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Planning on doing a book trailer for your children’s book? Need some ideas?
Here are ten book trailers that I found from the SCBWI website. I added comments about what I liked about them and what I wasn’t so fond of. I tried to find trailers that matched the age group I am targeting my own book for which is for 8 – 10 year old readers. The first book trailer is for a picture book I liked so wanted to include it. It’s almost easier I think to do a book trailer for an illustrated book as you can use the images from the book. It is much more challenging to draw the reader into the essence of a book in 60 seconds using images and sounds that match the emotional tone of the book.
Writing this post has been very helpful for me in deciding what I want my own book trailer to be like. I found these book trailers on the SCBWII website. They started a new program this year giving their authors the opportunity to promote their books with a special section called SCBWI Book Launch Parties. One thing that convinced me of the importance of book trailers was that a good many of the books listed (over 500 at time of viewing) did not have trailers and were not nearly as interesting to review as those that did.
Of the trailers I watched three things stood out as important points to consider for creating my own.
- Text that is brief and large enough to read easily.
- Music that does not overpower the script. No singing just music.
- Images that are sharp and large enough to see easily.
I also strongly preferred the videos that kept close to just a minute in length.
- Nice simple trailer that is one minute in length. Peppy music with words and still shot images. This one would be pretty easy to use as a model for creating your own trailer.
- This trailer is done quite differently. The author invites us to her ranch to introduce her two horses who were instrumental in her book. Gives us a feel for the author and her personality. No mention of book or anything that would draw me into buying the book directly but intrigued by coming to know the author as a person. This video is longer but works because it the author speaking and doing things.
- A short 1:06 minute trailer but seemed longer. Drags. Images selected were boring and small. Would have liked a few more sentences about the book. It does share important reviews such as Kirkus and Parent’s Magazine which are definite selling points. On the other hand giving space to who published it seemed a waste of video time. Finally I found myself listening to the words of the song more than thinking about the book.
- This trailer was about a minute in length but seemed much longer. The music was okay but slow and sad. There were some nice animation sprites but they did not draw me into the actual content of the book. It was like watching a music video. I could not tell how the book would read. Ten words to a page or a hundred? The words that were over laid on the images were in a script font which were hard to read. In some cases the words blended into the picture making them even more difficult to read. I definitely would not buy the book on the merit of the video.
- This trailer is great. Longer than I would like but really good. Music matches the mood of the book, illustrations are simple and easy to see, text is three or four words to a screen. It moves, it tells the story of the story quickly and easily. I would definitely look more into this book.
- This video is long, over 3 minutes but I did manage to stay with it till the end and the more I watched the more intriguing the story became. I liked the music – soft and mysterious but with a sort of haunting, rhythm that drew me into watching it to the end. Was fairly easy to read the text. Because of its length you have to be really interested in the book to keep going. The fact that I did I guess is a good sign.
- This is an interesting trailer. The author gives a walk through of his desk. Open, warm and friendly conversation that can be endearing to the reader. Nothing about the book other than a cover shot at the beginning and end. So this is aother one that is more like “meet the author” than an actual book trailer.
- Another dull trailer. Music is okay, text is short and to the point but it doesn’t have any action. It has some nice landscape images but nothing for the reader to relate to the characters. There is some good panning in and out of the images which gives a bit of drama so it almost makes it but doesn’t quite. Only a minute in length but seemed like a long minute.
- Definitely a professional video trailer. Sound track fits the book, animated, words are never more than ten words to a screen and are in an easy to read block font. I’m not a ninja fan but the trailer would I think appeal very strongly to those who are. The video tells a complete story in 1:40. Not bad.
- This final video is pretty nice. No voice track but the music is catchy, the words are clear and the story line is to the point. Movie shorts transitioned with still shots makes this one minute video entertaining and engaging.