Trailer Analysis

What is a book trailer?
A book trailer is a teaser designed to get and keep viewers’ interest long enough that they make that important click: to your website, to your promo site, to wherever more information about your book can be gained.

With the mass move to the Internet for audiences to seek information and entertainment, a book trailer sets your book apart. It helps you overcome the tough marketing challenges that face both self-published and traditionally published writers.

Book Trailer 101 looks at the creation of book trailers as a series of steps. After publishing my first book on the topic, I found some people wanted a more direct how to without the theory and history. this site focuses just on the how-to.

Learning to create book trailers has a logical flow. We examine the external characteristics of a trailer by comparing them to the more familiar movie trailer. Then, we look at when to start trailer development, whether trailers work and finally, book trailer levels.

Step 1. Identify Audience
Identify your target reader and buyer, as well as reader expectation and genre. All of this defines who your trailer is aimed at.

Step 2. Create Building Blocks
Now that the target audience is defined, we begin by describing the book with elements you can use to create your log-lines, tag line, high/low concept and praise.

Step 3. Select Approach
With the phrases and building blocks complete, we look at various trailer approaches, along with their strengths and weaknesses, so you can select the appropriate one for your book. We also touch on viral videos.

Step 4. Write Script
Here is where the rubber meets the road. The work to this point is all about developing some of the raw materials to write the script for your trailer. We dive into the inner workings of a book trailer, examining LEAD timing, components and trailer arc, then move to various script formatting options: timeline, storyboard and screenplay.

Step 5. Acquire Media
With your script in hand, it is time to get the media you need. It is important that you not only have the best images, music, voice-over and video for your purposes, but also permission to use them. You will find a list of website addresses where you can get free or low-cost media.

Step 6. Assemble the Video
Once you have your script and media, it’s time for assemble the video. There are three alternatives for creating your trailer, depending on the complexity of the script/media, as well as which computer platform you are working on. Do you do it yourself or pay someone else? We examine DIY vs. vending the assembly of the video.

Step 7. Upload and Promote
Now that your trailer is complete, how do you upload and promote your video? This is the time to plan how to maximize the impact of your trailer.

That’s it in a nutshell. The process of thinking about, writing and creating your book trailer will give you renewed enthusiasm for your book. It’s interesting, engaging and fun!

Second Edition

I wrote and published the first edition in 2015. In the past few years I have been working on web-writing technologies that enabled me to enhance and simplify the book as well as making it easier and faster to use.

The trailers I used are mostly from 2015. Once I select a trailer to use, it takes me one to two hours to analyze and format the findings. In creating this edition, I rewatched all of the trailers. I did remove some of the weaker ones but most stood the test of time and still demonstrate the presented topics. If you see a trailer that you think should be added or a more recent trailer to replace one, just email me.

Rich Helms