Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Trailers! (Part 2 of 2)

Last week we looked at examples of successful trailers and the software used to produce them. This week we’ll look at additional samples, including comparison of a teaser trailer to a regular trailer, and we’ll also talk about music and suggest a few sites where you can post your trailers.

First, let’s take a look at the trailer for Façades. Alex Marcoux produced Façades in Movie Maker, and for this video she purchased stock photos to supplement images she already owned.

Last week Alex mentioned she was able to use the original song from the Back to Salem short film for that trailer, but she purchased the music for Façades, from a site such as, and Bonnie Ramthun told us that she purchased the music for The White Gates.  I can now attest to the logic of purchasing music, as I spent far too many hours searching royalty-free sites for music for Fogg in the Cockpit.  Next time I’ll emulate Bonnie and Alex. 

There’s another choice for music though, and that’s creating your own, which can be done with software such as GarageBand, which was used by the designer of my Soliloquy book trailers. Yet another option would be to narrate your trailer, which might work better for non-fiction, though it could also work for fiction.  Think about it!  Depending on the genre, a multi-person cast might be interesting and you could even add sound effects.

Now let’s compare a teaser trailer to a regular trailer.  I hired my friend Matt of Infinite Improbability Productions to create a trailer for Soliloquy, and he created two.  Before we started Matt read my long synopsis for the book, and then we met to discuss goals and review my preliminary text for the trailer.  He then read the book before creating story boards.  After I reviewed those and fine-tuned the text, he took over.  It was his idea to first release the teaser trailer and then the full trailer. 

Soliloquy teaser trailer:

Soliloquy full trailer:

Similar yet different, and many shots were used in both, though Matt created unique music for each.  The teaser trailer was released several months before the full trailer, so I could (hopefully!) create buzz when announcing each.  

If you decide to hire a designer to create your trailer, look at samples of their work to make certain they create the type of trailer you’re envisioning, and get a written proposal that includes a schedule for completion and payment.  Think about whether it’s important to you to have live action or special effects, as that will dramatically increase the cost of the trailer.

Where are you going to post your trailer?  Better yet, where aren’t you going to post your trailer?  You can post trailers on your author page on Amazon, Goodreads, AuthorsDen, and ManicReaders, on blogs, websites, on Facebook, and in chat rooms.   There’s also YouTube, Veoh, Blazing Trailers, MetaCafe, Dailymotion, Trailerspy, and many other video viewing sites.  Before posting, remember to carefully consider your key words or tags.  Oh, and search for book trailer contests and review sites just for trailers. 

To summarize, whether creating your own trailer or hiring a designer, have an idea in mind for your storyline and write it out.  Then find images that capture your vision.  Think about music, sound effects, live-action footage, narration, and whether you want to have text flowing across your images or separate screen shots of text.  Find music or compose original music.  Decide on your opening and closing credits, and there you have it.  Okay, maybe it’s not quite that simple.  But the end-result?  A movie about your book.  A video preview that can be found based on keywords you’ve selected.  A trailer that captures your book’s passion and pain, its guts and glory, ending, of course, with your website and ordering information for all those voracious readers out there. 

Hey!  Where’s the popcorn?

By Janet Fogg, with Bonnie Ramthun and Alex Marcoux


Patricia Stoltey said...

I love watching book trailers, especially the ones between one and two minutes long. It must be quite an art to creating an effective short clip, but both of your samples for Soliloquy do exactly that, Janet. Very nice. Now must go back and watch the trailer for Facades...onward.

Julie Golden said...

Matt is a master at creating a mood in a few seconds and have a consistent flow to the end. What a beautiful teaser – a promise of a elegant story.
Thanks Janet for this post. It is inspiring and informative.

Janet Fogg said...

Thank you, Pat and Julie! So pleased you enjoyed the blog. I really enjoy looking at book trailers!