What Makes A Good Book Trailer

When you have a finished manuscript and it comes time to publish your book, you might be thinking of ways to advertise it.

I have done a lot of research lately, on YouTube. I follow ‘booktubers’ there, and see a lot of the books that are popular that they like to read. Their subscribers are more likely to pick up the same book and read it. The question is where do the booktubers find their books?

I searched the titles of these books on YouTube and found a tremendous amount of ‘book trailers’, which are in a way very much like movie trailers. Then, I wondered if this was a productive form of advertisement.

That was about a year ago. Now, I have watched almost every book trailer made since that time. I go on YouTube, type in ‘book trailer’ in the search bar, filter for results within the last hour or day, and then watch all I can before I get a headache. Why do I get a headache? I will explain that in a minute.

So, if you are considering free advertisement, with a wide range of viewers, YouTube and the booktuber community is the right place to be. However, if you are considering making a trailer for your book, make sure it’s something provoking, and something readers will enjoy watching. I mean, really enjoy watching.

I have already said I’ve watched a lot of trailers before this, so I feel like I can give a substantial amount of advice on making trailers, even if I haven’t made my own yet. That goes to say, I have seen so many bad trailers in my time, that I have actually lost respect for books with bad trailers.

They think of me as a number, and don’t care about my viewing pleasure – only hoping I see it and automatically buy the book because it was on YouTube.

As a result, I’m going to give you some Do’s and Don’ts about making a book trailer, to spare myself and others more headaches.

How I categorize a well-done book trailer:

Outstanding book trailers are hard to create, with their brilliant animations and voice overs, which is why most of these trailers are of published books, which have companies to take care of advertisement for them. These types sell the most books, and are the biggest competition for other categories. Not saying they are all from publishing companies – some are of indie books – but any comparison to this category can actually downgrade the likelihood of someone picking up the book because it doesn’t seem like it’s been published.

  • The video doesn’t treat me like a number, and works hard to keep my attention.
  • None of it is images, but moving, lively animations or films.
  • There is light background music and it’s not distracting.
  • Usually, someone is narrating.
  • It has captivating captions that tell a story, or hint to what readers should expect.
  • The letter fonts are distinct.
  • The captions and narrations are not clique.
  • There is a book cover at the end, with the available date for purchase.

How I categorize a mediocre book trailer:

This category is where most unpublished authors should fall into. It’s not the best, but it’s where one should strive for, given the economic circumstances and lack of funds. It won’t get a ton of views, but it still has a chance of someone liking it, and a very slim chance of someone disliking it. There is less of a chance that the book will be compared to another trailer, if that trailer is at least coherent and interesting. Every story is different, and so is its trailers.

  • It uses pictures and/or videos (all owned by the author, making it unique).
  • The captions present a flare of creativeness in the story line.
  • The trailer is organized and to the point, without distracting background music or photos.
  • The ‘video’ tends to have a slideshow vibe to it, but not overbearing.
  • Timing with captions is not too long, but not hastily short and distracting.
  • When using actors and film, the video can be a little clique.
  • It has a book cover at the end, with the available date for purchase.

Tip: Try to work with what you got. If you have an expensive movie maker that does cool tricks, use it. If you have a skill, like drawing, incorporated it into your trailer because no one can copy a unique creation of your own.

How I categorize a ‘turn-off’ trailer:

It’s exactly what it says, a turn off. Readers will question why someone put the video up. They will compare the trailer to, not only other trailers, but to the quality of the book. Surprisingly, this quality is the most common video I find in my searches, resulting in many headaches.

