How To Write A Book Teaser (Plus Inspiring Ideas & Examples)

So, you’ve put yourself out there on social media and you’re even replying to comments. You’re doing your best but… the tumbleweed still crosses the dusty road. Where are the new readers?

We’re in the age of marketing where people are constantly judging and being judged by what they put out on the wacky web. This can be scary. But it can also be profitable. 

There are various ways to promote your book, and a book teaser is a unique tool that you should add to your arsenal.

Below is all you need to know about how to make your own book teaser that can rake in the new readers. 

What is A Book Teaser?

A book teaser is like a movie teaser. It’s a sneak peek into the story and its characters so you can ramp up anticipation. In similar fashion to how movies and TV shows are promoted, a book teaser could be a graphic, banner, poster or even a video.

This is an exciting way to promote your book. A book teaser will help reel back in your current readers that are not superfans yet. But most importantly, you’ll be casting your net to new potential readers as well. It will show them what they can expect from your upcoming book.

As with any creative venture, you want to balance the line of ‘teasing’ your audience. You don’t want to spill the beans of the book’s story. You want the audience to be so enticed that they want to find out more. You don’t want to give away the book’s plot for free on Pinterest.

So how do we walk this tricky tightrope? Let’s clear up what SHOULD be included and what totally SHOULD NOT.

What Should Be Included in a Book Teaser? (and What Not To Include)

First off, let’s follow the rules of any promotional piece. It’s a bit more boring, but essential. The main inclusions should be:

  • Book Title: This should be clear enough that they know what is teasing them
  • Author Name: They need to know the mastermind that teased them
  • Website: Once teased, they may want to track you down. An author website makes it easier for a potential reader to find your work.
  • Release Date: They may want to pre-order that bad boy or set a reminder for when the book hits the shelves.
  • Call To Action (CTA): People need to be told what to do next. Otherwise, they’ll just keep scrolling. A simple “Pre-order Now!” or “Buy Now” will alert the audience that some action should be taken.
  • Link Your Social Media: If they’re gripped enough, they’ll hop on the train and be ready for milestones leading up to the book’s release. It’s a bonus if they stick around for your future entries.
  • A Graphic: An original background and image that grabs the reader’s attention and fits the genre.
  •  A Fitting Font: The font needs to compliment your book as well as your website’s look and feel. Your teaser should be in line with your author branding. I’m not saying use the exact same font, but don’t use Helvetica on your website and then Comic Sans for the teaser. We’re not in a circus

What Makes a Good Book Teaser?

Now that we have the basics done, here comes the fun part: the actual teasing. 

The setting

For example, with Sci-Fi or historical books, it can be beneficial to set the scene in your teaser. Fans of those genres will be instantly intrigued if they see the book is set in something like 1872 or even 2070.

Conflicts 

Conflicts or ideas that could pique interest but does not let the cat out of the bag. This helps the reader step into the world for just a moment. When done right, the reader will be excited for more.

Tone

Elements of your writing that preview the tone of the book. If it’s a mystery thriller, you don’t want to be sharing a knock-knock joke (unless no one answers the door *gasp*)

Relate to the main character

The main character’s thoughts or a piece of dialog. People like to relate to others, so showcase your star to tug audiences in.

Conflict and the main character

What could the main character lose or gain from the book’s conflicts? Again, don’t delve into those KFC 11 herbs and spices, but have the readers wondering what will happen next.

Reviews

Add in reviews by well-known authors or reputable reviewers. For example, a golden stamp endorsement from a popular author or the New York Times. This type of recommendation will build trust with the audience.

What Should You Never Include in a Book Teaser?

The tips won’t be complete without those don’ts, right?

Absolutely no spoilers

I mean it! I know it seems obvious: Don’t spoil your own book. But I’m sure you’ve seen THAT movie trailer. You know? The movie trailer that felt as though you just watched the entire story unfold in under 2 minutes. Yeah, don’t do that. Besides ruining the twists and turns, you’re also giving away the juicy bits for free.

Information imbalance

Sharing too much or too little information could have the audience confused or worse, they’ll scroll onto the next post. Keep it to a maximum of 150 words for a graphic and under 2 minutes for a video.

Horrible fonts

There are so many fonts out there and picking the right font for marketing is very important. We already touched on this, but always pick fonts that are easy to read. If the audience can’t read it, they won’t read or share it.

Images without permissions

Don’t be sorry, be careful. Make sure to get permission to use backgrounds in your teaser, or your fun marketing tool will turn into a fine. You certainly won’t be ‘fine’ after that.

Too many CTA didn’t read

Simple CTA’s get the job done. Stick to 1 CTA (maximum 2 if you’re adding text below a post).

We have the elements of a teaser, now let’s put it all together.

How To Write a Book Teaser

Book teasers catch the audience’s attention and make them want to know more about the book. They also really help with promotion on your author website. So, let’s dive into how to write your teaser:

Genre

Your book teaser must resemble the genre so you can attract new readers. Romances and comedies would be more light-hearted. Mysteries would be darker and serious. Thrillers would be tense and fast-paced. Emphasizing this while considering word choice and tone will create a perfect teaser.

