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Writers@Work: The Book Trailer by Marjorie Treu

Hey writers,

I’m delighted to welcome my friend and colleague Marjorie Treu to the blog to share her experiences with creating and sharing her book trailers. Her experience has a lot to teach all of us!

Happy writing! Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach


file0001311160630Writers@Work: The Book Trailer by Marjorie Treu

I’m an indie author with a whopping one title under my belt…The 78 Biggest Mistakes New Managers Make – What You Need to Know to Avoid Career Suicide.  (Could that title be any longer?!)

The Background

I struggle to write; but I am published.

I struggle to sell the book; but I am determined to sell the last 200 copies.

I struggle to build my business; but I am celebrating 7 years with Team Fusion.

After losing a job in late 2006, it was time to strike out on my own because then I could control my own fate and not become victim to the whims of a large corporation.  There was no common sense in that decision.  What I was very confident in was my training and development ability, and having a large network of potential clients. Team Fusion started off with a bang and then the recession hit.

I started a blog (along with an e-zine) and wrote religiously for 2 years and slowly built an online community who valued the teamwork and leadership resources I provided.  The community was loyal but small.  That’s when I got the brainy idea of speaking at human resource conferences to build the business.  Why

+Human Resource professionals are my target market.

+I communicate more authentically in-person than in written format.

At the time, my mentor suggested it was time to have a small ticket item to sell as an introduction to the work I do and as a next step in the sales cycle.  I decided on a book since this format is easy to give away during a workshop presentation, people rarely throw away a book, and I had 2-years of content that I could repurpose. I wrote the book in a weekend. More accurately, I organized 2-years of blog posts and e-zine articles into a book, added some content, and wrote the introduction and back cover in a weekend.  Then, had 4,000 copies printed and shipped to the house. It was January 2011.

It’s 2014 and the last 200 copies are taking up valuable garage space. They need to be sold. Enter The Book Trailer. Before considering this option, copies sold through:

  • Association conferences (following my presentation and at their bookstore)
  • Directly to my e-zine subscription list
  • Radio interviews received from ads in
  • Client-only workshops
  • Bulk corporate orders


Three years post publication, my client base is saturated, and I need new followers. The only way to gain a wider audience is through a more visual medium.  Research on ‘how to create a video book trailer’ began in earnest.  I know these absolutes about myself:

  1. I do not want to learn a new skill if I won’t use it regularly.
  2. I have no extra time to babysit a new project.
  3. I want every output for Team Fusion to be highly professional.
  4. I have no budget set aside to hire a video director.

Fate stepped in while at a client meeting.  I met a young marketing graduate who had just submitted a video entry for the Super Bowl Doritos promotion (he came in third) and hired him on-the-spot. Cost: $750 (selling 37 books is break even.)

The book trailer took 30-days from concept to upload on YouTube and followed this process:

  1. Concept design – 3 options and I chose a multi-video approach
  2. Treatment and script
  3. 2 script revisions
  4. Site selection, logistics, hiring actors
  5. Shooting footage
  6. Editing and Music
  7. PR and Marketing

The $750 investment may seem on the high end; however, Eagle Stream Media handled everything except the PR and Marketing of the book trailer. It was pretty exciting to spend a couple of hours at the shoot, and talk with the director and actors.  Bonus: a couple of them bought the book!

The Book Trailer Campaign

This is the part where I became a Do-It-Yourselfer since my marketing message is not one I trust a third party to nuance well.  Here were the steps:

  • March 26th — video #1 uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo
  • March 27 — both videos uploaded to my site:
  • April 1st — video #1 uploaded to LinkedIn / with automatic Twitter link
  • April 2nd — video #2 uploaded to same sites
  • April 3rd — video #2 uploaded to LinkedIn / with automatic Twitter link
  • April 3rd — video #1 sent to All Client Distribution List (with special Customer Loyalty discount)
  • April 9th — video #2 sent to All Client Distribution List (with Bulk Discount offer)
  • April 16 – 23rd —random posting within LinkedIn HR groups I’ve participated in for over a year
  • Second campaign to launch May 7th

Helpful Hints and Resources 


+YouTube videos on creating book trailers (there are dozens) for self-education.

+Site for kids and teen book trailers:  Scroll to bottom of home page / Special Features / How to Make a Book Trailer

+Read Tim Ferris’ blog post on How to Create a Viral Book Trailer (


+Use recent tech-savvy grads well-versed in social media for cost savings. offers book video trailers starting at $499

+Amazon’s Create Space offers book trailer packages: $1,200 – 2,200


+Keep videos under 60-seconds. Shorter is better.

+Send a short customer survey if you’re unsure your client watches video.

The Result

The Bad News: No direct sales resulted from video #1 but it did generate some interest in folks wanting to see the second video.

The Good News:  The book trailer expenses paid for themselves on April 17th with a third order through the Team Fusion website. The best advice I can give is to map out your campaign carefully and stick to a schedule for best results.  It’s all profit from this point forward and that extra garage space is no longer a pipe dream!


07d97bfAbout the author. Marjorie Treu is President of Team Fusion, a training and coaching practice dedicated to partnering with HR professionals to help build deep talent management bench strength.  She brings 20 years of adult education experience into the corporate arena with focus on Leadership and Management Development, Talent Management, Sales Training, and Employee Relations.  After serving as President for the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of ASTD, Marjorie has helped small business owners and Fortune 500 companies alike with consulting, training, coaching, and experiential team building events.

Marjorie’s passion for the next generation of leaders was the driving force behind writing her book, The 78 Biggest Mistakes New Managers Make – What You Need to Know to Avoid Career Suicide. She firmly believes that following the practical tips outlined will prevent leaders from losing years of advancement opportunities.  More importantly, they build teams that produce bottom-line results quickly.

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