Trail Blazing ~ An Introduction to Book Trailers

First cab off my rank at this year's CYA Conference in Brisbane, was an Introduction to Book Trailers by exciting Children's Author and Presenter Tristan Bancks.

 I'd been hearing plenty of who ha recently about the necessity of creating Book Trailers, and having viewed a few, was naturally curious as to what all the furore was about. Tristan presented a very straightforward over view of the importance, creation and role of Book Trailers for we literary folk. Here are some of the main points to consider if you are contemplating this form of promotion.

A Book Trailer should be all about bringing a story alive Visually.

It is essentially  an Animated Blurb of your book; the vehicle with which a story is brought alive visually.

They can be about YOU or YOUR BOOK. You may not have a published work to share yet but could just share yourself.

Tristan's Intro trailer featuring Max Slater HuntsThe Cool

Book Trailers should include:

- An Introduction: in order to connect authors with their reading audience.
- Snap shots of the story
- A Teaser of things to come
- Emotional Triggers
- Restraint

Book Trailers must be:

- No more than 1 minute in duration to be really effective. 30 seconds is ideal.
- Be Short, Pithy, Precise and Polished. Tristan's Short is Good, Long is Bad Popcorn Theory summed up Book Trailer viewer psyche  ~ Buy a small popcorn and eat it fast...

Elements of a Book Trailer:

- Sound + Effects + Music
- Imagery (use of Black & white vs colour, the Kens Burns effect; using movement within still imagery, stills, film format or book covers)
- Transitions from one scene to another. Sews the film together.
- Titles
- Voice Overs
- Illustrations

Book Trailers are essentially VISUAL and ORAL so Voice Overs are crucial as opposed to just having text on your trailer.

Things to Keep in Mind when making a Book Trailer:

- Make the trailer better than the book.
- Try to visualise it before you start.
- Try to think of something unique that could possibly go viral. This is especially important with kids as it increases popularity, exposure and longevity of your trailer.
- Write a script.
- Plan a vision board after gathering images.*

* Take pictures or video yourself. And always get the rights or permission for any sound or images you use. Your Book Trailer may be removed out of circulation if you infringe on copyright laws. There are a wealth of sites from which you can obtain royalty free music and pictures for example; Flickr, Sound Book, Google Images and so on.

Ways to Create Book Trailers (for free):

- Use your contacts especially regarding imagery, and music composition
- Commission students to design and create for you as part of their creative assignments and IT studies.
- Set up Competitions for trailer design.
- Do it yourself. Anyone with a modicum of common sense (including yours truly) can usually find their way around iMovie and Windows Movie Maker editing programs with relative ease.
- Enlist the professional expertise of your publisher for an even more polished look.

Get it to the People by:

- Posting on your Blog or Website
- Social media sites such as Facebook
- YouTube
- TeacherTube (if you are serious about reaching a wider and  more children orientated market)

Will they work?

They jury is still divided over this one. A Book Trailer is simply another form of promoting your book. After the initial razzle dazzle of your launch has faded, many publishers simply can not invest in long term publicity for either you or your book. It's something you, as an author, must learn to keep in perpetual motion for as long as possible in order to reap maximum potential and exposure. A Book Trailer may help you maintain this forward motion.

While your Book Trailer might not gain a million views instantly or even over hundred, it is still beneficial when used in conjunction with such things as book launches, author presentations and workshops, all of which help serve the generation of a few dollars and help show your audience another dimension of yourself and your capabilities.

Of course, the slicker your production, the more clever your presentation, then the better the results all round.

Tristan stressed that it is not 100% necessary to do everything to promote your work. If rambling on via your Blog or on Facebook is more your thing rather than specialising in visual creativity, then stick with that. In other words, do whatever comes most naturally to YOU.

Tristan's Top Tips on Book Trailers:

* Keep it Simple   *  Keep it Short    * Be Innovative (and not too complex)

Check out this cool Book Trailer of Tristan's for an example of a dinky DIY.

Book Trailer for Nit Boy featuring animation

There are literally billions of trailers for books out there, some disturbingly brilliant, others laughably lame. Have a look and see what might work for your genre. If it is your thing, why not give it a try? I'm just waiting for an excuse...


Karen Tyrrell said…
Congrats Dimity,
Fabulous information about everything you wanted to know about making a book Trailer.
What a practical resource!
Dimity this is an awesome post! Can't wait to share it with everyone, you've done a brilliant job passing on the information about book trailers. I want to make one!
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers
DimbutNice said…
Hi Karen, Ta muchly. Hope you get something out of it. Proof perfect that you don't have to be a techno whizz to master the basics.
DimbutNice said…
Charmaine so glad you found it useful and motivating! I enjoyed sharing the info as much as hearing about it. Can not wait to see a wagging tale trailer out there - soon!

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