  • It’s captions are blurred with the background.
  • The background is more interesting, or distracting, than the captions.
  • There is nothing but words. Without the words, this type of trailer would be a black screen filled with nothing. Even worse, sometimes the words are in big, paragraph form.
  • The photos, videos, or music that do show up in the trailer are copyrighted – already seen from a popular movie or TV show (which is what the views notice first, and forget the rest).
  • The backgrounds have no coherency with the book, but, instead, are trying to explain the simplest captions. Ex: The first caption says something like “He must save himself from wolves…”, and there is a picture of a howling wolf in the background. But then, the caption says “There are still questions left unanswered”, and in the background is a question mark placed on a child’s building block. At this point, I don’t know how great the book’s quality will be – ya’ know, behind all the other mistakes.
  • The timing with scenes is way off.
  • There’s too many pictures without any time to think about what’s happening.
  • The music’s too loud.
  • It was clearly made from movie maker or slideshow, or someone holding up piece of paper with words on them.
  • There is an abrupt ending, or they forgot to give a title of the book without a hint to a book cover – almost like they had a school project to make a trailer for something, and it’s a lie to those looking for book trailers for actual books.
  • The whole video is ten seconds long, with a book cover and a date.

These are all simple things that one can avoid when making a book trailer. I would search all three categories on YouTube to further understand what I’m talking about, and then watch a lot more good-quality trailers. Go to different publishers’ channels and watch their books’ videos – because they are the competition. You’ll be surprised – some of their trailers are very average, or even unprofessional. It’s a real confidence booster when you see it, because you can make your trailer better!

Tip: The more videos there are, the more likely someone will see one. However, you don’t want to put up a lot of the same thing, nor do you want to give to much of your story away. Also, putting up too many videos makes one look desperate. Put up a “coming soon” trailer to get some anticipation going for the release, and then make a few changes to the video, release a “now available” trailer to announce it’s arrival. Keeping your followers updated is important, but don’t forget to write your book!

That wasn’t much on how to write a book, but it does explain a little on a marketing strategy, which I write about from time to time. This idea is something to considered, depending on what stage you are in the writing process. Don’t think about this until you have an editor, or your book is almost done. You don’t want to say your book is coming out in December and realize it still needs a lot of work. Or you don’t want to get yourself distracted from writing, and instead waste time on a trailer that you don’t need because your book’s not done. Stay focused on your priorities.

Thanks for reading!


Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime


The Right Way To Outline A Story

Let’s play a game. It’s called Writing A Well-Written Book In The Least Amount Of Time Game.

Rule 1: Don’t worry about your book’s theme. Seriously, don’t even think about the book’s theme or any other stuff that takes major thinking and causes the most headaches. Trust me, it won’t matter if you try now or later. I will teach you how to make your theme better after you’ve reached a certain level of clarity.
Rule 2: When I say you aren’t allowed to make changes, I mean it. Don’t do it.

Step 1: Write an outline, study it for early-on mistakes, and then write out the entire body of the book (even after realizing you have made a mistake in your outline, you should continue to write the rest of the book out in one-paragraph-per-chapter form if you’ve already started), and do not make changes from the outline. Put your ideas explaining how to change your story on a separate sheet of paper until you’ve finished the full body.

Before you write a book, or you are getting ready to do NaNoWriMo, you need to prepare a rough draft of what you want to write, in the form of an outline. Write the outline out, chapter by chapter, using one-line sentences. So to not waste more time, you can see if the plot is actively moving during this first stage, instead of later down the road, when it gets very confusing. The more that you can clear up now, the better chance of you finishing and not rage quitting after a bunch of headaches and heartaches.

If you didn’t look too hard at your first outline and are already writing, you’ll be doing more rewrites than what you could’ve avoided. But don’t worry – that’s the fun of writing!

Once you start writing your first draft, you’re not allowed to skew from the outline you’ve prepared. Why? Until you write the whole story out (even if its single-paragraph chapters the rest of the way through because you’re already hating your book), you won’t have any body to guide off of. You might have good ideas for changes after writing the first two chapters, and you might be very tempted to rewrite an outline and rewrite chapters to fit it. But this kind of approach leads to unorganized thought, unorganized documentstion of what you’ve improved and what you want to improve, which can get you lost somewhere down the road. Sometimes, this leads to an unfinished manuscript, so make sure to always finish what you set out to do.