Main character

Have your main character sharing their frustrations or desires. If it’s a self-help book it’ good to provide a solution to your audience’s problem.

Edge of their seat

The best way to have your audience hungry for more is the oldest trick in the book. Yup, you guessed it. It’s cliff-hanger time. Stop short of what they’re dying to know. The audience will be eager for your book’s release. But be sure not to give away too much now. Keep it spoiler free.

No explanations.

It may be tempting, but don’t explain anything. Throw phrases like “In this book” and “I wrote this because…” out the window. Authors are awesome, we get it! If you love explaining your genius, then write the long description then chop it down. Remove the parts that reveal too much of the story or don’t add that flare to your teaser.

Book Teaser Examples

Lost Whisperer of The Seas by Laurel Wanrow

This excerpt uses good imagery, emphasizing the main character’s sea powers. A picture has already formed in the audience’s mind with this book teaser. There are also distinct colors: a blue background to match the theme of the sea and orange to emphasize key information. She’s also plugged her website, leaving the door open for interested readers.

The Force of Wind by Elizabeth Hunter

This book teaser uses the main character’s voice to draw the audience in. The wisps across the graphic symbolizes a ‘forceful wind’. The name of the book is bold and easy to read, making it as noticeable as the quote.

A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong

A single quote that touches on the book’s themes and conflicts has the audience intrigued and ready to find out more. This book teaser contrasts the somber graphic with a bright orange book. Your eyes can’t help but notice it.

Truly Devious By Maureen Johnson

This book teaser has a unique style with the types and sizes of the fonts. It highlights a sinister line that’s also playful at the same time. That character must be a looney or something right? Only one way to find out.

Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

Plain text and a lively graphic. The quote and book stand out despite the many different colors. The teaser represents the tone of the book: quirky. And if that’s not enough, the quote absolutely sells this. If you needed more evidence: ‘bifurcated’

Book Teaser Templates

When picking a template for your book teaser, always consider the theme as you did when you wrote the book. The theme of your graphic and music (if you’re doing a trailer) should complement the genre of your book. For example, a sunny picture for a self-help book, or an instrumental song that is building up throughout for a suspense novel.

You mastered the words on the page and wanted to try your hand at something visual aye? We have some suggestions that could help you on your way. Here are some resources for making your book teaser

  • For a book trailer maker, we’d suggest Animaker, Biteable or Animoto. They are good candidates for beginners and even if you have some experience under your belt.
  • Canva is a stellar option for book teasers and trailers.
  • If you want more options besides Canva, we have you covered
  • Motion Array and Envato are grand choices for creative types looking for creative assets
  • If you want to edit videos, we have some options for beginners. However, if you’re a pro or looking for editing tips then there are some cool choices.

If you’re getting book teaser-block and need inspiration, then sites like Dribbble or Behance hit the spot with their book teaser designs. Watching movie trailers in the same genre as your book can also turn on a few lightbulbs. I’ve found that Indie film trailers and even indie animation trailers have some exciting ideas that are worth checking out. 

Using Video: The Book Teaser Trailer

Short videos are the way of the world right now. But it’s always been a popular promotion technique with movies. Why should they have all the fun?

Book Trailers don’t have to have massive budgets to be done well either. Social media has its way of creating excitement around something new. Your book teaser can take advantage of that. Make sure all the right information is in the teaser to help boost your book and you as an author to the next level.

Your book trailer should replicate your book’s atmosphere in a 1–2-minute video. It should focus on encouraging the audience to find out more.

Too much tension and your audience may die from the suspense and won’t be able to buy your book. Not enough tension and they would’ve died from boredom. They still won’t be able to buy your book.

Stick to the script, keep it simple and no spoilers. A mixture for success.

If you’re interested in some great book trailer examples, then check out our blog on it.

The Grand Reveal

Now that you have all the tools and ideas needed for your book teaser, I have some good news for you. Once you’ve done marketing for your new book…you’ll never stop marketing that book. Hear me out!

Dune by Frank Herbert came out in 1965 and people are STILL buying it! Yes, Dune kind of inspired a whole generation and all that. But you have an advantage that Frank didn’t, digital marketing.

The internet isn’t going anywhere so neither are you. Your book teasers and promotions will live forever on social media and on your author website. Years after your book has come out, someone that hasn’t seen it yet will stumble onto your book teaser on Pinterest. They’ll see a link to your website and down the rabbit hole they go. I wouldn’t advise drinking from bottles that say “Drink Me” on it (not in this day and age especially) but we definitely encourage it in the digital space.

When you have an online presence, you are by default, timeless. You’ll always be a few clicks away on Google. But if you don’t have an author website, then there’s no better time than now to get one. We’d be happy to help you with our author website design services. We can help you create an awesome website that will introduce readers to you and your world.

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