never been easier. And if you are in it for a deeper message, that also can be conveyed.

Copyright 2012 Aya Katz


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    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks

      Thanks, SweetiePie.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Its interesting comparing and contrasting all the different styles of author trailers. Great ideas for anyone who is self-publishing, or just wants to get more publicity for their writing.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks

      Thanks, Thundermama! Glad you hopped by!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      This was a very interesting hub on a topic I would not given much thought to as a writer. I'm glad I got hub hopped here. Voted up.