Audiobook trailers that really motivate to the point of purchase, are much different than just taking a 30 second clip or a small section of the audiobook for a sample and putting it out there. It's like asking McDonald's to sell their Big Mac and only showing a small slice of it on screen, without seeing the steam rise from the heat, with the cheese melting, etc – you get the idea. It's like trying to sell a product without the sizzle of great video and audio and expecting a return – whoever would consider that, really doesn't understand marketing as well as marketing audiobooks and might want to re-think their marketing strategies. While there should always be great content, sizzle sells the steak.
While audiobooks may cost a few dollars to complete, don't cut corners and not have a great sounding audio trailer or video book trailer. It's absolutely crazy to spend the amount of time in writing your book with all of the editing, the amount of dollars to get your book printed and recorded, to fall short and not complete your marketing efforts with audio trailers that have sound effects that put you right in the action, moving from scene to scene, much like a movie trailer provides, along with capturing and alluring the attention of the listener.
Sounds crazy right? Yet, that's what people do. Again, you're asking the ski resort to advertise without showing the ski lifts in action, the fireplace crackling, and the hot whirl pool tub after a long fun day of skiing. You've got your book recorded and now your marketing revolves around listing it in a few places and to keep your fingers crossed. To complicate the problem, authors often record their book without having a game plan in place except for, "I'm going to distribute this on Audible" even though everybody and their brother is on Audible, with Audible wanting sizable fees in royalties. Nobody is suggesting that you don't go with Audible, but you might consider having a broader marketing campaign in place, so that you can go in other directions, market in a wide variety of places and not be stuck in the large ocean of Audible .
Being in a smaller lake with fewer fish might be a better marketing gamble with great trailers to promote your book, than trying to push to the front of the crowd on Audible. Again, nothing against Audible, just consider having a broader and more complete marketing vision in mind, that may or may not include Audible or any other online retailer for that matter – it's your choice because you have a game plan and the marketing tools with great audio trailers, video trailers, and press blurbs ready to roll. You want flexibility, and that all starts with a great book backed up and purchased by the public, because of intentional audiobook campaigns that demand attention. Without that, you're just uploading another audiobook that may or may not get discovered.
Where should I start? You should start with including your trailer ideas and book funds to be available to get great sounding trailers produced. And let's be clear, most studios or voice talent, in the business, aren't really marketing folks, they just want your business and for you to record your book with them or at their studio – that's fine, but you're wearing a number of hats at this point and you need to have not only a great audiobook recorded, but you need the marketing campaign to back it up and push through all the noise. So where do you go?
You should start with investigating your online presence and how you are going to get there. Who will work with you within your budget? Who will be pushing your PR? Your marketing has to go beyond the graphics of your book, no matter how good they are, if no one sees it, no one buys it. Hold some funding back purposefully, to account for trailer development and to fulfill marketing purchases and PR campaigns.
Know how, when and where you are going to spend marketing dollars and let this be a blueprint for how you are going to propel your book with your trailers. You don't have to spend the moon producing audio trailers. Oftentimes, we include, and maybe others do as well, audio trailers with full sound effects at no additional cost with the recording of the audiobook – especially if it's a big book and it's going to cost a few more dollars to get recorded than a book of say 60,000 words or 6 to 6 and 1/2 hours of audio. That's one way to help ease the costs of a larger book and to maintain an overall budget. So ask about that when recording your book.
Also look at having media like photos and music licensed and ready to go. Believe it or not, you can license music and pictures very affordableably if you look around. So just do some research, secure your media content and that will help keep your costs down, as the media will already be picked out, ready to roll.
Last but not least, don't look at the trailer as an additional cost, but a cost that goes hand in hand with your audiobook. You're not going above and beyond to create book trailers, it's just part of the audiobook and marketing plan. You absolutely want your book to look and sound great and part of that are the trailers. Oftentimes, a great trailer will help over ride the suspect quality of the book that was, for whatever reason, not recorded as well as it could have been and will make up for it in additional sales!