Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Trailers and Summaries Part 1

So, this past weekend I discovered a really good writing exercise...using Windows Media Player.

The title of the post pretty much gives it away, but I'll say it anyways: Book Trailers. I'm sure we've all seen those big name, movie-like book trailers made by the major publishing houses using fancy software and video editing. It makes the book come alive on a whole new level and intrigues readers with a more visual medium. So it's pretty good for marketing.

Not only that, though, but if you've ever tried making one, you know it's frustrating. No only is it difficult compiling what exactly will go into the trailer, but organizing it to be visually appealing AND concise? Impossible! It doesn't stop people from trying, though.

Something that's also a pain in the butt is condensing entire 70,000+ word novels into 2-3 pages (double spaced at that!), or even worse, a paragraph! Making a synopsis and a query pitch/summary are both crucial if someone wants to get their work published, though. After all, agents and editors are busy people, they need to know if the overall content of the book is worth the writing, and the shorter the better. But cramming all that information into such a small space makes my brain hurt just thinking about it. First, you have to organize it into what's important and what's not, then the second guessing when every little detail goes into one subplot or another that all tie into the main story arc somehow. Everything is supposed to be important, right?

Enter the book trailer! Try making one of these babies and cram all that info into less than a minute, 30 seconds even!

My point, making a trailer makes you hone in on what exactly your story is about to the most finite detail. Make one of these, and a synopsis or query seems easy in comparison (at least it makes you grateful you have more space than a few tiny slides). On top of that, they're fun to play with, whether you go fishing for low cost, creative commons media until your eyes bleed so you can use it for marketing, or you privately Google some images and show it to all your friends for kicks. All it takes is some imagination and a few hours of hard patience as you scour the internet for resources and reevaluate everything about you're book...easy, right?

Tomorrow, a Part 2 of this mini-series on book trailers: how exactly to make the suckers.


  1. WOOOOHOOOO!!! YAY I can't WAIT to read this *grin* and I'm already trying to script one ;D
    The Arrival, Book 1 of the BirthRight trilogy available now

  2. Well I'm looking forward to part two, because apparently I'm just completely inept when it comes to using Windows Media Player, judging by past experience.

  3. Great post- thanks for the information- I'll be looking forward to your next post on it. :)

  4. I need to make one and ran into a number of snags. So now my daughter is going to help me and I will be sure to pass this information along to her. She is Tiger85.

    Nicole's trailer is awesome.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  5. I'm all ears!! Thanks to Nicole for pointing us here :)!!!

    Nice to meet you B.E.T!