Date published:

March 2, 2021

How Long Should a Book Trailer Be?

Book trailers represent engaging and exciting short-videos that compel  the intended audience to purchase and read the book. Book trailers are frequently used online, especially on social media, which makes it incredibly important to closely adhere to any prevailing requirements regarding the overall length of the trailer and video formatting. But, just how long should a book trailer be?

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At Beverly Boy Productions, authors frequently ask us how long their book trailers should be so that they can gauge the amount of content that can be included in the trailer as well as the total cost of production. When authors ask us, “How long should a book trailer be?” we tell them, “about 30 to 90 seconds in most cases.”

The First 10 Seconds Matter Most

While you may have between 30 and 90 seconds for your book trailer, the first 10 seconds are what matters most. 

Why?

Because if your video doesn’t capture the attention of your audience in the first 10 seconds, engagement will drop off significantly and you’ll lose out on a lot of opportunities to connect.

Book trailers are usually shown on social media, in email campaigns, and on landing pages. All of these locations are prime viewing areas, but they’re also incredibly prone to audiences with short attention spans. 

In fact, 9 out of 10 videos watched on Facebook are under 2 minutes. Of these, most videos are in the range of about one minute long. If you don’t fully engage your audience in the first 30 seconds, you’re likely to lose 33% of your audience and after 1 full minute of viewing, 45% of audiences have stopped watching.

But you’ll never get your audience to stick around with interest for 30 or 45 or 60 seconds, if they weren’t interested in the first 10 seconds of your video in the first place!

Why is Book Trailer Duration Important

As you can see from the statistics above, the duration of your book trailer is largely connected to audience interest and engagement. But that’s not the only reason that answering the question, “How long should a book trailer be?” is such an important task.

Book trailer duration is also important because different audiences have different attention spans and because people tend to have varied attention spans based on where they’re watching a video.

For example, on Facebook the average viewing time is 1 minute and most videos are under 2 minutes, so if you intended to distribute your book trailer on Facebook you would want it to be about 1 minute. 

If you intend to market your book on Twitter, you’ll want to keep the book trailer significantly shorter than on Facebook. Twitter users typically expect videos to be under 30 seconds.

In fact, Twitter limits video content to 30-seconds or less, so you’ll want to make sure that you hook your audience and deliver your CTA in under 30-seconds.

Promoting your book trailer on Instagram limits you to 60-seconds in total, but data suggest that 30-second book trailers are ideal for this platform too as viewer interest seems to be quickly reduced for video content longer than the first 30-seconds.

Producing a book trailer for YouTube provides significantly more flexibility for you in terms of timing, but audience insights in regards to having short attention spans and typically balking at marketing videos that are longer than 2-minutes hold true for YouTube, too.

So, how long should a book trailer be for YouTube? Generally under 2 minutes, 90-seconds is an excellent starting point.

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