Waiting to make changes will guarantee a better chance at finishing a book (because you’re actually writing the whole book), than if you kept making changes outside your outline, spending most of your time rewriting outlines instead of writing your book. There needs to be a balance between time spent note-taking and time spent writing. Place any ideas you get on a page in your journal labeled Changes One, away from your book. Let them sit and rest, and don’t make any changes to your book’s current state until you’ve written out all of outline1.

The No-Touch approach also forces more ideas to come out of your head, filling the misc. ideas page, and coincidently, your book – a detailed, and organized book.

Step 2: Write a second outline that is more organized than the first (if ‘organized’ doesn’t describe your second outline, you didn’t do it right). Adjust your written-out first draft accordingly. Don’t spend too much time writing notes, do not spend any time at all revising grammar, and do not go off course from your new outline. Stay focused.

After the first draft is written out, you can finally make that second outline you’ve been dying to draft. Take your time – make sure you read all your misc. notes that correlated to the changes of your first draft carefully. Anything else that doesn’t relate to the plot directly stays in MICS.

Change your outline1 into outline2. Outline2 will have a better plot line (which means movement-in-story). It will have a better grasp of a beginning, middle, and end, and will move smoother and quicker than outline1. Also, it will take the same process to write out as outline1 did.

Work on top of your first written draft – add chapters, fill the chapters you’ve left as paragraphs in, etc. You will know if your chapters are comfortably ready to be written out in long page form when you’re personally excited about writing them – because the plot is so interesting. Since this is only outline2, the second addition to your first draft, there still might be a handful of chapters left as paragraphs because they don’t interest you as much. As long as you write everything you need to fit outline2 and continue to not make changes to your story until completed, you’re staying on course. Again, don’t make changes, and use a new page in your journal labeled Changes Two to place all your future changes there. Make sure to move your old misc ideas over, and then leave all of this to sit. It’s much less time consuming if you are writing your book, and not a book of notes. I know at this stage, your notes are more interesting than your book, which is why you are so tempted to write them all the time – but don’t do that. You need to focus on your book in book-mode.

Tip: If you spend the most time with your notes in the redrafting-of-outline and transferring-notes-over stage – you will save a lot of time. Focusing on them all at once with your updated draft complete will give you more focus to understand your notes better, and you’ll have less headaches. Ideas that come up during book-writing-mode should be made into key words, clear enough to understand, but short enough to keep your time focused on finishing updating your draft.

Step 3: Repeat this outline-then-draft process over and over, until you have a strong plot line that readers will love. This will be the closest thing to a finalized, first-draft outline that you can share with others (it’s more like your fourth or fifth outline, but you can keep that to yourself). At the same time, you’ve also produced the correlating first draft that goes with your worked-out outline. It’s your REAL FIRST DRAFT of a story (even if it’s really your fourth or fifth, as well).

When you finally find the perfect outline, and have the perfect first draft of your story, you’re ready to work on the more important things, like theme.

But before you do that, there is one more thing I want to clear up.

When I say you will have an interesting, well written story, I mean you will have an interesting, well written plot line (movement-in-story). This means that you had a fantastic time writing each of your chapters and you fell like they are moving together marvelously, organization-wise.

I’m not talking about the poeticness of each word, nor am I talking about grammar or spelling, or anything that makes the reader think you got your book professionally edited.

I’m talking about the fun exciting plot, and the stories inside each chapter – the outline and rough draft that at all times is interesting for the readers, and yourself. If you don’t feel this way yet, don’t worry, you are probably still on outline1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., and are over-reading this. Just reading this and feeling the opposite might make you feel discouraged, but that only helps you find out where you are in this process, which is that you still need to work on your outline.

Another thing that you have to realize before you move onto theme is how confident you are with your story. How long have you been working on your book? Months? Weeks? But you still feel like your book is out of shape? That’s either because you took too many notes and adjusted too many times, which filled up most of your months writing, instead of finishing your drafts all the way through. Or, you still have plot holes in your story, which means you need to really think hard about what is going on in your outline. Fix these things and see if your confidence has improved.

