Step 4. Write Script


Getting Started

Once you have the log/tag lines worksheet done, it is time to write the script. It’s only a one minute script – how hard can that be?

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

― Mark Twain

What you will need:

  • Step 1. Audience Worksheet. Define your audience, genre, trailer goal and reader’s expectation.
  • Step 2. Building Block worksheet. Your filled-out story elements and your log/tag lines provide the building blocks for your trailer. You will not use all of them, just a select few.
  • Step 3. Approach Worksheet. Determine your trailer level and approach.

The two worksheets that follow are for brainstorming while you design your trailer. They are also useful when discussing your design with others.

LEAD Timing – Rules of Thumb

The book trailer length rule-of-thumb is one minute. As you shorten to 30 seconds, it becomes more of a challenge to present the interesting bits and the directive. The longer a trailer is, the harder it is to hold the viewer’s interest. Remember, the viewer’s ability to abandon your trailer is only a click away.

Here are the four elements of a book trailer and the order in which they usually appear. The lead and hook may be combined if what is different is included in the opening lead.

  • Lead – Grab – Answer the viewer’s question: Why should I give you 30 seconds of my time?
  • Excite – Build interest – Why should I continue to listen/watch?
  • Amaze – Hook – Why is this book different?
  • Direct – Directive – How do I learn more or buy?
  • Credits – If there are credits, they are at the end. 

The principal is to give them a reason to listen/watch, create interest in the book, hook them with why it is different for them, then tell them how to buy.


LEAD is based on AIDA Marketing Principals. To quote Wiki:

AIDA is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement.

  • A – attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.
  • I – interest: raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).
  • D – desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
  • A – action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.