Step 1. Identify Audience

Step 1 is to identify the audience, reader expectation, genre and goal of the book trailer. This is the first step to putting on your marketing hat and thinking about how you are going to pitch the book, and to whom.

General Audience Characteristics

It is important up front to identify your book trailer audience. For most books, the audience is the targeted reader. For children’s books, it is the purchaser of the books. As an example, a child’s book trailer for a parent/grandparent may differ greatly from one that targets a teacher.

An audience definition of “everyone from 18 years old and up who reads English” means you have not thought about it. No book appeals to that broad of an audience. On one hand, it may seem best to pick a broad audience, but this results in a diluted trailer. If you try to target everyone, you will appeal to no one. Targeting a specific audience does not mean it won’t gain other readers. As an example, Harry Potter books are YA (young adult). They are marketed to YA, but have found a much larger audience. YA trailers are aimed at a teen market, but often appeal to older readers who enjoy their edge and freshness.

Factors to consider:

  • Target Reader and Target Buyer
  • Age – is the book age specific?
  • Gender – Is it targeted at men vs woman or boys vs girls?
  • Economic situation – Does it cater to a specific economic group?
  • Sensibilities – Does it make sense for the target market? As an example, a trailer with questionable language would not work with a deeply religious group.