If you feel like you are doing everything right, remember that a good book will take a year or more to reach its full potential. Don’t go off of how long you’ve been working, even if its been a long time. If you’ve been focused, and have known what times to pay attention to notes and what timed to write your book, your outline and first draft won’t be decent until about six months, which is half of what the finished product will take. Every story is different, and you should remember yours might take longer to create. Knowing this will help you prepare yourself for the next stage.

Change In Game Announcement: After you are confident with your first draft of an outline and manuscript, you are now allowed to think about your theme. It is now allowed – but only with the correct methods of going about it.

Ways to mess up your theme:
1. You didn’t listen to me, and you’ve been thinking about how to make your theme apparent in your book this whole time, instead of staying focused on writing your first draft.
2. After your first draft is written, you go through your book and try to change your chapters here and there where you feel is correct, without looking at the big picture – more like you are making random updates throughout and skipping over less noticeable mistakes.
3. Your changes aren’t actually productive, and don’t improve your theme in the long run.

The Correct Way To Make A Book Have Greater Meaning

Here we go – take out your journal again. For each of your chapters, write a paragraph summary of what is going on. Include how each chapter relates to, at least, one other chapter and how the chapter is important to your story. Then, write down some kind of theme that carries over in the chapter. If the chapter doesn’t have a lot going on in it, write what kind of theme comes out of the connection it has to another chapter. Be truthful with your theme judgments. In fact, try to write down the most negative truth there is about each of your chapters, because that will only make your changes stronger.

From there, look at all your themes. Is there one theme that shows up a lot during your analysis? If so, that’s your books supposed theme, with a few random ones thrown in here and there. Better question: Is that the theme/meaning you want your readers to take from your book?

The usual answer is no, if you were truthful with your judgments. If yes, you still have room for improvement. But that’s okay. In your journal, take the easy step of writing down what is wrong with your chapters, theme-wise, underneath your summary and theme analysis. Underneath all of that, write down how can you change them. Review your notes on changes you want to make for every chapter, and, one more time, make sure everything that will change fits together.

Since your story already flows from all the work you have done with plot, and you’ve learned how to keep a story interesting from the experience, the process will be much easier when tweaking your book for the desired theme. Get ready to produce another outline to help you.

Big things with reactions and event changes might alter the meaning completely, in your favor. Little changes, like in the atmosphere or mood of your chapters might build up to a drastic change, as well. Remember that the more you can repeat the theme, the more stronger it will be in the end.

With your new outline, apply the changes to the original, ‘perfect’, first draft of a manuscript. This might require a few chapters to be changed, but that’s why your first draft was called a draft. However, the changes will be much easier to make, especially with the book already written out. You don’t have to rewrite a whole manuscript, but maybe just its ending, or a few chapters in the middle. If you think about it, how long will it actually take you to write one chapter, if your new outline demands it? One more day of writing is totally do-able, especially since you already know what’s going on in the rest of your book. That privilege wasn’t there when you were first writing all those chapters, but now, it’s a shoulder to lean on.

After all of this, you now have a second draft of your manuscript, with a promising theme and plot line. If you want to be super careful, write another outline and make more changes.

Step 5: Revise your book more thoroughly with grammar and spelling, giving you a well-written third, almost final draft. At this point, you are ready to work with a professional editor to work towards that publishable manuscript.

Here is my vlog that correlates to the information I’ve already presented:

Alright! That was a big chunk of information to take in. I’m probably going to apply some of this to my own story very soon. I hope you all found the material useful, and keep following my blog to see more writing tips I have in store for the near future!

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to keep writing!

Your friend,

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Excited For Kindle Matchbook

Now that’s what I’m talking about! For those of you who haven’t heard, Amazon’s all new Kindle Matchbook allows readers to buy physical copies of their favorite books, and then get its Kindle edition for an additional $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or FREE!


