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Introduction to Book Trailer 101

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Nowadays, book authors, both self-published and traditionally published, face tougher marketing challenges than ever before. They need a variety of tools in their marketing kits to bring attention to their work. With the mass move to the Internet for audiences to seek out information on entertainment, the concept of the book trailer is a natural. Like a movie trailer, the book trailer is a teaser designed to get and keep viewers’ interest enough to encourage them to obtain further information or buy the book. The book trailer is one of the newest marketing tools for authors.

Book Trailer 101 looks at the creation of book trailers as a series of steps. During the process, you will go back and rework previous steps as you learn. Finding a special photo could result in a change of script. Reading a phrase out loud might cause a rewrite to smooth out the delivery. Creating a trailer is an iterative loop of events.

Learning to create book trailers has a logical flow. In What is a book trailer? 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.

In Step 1. Identify Audience,” we identify your target reader and buyer, as well as reader expectation and genre, and we look at what makes a trailer go viral. All of this defines who your trailer is aimed at.

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

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

Step 4. Write Script 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. First, 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. We also offer scrip-writing tips from a variety of industry professionals.

With your script in hand, it is time to start Step 5. Acquire Media and 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 also find a list of website addresses where you can get free or low-cost media.

Once you have your script and media, it’s time to Step 6. Assemble the Video.” There are many alternatives for the creation of 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.

Now that your trailer is complete, how do you Step 7. 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!

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