Monday, 20 August 2012


I recently mentioned on FaceBook that I had made my first Book Trailer and asked if some friends would mind having a look at it and giving me their opinion. The response was very encouraging and a number of people asked me how I did it. Originally, I thought I could sum it up in just a couple of paragraphs, but then I realised that maybe I could be a little more generous and give everyone a guided tour on how to make a simple but effective book trailer based upon my experience.

Now I'm not an expert on these things, which is a distinct advantage for the reader. Anything I say on the subject must be easily do-able. If it wasn't, then I wouldn't have done it. Time is precious to me so if I can't get good results without lots of hassle and pain, then I'm not interested.

My biggest concern though, was going to be the cost element of it. I make a bit of pocket money out of my writing but certainly not enough to live on so I was looking for something that fitted into the right bracket—Bill Bryson summed it up beautifully 'cheap but demanding'.

So down to business.... First off, you need to have some idea of what you want to say in your book trailer, the message you want to get across. I started with a visit to YouTube and searched for 'book trailers'. Pick a good selection to have a look at and include genres in which you don't write, and if you have a peek at mine while you're there, it would make me very happy—
You'll soon realise that they vary enormously but take note of the things you really like and the things you don't. To my mind, the keys to a good book trailer are:

    With a book, you have to hook the reader in with a single paragraph or two on the back. Keep the same thing in mind. We're not here to make an epic film, just a trailer. When making mine, I kept reminding myself that I needed to leave something for Steven Spielberg to work with when he finally does read my book!
    Remember though, that if you have words appearing that you want people to read, rather than a voiceover, you don't want the visuals to draw the eye away from the text. It should support it.
    A well-selected piece of music is always a winner.
It's then worth having a sit down and jotting down a few notes about what you want to say and how you want to say it. One of the biggest things to decide is, do you want a voiceover or, as I did, text.

Now have a quick think about the type of background you are after and the type of music to accompany it—the 'feelings' that you want to invoke in the audience.

Having done all that, you should have thought about all of the following:

video, be it background or foreground
text (and you'll need at least a little bit)
pictures of your book cover
any other graphics you wish to include

Don't worry if it's a bit sketchy, just a rough outline in your head will do.

All of that will take you a little while to think through, It's too easy to rush these things and, as with all things in life, a little bit of preparation means you will reap the bountiful reward of a good finished product, so I'm going to leave it there for today and return tomorrow with PART TWO when I'll be introducing the movie software and video imagery along with some step-by-step instructions.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! Thank you so much for posting this, Anni. I totally agree with your key points. It is going to take me a while to select the right music though. I cannot make up my mind whether text or voice over either. I expect part two will help me in both cases. Can't wait for it :)


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