How to Make a Book Trailer

What is a book trailer?

A book trailer is a short, 1-4 minute, video that promotes a book, much like a movie trailer promotes a film.

Dramatic scenes are highlighted and the plot alluded to, to give the viewer a taste of the book. Typically, various scenes with dialog are shot, and there is sometimes a voice-over.

The trailer should identify the main character, highlight the main goals and obstacles that the main character faces, and build tension. The end screen should be a shot of the book and a caption or voiceover, ‘Available now at Pima County Public Library’

The steps to making a book trailer:

1. Write a script: include all the dialog and stage direction.

2. Draw a storyboard: sketch the scenes in boxes on a page, indicating the action in each scene and the order in which the scenes will appear.

3. Compile a shot list: a shot list is a complete list, in order, of every camera shot you will need, including close-ups and other angles, to complete your film.

4. Shoot your film: use the shot list as a guide, paying attention to the audio. You don’t have to shoot your list in order.

5. Record your audio: including voice-overs, and gather your music. It’s important to have good audio. Google ‘royalty free music’ to get music you can legally use.

6. Edit your video: to edit your book trailer, you can use iMovie on Mac, or Lightworks or other free video editing software. Google ‘free video editing software’.

7. Render your video and submit: rendering is the final step in the editing process, and creates your final version. Submit your video file to the ‘Audio and Video’ form on the library’s Submittable page.

See examples

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