What’s a book trailer and why are they important?
A book trailer is a small tribute to your book that tells the story in less than one to two minutes, much like the movie trailers you see on television. A book trailer serves as your book’s synopsis and gives your readers an idea what it’s all about. Trailers are becoming more and more important especially for middle readers and young adult categories. The Writing Excuses podcast talks about trailers with media specialist Kiley Snyder. They asked Snyder how she selects books to share with the kids in her middle school (minute 10). She responded:
There are some really cool book trailers. That’s a great way to get [kids] hooked. There were some books in the library I wasn’t interested in reading until I saw the book trailer. Then I thought, ‘I want to watch the movie’. But I can’t because it’s not a movie. I gotta read the book.
So if you want to pitch your book to an audience that spends a good portion of their day online and on YouTube, book trailers are for you. Today we’ll be talking about how to make a book trailer, what programs you can use, what materials you will need, etc.
4 BOOK TRAILER ESSENTIALS
There are many things you’ll need to make a book trailer so KidLitTV made a list of the most important essentials.
1: A Book
This was is common sense, but keep in mind if you don’t have a book to work with than you won’t have a project.
2: Illustrations & Footage
The best book trailers are those that have illustrations or a subject to work with. If you’re an illustrator you can use your own work, if you’re an animator you can re-create the characters and settings in a book and if you’re a filmmaker you can capture your subject with a camera and act out the scenes in the book.
If you aren’t an illustrator, but need illustrations for your book trailer be sure to search online for ‘Illustration Commission Work’ such as Commission Blogs like Jenny Parks‘. A great place to search for Commission Illustrators is Tumblr and deviantArt. If you are an illustrator looking for work, commissioned illustrations is a great way to build your audience.
3: Music & Sound Effects
People are always wondering how to add music to their projects. There are many Royalty Free Music websites you can visit to download music for your book trailer.
Here’s a list of the 5 Best Royalty Free Music Websites:
4: Video Editing & Animation Software
You will need a video editing or animation program in order to put your footage and music together. The best software KidLit TV recommends are:
- Adobe After Effects
This program is for advanced video editors and is jam-packed with many animation abilities. KidLit TV has an Adobe After Effects Tutorial Series for Beginners! If you’re interested in learning about the basics be sure to check it out.
iMovie is for Mac users and is a wonderful program for book trailer creators. You’ll find many effects, transition packs and can edit your footage to make it look like a Hollywood movie! KidLit TV has an iMovie Tutorial Series! Be sure to check it out for some great tips on how to use the program.
- Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is one of the greatest animation studios available for animators. No matter your skill you will be able to create fun animations on an easy-to-use platform. This program is great, especially if you want to create a short film for your book!
PowToon is a “do it yourself” animated presentation tool. It takes the presentation tools and styles of PowerPoint, adds more character animation and powerful abilities and allow you to make awesome videos. Be sure to check out the PowToons tutorial that was featured on KidLit TV!
Now that you’re prepared for making your book trailer you’re good to go! Be sure to share your creations with KidLit TV in the Facebook Group for critiques. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask a question!