I almost fell out of my chair after hearing about this. Not only was I thinking – I won’t have to wait on shipping to read my books anymore, but also that I wouldn’t have to pay the ridiculous price for an eBook, which I can’t hold and pet and smell like a normal paperback! When this comes out, I’ll never buy another eBook at full price again if I can help it. COME ON, TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! That’s a steal (if you didn’t think the two should be a package deal already)!

I understand that a lot of book lovers go to their local libraries for their free, reading indulgences…

But there’s just something about those sliding ladders in our fantasy dream lounge that keep us buying physical copies of books, to fill the shelves we’ll one day have.

library ladder photo: Second Floor Office garretson-home-library-ladder-large.jpg

Recently, readers have been struck with the problematic possibility that book stores will no longer exist in the near future, after eBooks make a full take-over. The experience of flipping through the pages of a book will be no more. EBooks have become more popular in the last couple of years because of their convenience and their resourcefulness. In other words, physical book lovers are stocking up while they can.

And it’s true, I often debate on buying the physical copy of a new release, when I know the instant copy is right there, at a click of a button. On the other hand, some eBooks can be more expensive than their physical counterpart, which is unrealistic! EBooks are nothing but a bunch of pixels that’ll disappear the minute the internet shuts down and everyone drops their eReaders off a bridge on accident. I always end up buying the physical copy… except that one time. There is still a demand for physical copies, which is another big reason eBooks are still in the running for dominance over book profits.

But, I mean, in all honesty… Why can’t we buy the physical version AND the pixels as a package deal?! THEY ARE THE SAME STORY!!!

That’s exactly what Amazon’s fixing by using Kindle Matchbook, or it’s a start in the right direction. Amazon’s giving us the choice to buy both for a much better price if that is what we desire, because it’s clear there is still a high demand for physical books, plus the demand for the instantaneous read that is eBooks.

This makes me so proud. Amazon’s listening to their valued customers. I just hope all authors try to outperform each other with their prices – eventually just hand over the pixels for free – or it might be another long while before Amazon decides to step up their listening skills. Amazon did their part, and now it’s your turn authors! Give away your eBook copies for free through the Kindle Matchbook promotion!


I was going to post a new vlog today, but the video was taking forever to upload. Still, this was something I thought everyone should look into. It’s a good addition to my writer’s blog in my opinion, a little treat while you’re waiting. Let’s say that.

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Blog Update: It’s OUT! Go check out Kindle Matchbook and see if it’s worth your time and $$$! I personally love the feature, though it’s kind of hard to find on the Amazon site, and there’s still not a HUGE quantity to choose from. Hopefully books will continue to be added to their list.

I’ll see you guys soon! Keep writing!


Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Consistency In Writing Is The Key To Success

“I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work.” – Louis C. K.

Have you ever had one of those moments of clarity? Recently, I’ve been hit with an astonishing idea. It’s been driving me so wild, I felt the sudden need to share my thoughts with the internet. Respectfully, I joined Blogger because of this epiphany, and I’m now making it the first real post on my blog (besides the intro post).

I’ll connect this to writing in a few paragraphs, but first, let me explain the connection I made.

What gives people peace of mind? When life is at its lowest, living day to day in slums, or maybe a person feels no longer treated like they used to be by someone they care about, how do they stand it? What is the one thing that keeps them sane in those times of need? That, my friends, would be consistency.

When life is at its lowest, people find comfort in consistency. Ex 1: Maybe an ex is ignoring you. You’ll eventually get over it, because you trust they’ll always be this way. They’ve proven this, staying unfriendly toward you for a while now. And they do this because it is comforting to them, and coincidently, for you. They’ve found their consistency, and so have you.

Ex 2: When poverty hits, and people feel like they’re working harder and harder every day to keep afloat, that’s not consistency. Losing a job causes more stress than what most people are used to. But for those who have been living in poverty for years, even if life’s leisures are slim to none, the constant struggle has always been home for them. Consistency.

