Treat everyday as a new adventure

How Much, How Many, How Long

I was watching book trailer videos yesterday and it got me to thinking. How long should a book trailer be? Is there any set standards?

We have different standards in all the other areas of writing, but has anyone thought about the length and impact of Book trailers?

Here are some of the standards when it comes to Writing…

Word Count By Genre...

We all watch our word count when we are writing our manuscript and each genre has a specific word count that they require. I was reading on Paul Dorset’s Blog and he gave some guidelines for word count for the different ones. Check it out here.


Word Count by type of manuscript…

Now someone had asked on twitter a few months ago, “How many pages in a novella?”

But the type of book, be it short story or novel, is not counted by how many pages, but by how many words.

These are the answers I found on Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count

  • Short Story – Under 7,500 words
  • Novelette – 7,500 to 17,500
  • Novella – 17,500 to 40,000
  • Novel – 40,000 or more

How Many Chapters should a Book Have…

This is another question I have heard and I don’t think there is any right answer to it. I think that depends on you and how many chapters you want.

In the first book of my series, “Chris’ Journey Turning Different Corners” I have four chapters, (Due out soon!)

  • “Chris”
  • “Brandon”
  • “Her Downward Spiral”
  • “Saved By Sue”

And then I have different scenes or I guess you could call them sub chapters, but it is a novel of apprx. 55,000 words.

And in the last book of the series, I have seventeen chapters. Which I won’t list here. 🙂 and apprx. 95,000 words.

How Many Plot Points Should You Have When Outlining Your Book?

I’m thinking this should be up to you also, but I’m going to send you over to Paul on this one also 🙂 Because he has been using Scrivener for his current Manuscript and sharing with us the step by step process.


Okay now to the point of this post!

How Long Should A Book Trailer Video Be…

  • 3 minutes
  • 5 minutes
  • 15 minutes

How many songs should be played in it…

  • 1
  • 3
  • 5

In my opinion a book trailer video should be 5 minutes max. One, maybe two songs, and that’s it. Music videos are normally no longer than 5 – 6 minutes. Now I’m an 80’s, headbanging rocker, but there is just so many drum solos and guitar riffs I can put up with. I love Ozzy, but if his videos are 15- 20 minutes long, I have got to get up and go do something else. Yes, I’ll leave the video playing on my computer, but I won’t sit there and watch it. Now think of a movie trailer advertised on TV. They’ve got a 30 second or minute slot time to make you want to see that movie. A book trailer video should grab your attention, pique your interest, and leave you wanting more. That’s it. Not tell you half the story. Not drag on and on. It’s like the blurb on the back of a book. You don’t put a whole chapter there, you write a short snippet to get the reader’s attention. And now that I’ve gone on and on…Sorry 🙂 I want to know what you think.

How long will you sit there and watch that book trailer video? How long should it be? 

Now on a different note, I have to rant…I hated the Series Finale for “House” I was disappointed! Okay enough said. Now my Mondays this fall are going to suck, so I guess I will be writing and reading more! 🙂 Watch out world Karen’s on the loose!

Maybe I should have asked, How long should a Blog Post Be? Okay, I’m going, I’m going.

Have a great day everyone!



  1. Thank you so much for the shoutouts, Karen! And as a PS, I don’t know if I could watch a five minute book trailer. Maybe 1 to 2 mins max!


  2. Hey Karen,
    I think if a book trailer is too long, I will start thinking, well go ahead and make the movie already. How much are book trailers utilized in marketing? I have heard of them, but don’t think I have ever seen one. I certainly have never purchased a book because of one.
    BTW, I have an hour scheduled tomorrow to finish Kyle & Kelly. I know what’s going to happen and still can’t wait to finish it. Love it so far.


  3. Hi Sydney Book trailers are becoming quite popular to advertise your books. Yay! I got the idea for Kyle & Kelly because I had gotten a jury duty summons and figured Hey I could take my note pad and pen and write, I didn’t have to go…But I went ahead with the story idea so that I could see what it was like to self publish. And thank you 🙂 How’s the word count coming?


  4. I had this trailer made for my New Blood novel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEWSDKshXpo I will definitely be having others made in the future


    • I didn’t know you had a book trailer 🙂 But I just finished watching it. Perfect! It got the message across, I loved the graphics and the music. and under 2 minutes.


  5. Interesting thoughts on book trailer lengths. Thanks for posting. I’ve watched some book trailer videos for up to three minutes. If they start to tell me too much plot they’ve lost me. I refuse to watch a movie trailer past the point where I’ve decided I want to go see the movie. If they are intriguing I’ll keep watching even though at somewhere around a minute and a half I’m ready to move on.

    As a side note I loved Paul Dorset’s trailer. I’m going to use the timing as a blueprint for my own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: