Why Make A Book Trailer For Unpublished Book?


Book trailers are becoming a popular way for authors to pique interest in their work. At first, I thought book trailers were only a useful tool for published authors. What’s the point of promoting a not yet published work? One word: platform.

In today’s highly competitive writing and publishing world, writers have to take charge of promoting their career and show potential publishers/agents/editors that they are willing to work hard. In an interview with Christina Katz on Writers Unboxed she states, “A platform is a promise, which says you will not only create something to sell (a book), but also promote it to the specific readers who will want to purchase it.”

I found a guest post on Nathan Bransford’s blog titled “How to Make A Book Trailer.” Myrlin Hermes gives a step by step process of how to put together a book trailer for next to nothing. Hermes used Window’s Movie Maker. Though I don’t use Movie Maker often, the challenge intrigued me.

I started with script. If nothing else, this process will force authors to refine their pitch/query/synopsis. It’s so tempting to pack in everything you love about your story, but that will only result in a never-ending trailer. Try to focus only on the main storyline.

Once I finished the script – keeping the sentences as short as possible – I searched for images on Wikimedia Commons. Let me just say I love this site. It’s full of freely usable media files (note: some have some rights reserved). I wasn’t able to find every image I wanted and ended up tweaking my script, but I think that only made it better.

Last, background music. It’s very important for the music you use to be royalty-free to avoid rights issues. Hermes used Incompetech for a donation of $5 per clip. I decided to use Partners In Rhyme.

Quick tips for piecing together your trailer:

  • don’t get too fancy with transitions and effects
  • don’t get too wordy
  • let the images speak for you
  • keep the trailer between 1-5 minutes (the shorter the better)
  • don’t give away too much information
  • most importantly, HAVE FUN!

I had so much fun with this project I ended up making two book trailers. Since my Novel Clique critique partners were divided about which one I should post, I plan to put them both up for vote.

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to watch my book trailers and cast your vote on which one will have a permanent home on the Edge of Truth page.

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Vote For Your Favorite Trailer

Edge of Truth – Book Trailer #1

Edge of Truth – Book Trailer #2

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10 comments on “Why Make A Book Trailer For Unpublished Book?

  1. Rita Durrett says:

    Great job! I want to see your trailers. The one I saw at conference didn’t look that complicated and I figured I might be able to do one if I updated my computer software.

  2. Jeana Tetzlaff says:

    This has got me intrigued about seeing your trailer and then learning how to do one of my own.

  3. […] Part 2 of Why Make a Book Trailer for an Unpublished Book? […]

  4. lbdiamond says:

    Hi there! I watched both trailers–though the second introduces Rena’s crush, I think I like the first one better…hard to choose!!!

    I’m gonna have to give this a go–thanks for the links! 😀

  5. gk says:

    Ok … you know I have to try this now. Question is, will I be able to find the time? Did it take a long time to do?

    • It did take a while, but it was fun. The most difficult part is finding pictures to go with the story. Unless you have your own photos, or want to pay money to use certain images, you’re limited to what’s on the site. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of images, but figuring out the key word(s) to get to the one you want can be challenging. The actual piecing it together on Movie Maker was a blast.

      Let me know if you make one and decide to share it.

  6. tangynt says:

    I voted for the second one. I think it conveys what’s going on with Rena a lot better than the first. After reading how much fun you had making these, I had to make one for Swayed. It was a blast! I posted it yesterday. Or yesterday night? It’s all starting to run together at this point. ^_^

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