Ex 3: What do children want from their parents? “I think what children need is love, security, stability, consistency, and kindness.” – Rosie O’Donnell

I’d have to agree with her, since it’s key to what I’m trying to say.

Can’t one find a sense of security through consistency? How about love, or stability, or even kindness? Personally, if my parents were spontaneous, and disappeared once or twice a year without telling me, I would feel lost and unloved and would think unkindly of them. Same for if they decided to not care about my grades for a whole year; I’d feel confused about how they exspect me to perform. Or if they randomly forgot to stock the refrigerator for two weeks, I probably’d starve (at least, I’d hate them for being an inconsistent provider). But if on a regular basis, they didn’t feed me, left home all the time, and never cared about my grades, I’d already know how to find food, live without their company, and make my own decisions without their influence, because they were consistent. Consistency is better in every situation.

Now that you’ve got a gist of what I’ve been trying to say, I can move on to how you should approach consistency in writing.

To finally get to the point of having a finished book in your hands, you must consistently write, for one. You can’t stop, or the story may never get finished. Every day, write (no matter how big the word count is) – it’s the consistency you bring to your work that counts.

How does consistency relate to revising a first draft? Well, we already know consistency is the answer to life, obviously (that could be an exaggeration, but you get my drift), so it has to have something to do with the revising stage, right?

Absolutely, positively! What do writers in the book community always have to say when it comes to plot? That the plot must always be moving throughout the story. THIS IS CONSISTENCY! When revising, you need to consistently be moving your plot from chapter to chapter. Readers want consistency, too, not exactly for the same reasons as I have listed above. In fact, it’s very different; a lot of the times, readers DO want to feel unsecure when reading a book – it keeps them on edge!

In best sellers, the plot is constantly moving – the conflicts build, and the characters grow, which is the consistency in writing that YOU want. Not day to day struggles in real life – leave that drama for the book.

Also, there’s a part in the video vlog that I found slightly confusing myself. I mentioned how in one chapter, there might be a climactic first kiss between two people, and then in the next chapter, they kiss again. Because, ya’ know, that’s realistic! People kiss all the time when they’re in love. It’s consistent too, right? Well….yes, I guess it is. They kiss, and then they kiss again.

But that’s not the kind of consistency you want with books. While writing, you want to constantly be moving the plot – not repeating the same thing over and over again. That’s BORING! That type of consistency is not right for this situation (but it’s the right kind of consistency for real life! Don’t get the two mixed up! Kissing your husband/wife everyday is very healthy!)

Alright! That was a lot to read, but I hope you enjoyed it and was able to take something from it. I know I’ll be searching my work for consistency soon – and maybe every day after that to keep a pattern.

Come back any time! I already have a second post ready to go. I’m just waiting for the video to upload and then it’ll be up! WOOT! Remember, write everyday and move the plot every chapter, ’cause that’s being a consistent writer.

Thanks for reading,


Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

I’m So Excited, I Just Can’t Hide It!

Hello, my name is WritingMime and welcome to my blog!

I’m new to WordPress, or was when I first wrote this, so enjoy my first attempt at posting on the job.

This blog will be useful to those seeking advise on writing or the process of publishing. My experiences range from far to many, being an aspiring writer myself. I’ve critiqued other authors’ work, and have spent a lot of time researching the marketing business. I’ve written quite a few rough drafts of stories in my day and love to draw. Hopefully, I can put some of my own illustrations inside my books and on their covers one day!

In each of my posts, I’ll either be writing about what I’m working on, tips on drafting and revising, supplementary advice for a YouTube video I recently uploaded, or big news in the publishing community.

I hope to keep my readers enticed, with a bit of tomfoolery here and there, working to make better writers out of all of us! Always remember to have fun with it! And never stop writing, ’cause those words won’t write themselves!

Woot! We have a bright future ahead of us,


Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime