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<<October 2016>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: book trailers, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 184
1. Book Trailer: Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Check out the book trailer for Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (Simon Pulse, 2016). From the promotional copy:

A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

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2. Some Writer - Book Trailer

Some people are lucky.  I received an ARC of this book several months ago.    I will never part with it.  Melissa Sweet has put together a masterpiece about a masterful writer, E. B. White.

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3. Book Trailer: Snow White by Matt Phelan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Check out the book trailer for Snow White by Matt Phelan (Candlewick, 2016). From the promotional copy:

Award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan delivers a darkly stylized noir Snow White set against the backdrop of Depression-era Manhattan.

The scene: New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt.

Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words “Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL.”

In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil.

See also Interview: Matt Phelan on Snow White: A Graphic Novel from Teenreads.com. Peek: "It’s the goodness of Snow and her optimism that conquers the evil. It’s an important thing to remember in today’s world."

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4. Video Sunday: *knock knock* Land shark

Good morning, my fine and frisky young denizens of this sphere upon which we make our homes.  I’m particularly chipper today as I’ve just returned from a lovely trip to Boston where I attended the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards and managed NOT to lose my glasses in the process.  More on that tomorrow, but today I’ve a whole heaping helpful of fun videos for your perusal.

First up, I’m happy to announce that last weekend I conducted a Literary Salon with James Kennedy and Eti Berland on the subject of 90-Second Newbery.  The fun doesn’t really get started until the five minute mark, but that’s the wonders of live streaming for you.  A million thanks to James for figuring out how to get the new YouTube streaming feature to work on his computer at all.  Phew!


Now we’ve a very cool video up next.  Do you like John Steptoe?  Do you like Sesame Street?  Then behold this very early Sesame Street when Gordon-with-hair read Stevie to the viewers.  This is something I’d love for current day Sesame Street to pick up again.  Wouldn’t it be great if Chris (you can see that I’m hip to the current cast) read Last Stop on Market Street to Telly?  It could happen.

In other news, we’ve an election coming up.  Or didn’t you know?  Well I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Aaron Reynolds for a new little show I’m participating in called LadyBird & Friends.  If you want to bypass the whole Betsy talking element to the proceedings, skip to the 18:20 mark where Aaron reads aloud President Squid.  It will be the funniest damn thing you see all day.  The man is a natural performer.

And speaking of natural performers, how did I miss this promotional video for Robo-Sauce when it first came out?  My bad.

Now welcome to New Zealand, where librarians have more fun.  Don’t believe me?  This synchronized . . . I’m sorry.  This synchronised shelving proves it.  Thanks to Jean Reagan for the link.


And for our final off-topic video today . . . AUGHHH!!!!!

Does the clownfish remind anyone else of the Goldfish from Mars Evacuees? Anyone? Anyone?  No?

Just me then.


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5. Ada Twist, Scientist

STEM, STEAM and girls who do experiments - hearken!  A new scientist is on the block.

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6. Come Out Come Out Wherever Your Are - YA Reads to Thrill and Chill

August and September went by in a blur!  What I thought was the beginning of another school year has turned into fall, meaning Halloween (coincidentally, also birthday) is around the corner! With that said, it's time to find some some fiendishly scary YA reads to display!

For me, horror fiction for young adults seemed to wane in a time where werewolves and vampires were having illicit romantic affairs.  But it began to rear its scary head in recent years, and there have been some AWESOME horror novels for teens published in the last few years.

A frequently asked question, is what is the definition of YA horror?  And to me, it's anything terrifying that happens to you in real life or on a paranormal level.  Of course, this opens the playing field to a LOT of perspectives, so this list of 10 definitely is more paranormal heavy.  But I couldn't help putting in two terrifying novels that are VERY reminiscent of horror in the real world.

** watch only if you dare...movie trailers may not be suitable to all audiences

There are in no particular order....

When you're covered with tattoos to protect you from evil, then encounter a huge flock of crows chasing you, you know something is about to happen.  But it's when you show up at a cornfield knowing something evil lurks between the stalks...yes, it's that creepy!

book trailer

Horror movie pair: Children of the Corn
Nothing screams horror more than an axe murder.  And that's what you'll find between the covers of this great non-fiction book.  Narrative style writing makes this read easy, and the pictures, eyewitness testimonies and life for Lizzie Borden will draw readers to the end.

book trailer

Horror movie pair: Halloween
This is horror...when the characters of this book are abducted and put into an underground bunker with no way to escape, the psychological thrillfest for the sociopath that kidnaps them begins.

book trailer

Horror movie pair: Saw
Entering a contest is easy, but living through it is a different matter altogether.  This is what happens when the teen winners of a contest by horror movie director goes from awesome to creepy.  Facing your fears is one thing, living to tell them is quite another...

book trailer

Horror movie pair: Final Destination

Okiku crawls out of the well, her black hair dangling in front of her deathly face.  The next thing you know, she is hanging from the ceiling looking at the man who just committed murder.  Then the lights go out and the terror begins...steeped in Japanese ghosts and Shinto exorcisms, this book will make you scream with pleasure. 

book trailer

Horror movie pair: The Ring

Jen and her father have just moved into Harmony House, home to several violent episodes, including the death of children.  People in the small town seem to know what's going on, but Jen doesn't and the voices become more real with each day she lives and survives....

Horror movie pair: House on Haunted Hill

Evil is on the hunt for those strange and peculiar people who hide from him.  But it's what happens when the hiding place is revealed.  It's up to Jacob to keep these peculiar, and sometimes dangerous, children alive, if possible.  The old pictures alone are sure to touch a nerve and fill it with dread.

book trailer

Horror movie pair: I actually couldn't think of one for this  because it's just so different and...peculiar (bwaaa-haa-haaa) Here's the movie trailer 

Two young women are trying to run to safety in a world filled with sharp knives.  The one thing they can't shake off is the fact they see the dead all around them.  Not only do they see them, but the dead won't leave them alone....ever...Are they here to help or hinder?

Horror movie The Sixth Sense

The entire premise of this book is to take something sweet and turn it into something dark and horrible, and these writers hit the mark! Think you know Alice in Wonderland?  How about Sleepless in Seattle?  Think again....

Horror movie pair: The Birds or Psycho

Going down a detour is irritating as best.  But going down one in the middle of the woods can cause a little different mood, unless you're narcissistic and on a cell phone.  But when the main character wakes up from an accident and finds herself in a basement, you know something bad is about to happen...

Horror movie pair: Misery

Beautiful house, never for sale.  It's been handed down through generations of a family, and it's special.  But a lot of sadness has occurred within the walls of this house.  Mom died, the aunt disappeared....but perhaps you can hear the scratching on the inside of the walls and the cry to let them out?  CREEP FACTOR times TEN!

Horror movie pair: The Conjuring

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7. Video Sunday: Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends

Aww. Didja miss these? It’s not like I see as many videos these days, y’know. Not for lack of interest. They just don’t float in front my nose the way they used to. Fortunately there are a couple that I’ve collected in my travels and I’m featuring them here today. They may be a bit old. You may have seen them 100 times before. But what the hey, right? Life is short.

First up, ALSC released the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder reaction videos.  Grab your popcorn and enjoy:

I just saw this next trailer online (thank you, Monica!) and I cannot convey to you the avarice I hold for anyone who has already seen this.  It’s Matt Phelan’s latest.  And it’s gorgeous:

Another trailer to follow.  True, the violin brings to mind a kind of Ken Burns-y feel. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

A couple months ago young Marley Dias put out the call for middle grade black girl books. I missed the fact that she appeared on Ellen. Problem alleviated!


Thanks to Rita Williams-Garcia for the link.

I do not wish to take away from Travis Jonker his drop dead amazing compilation of peculiar I WANT MY HAT BACK videos he compiled.  So I will just put one here and tell you to go to his site to see the rest.

This does my little 1984 heart good.

It’s summer.  Everyone’s making summer reading videos.  This is my library’s.  My superintendent is sitting on a slide (at Penny Park, clearly).  It gives me great respect for the man.  Plus, check out that logo at the end.  I hate to say it, guys, but I think my library hosts the most attractive summer reading t-shirt this year.

Hm.  That would make a good blog post. . . .

And just to round this all out in a nice way, here’s the book trailer for Evan Turk’s The Storyteller (one of the most beautiful picture books of the year):

Happy 4th of July!


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8. Painting Pepette Book Trailer

Sorry for my absence.  Here's a book trailer to apologize.

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9. Love this trailer, please.

Please, love this clever book trailer about How This Book Was Made  by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex was made.

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10. Cats??!!

I just read a review of the book Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell and put it on my to-read list. (That list is so long, I will need a prolonged convalescence to ever get through it all - or possibly a life of leisure.)  And then I find this!!!

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11. Skunks and Balloons!! Book trailer

It's Monday.  It's raining.  So, here's a book trailer from Owl Books in Canada.

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12. Book TRAILERS for the picture book set


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13. Video Sunday: One Video Short

Been a while, hasn’t it?  Well, better late than never.  And you probably get a better level of quality videos if there’s a month’s gap, eh?

Today we begin with the video of the week.  The Wall Street Journal released this article about Brian Selznick’s puppeteering work on his own book trailer.  For me, it’s the waves that are the most impressive.

When I was sent a copy of Diva and Flea, written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, I almost immediately found myself reading it to my kiddo.  For me, child of the 80s, it had a bit of an Aristocats vibe to it.  For my daughter, it highlighted Paris (a city she already knew through her Madeline and other kidlit texts) and was an interesting tale of miscommunications (her interpretation).  Consequently, Disney upped the ante with its video for the book.  Here’s Mo sporting some Raschka locks in a kind of Dinner with Andre for children’s literary fans.  Be sure you stay for the drawn image at the end.  I think Tony’s version of Mo is the best thing ever.

Did I ever tell you about that time I went to a Scholastic event and there were a bunch of authors standing about talking, and I got into a discussion with Barbara McClintock and this guy who was all in black?  Yeah, we had a good talk and the guy (who was NOT wearing a nametag) wanders off and I turn to Barbara and say, “Who was that?”  And she says, “Jeff Smith”.  Yeah.  So basically I met the guy and wasn’t able to say anything pertinent to him at all.  I’m pretty sure we discussed skunks.  I don’t know why.  That’s just how it came out (which, technically, is right up there with the only conversation I ever had in person with Judy Blume and it was about black and white cookies).  Anywho, I missed this video when it came out in May, but I assure you that the folks in it are just as cute now as they were then.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 11.55.40 PM

My beautiful beautiful first library.  Is it not gorgeous?  Wouldn’t you love to go there?  Do.  Plus the video shows a mysterious glass box in a tower that I’ve never seen before.  I would love a closer look!

Thanks to Marci Morimoto for the link

Here’s how long it’s been since I last did a Video Sunday.  I never posted this faux teaser trailer for the Series of Unfortunate Events video series.  Crazy, right?  It’s so beautifully done, particularly the choice of Amanda Palmer song (and she is a friend of Daniel Handler’s in turn . . .).

Do I really have to mention that Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club for Kids video isn’t, ah, appropriate for kids?  I don’t do I?  I mean, it’s Chuck Palahniuk, for crying out loud.

One video I’d love to show you and that I just don’t have on hand comes from a recent Children’s Literary Salon at NYPL that I help set-up but could never see.  There is footage out there, and I have seen it, of Rita Williams-Garcia, Jeanne Birdsall, and my former co-worker Christopher Lassen dancing like The Jackson 5.  I am not making this up.  I thought I might have a Facebook link but no go.  So if I find it, I will post it, but in the meantime please believe me that you live in a world where such things really do happen.

And for our off-topic video of the day, it’s a little old but there’s no reason not to do the Johnny Depp dressed as Jack Sparrow visiting sick kids in Australia video, right?  I do wonder . . . what did he smell like?  And do authors ever get asked to do this, visit sick kids?  Or write to kids as their own characters?


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14. Ask a Pub Pro: Author Bethany Hagen on Series, Deep POV, & Book Trailers

We are thrilled to welcome author Bethany Hagen to the blog this month as our columnist for Ask a Pub Pro! Bethany is the author of the Landry Park "Downton Abbey dystopian" series with her newest book, Jublilee Manor, just released. She's here to answer your reader questions on how to work necessary backstory into a series, deciding whether to use deep POV in a large-scale book, mistakes in queries, whether book trailers are worth it, and do we really need to know what your characters are wearing? Be sure to check out Jublilee Manor below!

If you have a question you'd like to have answered by an upcoming publishing professional, send it to AYAPLit AT gmail.com and put Ask a Pub Pro Question in the subject line.

Ask a Pub Pro: Author Bethany Hagen on Series, Deep POV, Book Trailers, and What Your Character is Wearing

1) In writing a series, what's the best method for working in the necessary information from a prior book into the next one?

Did you ever watch Lost? Lost was one of those shows (and Game of Thrones is currently another) that have those "Previously on" bits at the beginning. And of course, you always know what the show is going to be about based off the clips they show...like, "Oh, they showed Hurley winning the lottery, so it must be another Hurley episode." What I like about the "Previously on" bits is that they only reveal relevant information--and information that maybe wouldn't be apparent throughout the course of the show. For example, they didn't need to show us clips of Jack and Kate kissing for us to know that they have A Thing. While watching the episode, it would be pretty obvious that there's some serious romantic tension. Instead, they only remind us of the previous plot beats that would be essential to our understanding the plot developments of the current episode without being totally confused.

Read more »

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15. Are we there, Yeti?

Be warned.  This could be an ear-worm trailer.

Are We There, Yeti? by Ashlyn Anstee

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16. Video Sunday: Kinda makes you wanna watch more ballets, don’t it?

Boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  So MUCH very very good stuff to show you today.  Honestly, I don’t even know where to start.  Hrm. Howzabout we begin with one of my favorite tropes: things that parody other things that you’ve never seen. It was Dana Sheridan who directed my attention to this video about The Queen of Hearts from an Alice ballet. A lot of time is spent explaining how one of her dances parodies a very specific dance from Sleeping Beauty. All I know is that we need more funny ballets in this world. Preferably based on children’s books in some manner.

Thanks to Dana Sheridan for the link.

In the book trailer world I came across this little trailer for Hilo.  I liked Hilo quite a bit and the animated portions of this video simple sweeten the pot.

And well . . . come on. It’s the viral video of the week. You don’t think I’d let this one go, do you? It’s practically the whole reason I’m doing a Video Sunday today. What I like to do is look at the book covers the kid’s being read. Lots of Margaret Wise Brown in there, but a nice shot of Global Babies and other beloved contemporary favs as well. Bravo, parents!

Me stuff and it’s audio, not video, but eh. Life’s short.  I was asked to speak with Chicago’s radio station WGN on Friday evening, so I did so about pretty much all things children’s literature.  Now I’ll admit right now that I should have made a better point about how picture books have a higher reading level than easy books and that reading them as an older kid is totally legitimate.  That’s the problem with live radio.  It just goes too fast.  But Justin Kaufmann was an awesome host and we had a great time with the yakkety yak.  In case you’re curious, the link is here.


So full credit where credit is due to Travis Jonker for locating this remarkable Wall Street Journal interview with Brian Selznick about how his drawings become a book like The Marvels.  Brief it may be, but worth your time and attention.

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 9.49.34 PM

Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.

Okay.  The off-topic video.  I want to pay tribute to my new town.  And what better way to do so than to show you this truly dated and WONDERFUL history of Evanston, IL.  For fun, just skip to the section on “Evanston Today” at 12:10, sit back, and just soak it in.  Soak. It. In.


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17. Video Sunday: Hits ’em With His Head Edition

So, fun fact. I read a serious 2017 Newbery contender a couple months ago and it looks like they may release it in the nearish future (February 2nd). I’m calling 2016 as The Year of the Fox, by the way, since both Sara Pennypacker and Kathi Appelt have fox related middle grades on the horizon. This is a particularly nice little book trailer for the Pennypacker book, and not just because they get my current workplace correct. It’s a classy little number.

Betcha bottom dollar you’ll need to read it.

You know, when I hear about librarian parody videos, I naturally assume that they’re done of the latest, hottest song. It’s almost a relief to see one of, of all things, Bohemian Rhapsody. What’s next? Eye of the Tiger? Cause I’ll take it!

Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.

As you may have heard, the internet being what it is, there’s a new illustrator of Harry Potter in town and his name is Jim Kay.  A whole host of new images were released the other day, and that was swell, but sometimes it’s nice to hear from the artist himself.

You know, I thought I’d posted this video before but it appears I somehow didn’t.  Ah well.  It isn’t a Video Sunday without at least one 80s style toy ad.  Such as it is.

Thanks to Dana Sheridan for the link!

And for today’s Off-Topic Video I’m going to say, “YES! I KNOW HE DOESN’T HIT THE BRICKS WITH HIS HEAD BUT WITH HIS FIST! THIS IS STILL FUNNY, CONSARN IT!” Phew! Had to get that out there.


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18. Infographic: Recommended YA Books with Book Trailers

Using a website called Mindomo (makes some great infographics and mind maps!) I made an infographic of what recommendations for YA novels.  There are 13 genres represented and comes with book trailers when available.

Recommended YA Books with Book Trailers

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19. Bats of the Republic Trailer

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20. Video Sunday: Spiritual Otters and Evangelical Raccoons

Woot!  I’ve scraped and saved and slavered and after a couple weeks have culled together enough videos to constitute a truly lovely Video Sunday.  And since Halloween is near upon us (a holiday I will, strangely enough, be spending at an outside wedding in Maine) why not begin with the king of frightening children’s literature himself, Stephen Gammell.  Mental Floss recently released a post called 14 Terrifying Facts About Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.  Fine and good but the link to the documentary caught my particular eye . . .

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 10.21.58 PM

Scary Stories (Official Trailer) from Cody Meirick on Vimeo.

As did the video they linked to showing how illustrator Stephen Gammell does his art.  Pretty amazing to see in process.

This next one’s a hoot. Author Steve Sheinkin, when he isn’t creating a comic styled interview series or writing National Book Award short list nominees is, apparently, doing some killer LEGO book trailers as well. Check this out. And since it features Nixon, yes indeed there is some slightly salty language.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 10.26.33 PM

Another book trailer, and this time for a book that I certainly hope will be getting some awards soon. The Martin Scorsese blurb is a nice touch.

That tune just slays me.

This next one is timed nicely with the Alice in Wonderland 150th anniversary.  It discusses Alice Hargreaves (the real Alice)’s trip to Columbia University in the 30s and has some very nice interviews with some of today’s Alice experts. It mentions things like a picture of Alice that was published in Punch before the book was officially published.  Be sure to get to the part where you can hear the real Alice’s voice.

For more information, just go here.

Writing parodies come.  Writing parodies go.  But writing parodies where the singer is thoroughly easy on the ears and parodies one of my favorite songs?  That’s just gravy.  As such . . .

Thanks to Watch. Connect. Read. for the link.

And our off-topic video today features the son of a friend of mine (some of you may recognize his voice).  His kiddo, I should say his very small kiddo, has memorized all the literary ladies on his mommy’s mug.  The way he pronounces Sylvia Plath?  Priceless.


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21. Book Trailers 101

I’ve been meaning to write a detailed blog post about how to make a book trailer for years now, since I made one for my first novel, Fair Coin. So that was back in… 2012. Yikes!

This isn’t that post—not quite. Consider this more of an introductory overview of the process, and if people are interested, I will break the process down further in a series of subsequent posts to make a more comprehensive guide on tools and techniques and other resources.

Anatomy of a Book Trailer

So, you want a book trailer. The first question you have to ask yourself is: Do you need one? Opinions are split on whether they actually encourage people to buy books, even among marketing professionals; it’s difficult to measure those outcomes. Then again, it’s hard to say how much film trailers encourage (or discourage) people from heading to the theater. For a while it seemed like every book had a trailer, just because, but you certainly don’t need one to sell books, and you aren’t necessarily at a disadvantage without one. Schools and libraries sometimes show trailers to their teens, or help them make trailers for their favorite books, so there could be some value in making people aware that your book exists. And the very slick, very professional trailer that my current publisher, Adaptive Books, produced for The Silence of Six was shared widely, and many people commented that it made them want the book.

Maybe you just want a trailer because trailers are cool, or you have a neat idea for one, or you have time and money in excess. For me, the thought process was:

  1. I know how to make a trailer myself, so why not?
  2. I want to do everything I can to make my debut novel a success, so if there’s a chance a trailer can help, I’m gonna have one.
  3. I have a fun idea for a trailer, and I really want to make it happen.

But you’ve decided, yes, there will be a book trailer. The next thing you should do is talk to your publicist to see what they might have planned. Some publishers will handle all that for the author, others will cheerfully wish you luck.

If you’re on your own, your next decision is a big one: Do you hire a professional to make your trailer, or do you make it yourself? You can make a trailer yourself even if you have zero video production experience, but if you want something lavish, something cinematic perhaps, you will probably need to get more people involved. A basic trailer could run you several hundred dollars, but if you’re planning to film this from scratch with actors and costumes and special effects, expect to spend much more than that. For now, let’s assume you have practically no budget, because you’re a writer, and you still have to buy swag (which should be a separate blog post). Would you believe you can make a decent trailer for $20 or less?

Here’s the basic stuff you may need in your book trailer, with some examples from the Fair Coin trailer, embedded below:

A concept

Do you want your trailer to have actors or video footage or a slideshow of images set to text or music? Personally, I don’t like trailers that have actors or even narration dramatizing scenes or passages from the book; I prefer getting a sense of the book’s tone and plot, which trailers are excellent at conveying. Fortunately those are much cheaper to produce as well.

Because Fair Coin is about a coin that grants wishes, I wanted to show someone flipping a coin. That should be easy, right?


To make a video, you need assets: video clips, images, sound clips, music, etc. You can find a lot of this for free, usually through a Creative Commons license or for a licensing fee, or you can of course record your own (which then requires, at minimum, a smartphone and at best, a video camera). Licensing fees can vary from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. In a future post, I’ll point out some great places to get free or cheap music and stock photos.

It turns out that to capture a coin flip, you really need a high-speed camera, which is expensive — even to rent one for a couple of hours. High quality stock footage runs a few hundred dollars for just a thirty-second clip. But I lucked out: I found a perfect clip on YouTube and wrote to the creators for permission to use it. Since it was something they shot just to test their camera, they were happy to give it to me for free, and sent me high quality source video. I still had to tweak the color to what I wanted, but it cost me nothing! I got permission from Sam Weber, the artist who painted the cover for Fair Coin, to use it in the trailer and bookmarks, and he also sent me a high resolution file to work with, which I also tweaked subtly. (Check out Jenna’s eyes.) I couldn’t get permission for the music I wanted, but I found royalty-free music that I liked and paid $20 to license it. I got the sound effects for free. Total cost for assets: $20.

Editing Software

Even a very simple trailer, like a slideshow, requires editing software. I’ve made trailers in Windows Movie Maker, and there are some things it does very well, like filters, so I’ve returned to it even when I have access to fancier programs. So free software like Movie Maker and iMovie on Macs are very much an option, and you can use Audacity for easy audio mixing. I primarily use Adobe Premiere Elements, which is very affordable and offers a robust set of professional features, but you could also spring for Avid or Final Cut if you have the cash and a computer that can run them. I already had Adobe Premiere, so I’m calling that cost zero as well.

You’ll see a few simple visual effects in my trailer. The one I really wanted — the ripple effect — didn’t come with the version I owned, and it was kind of expensive to buy it so I ran a trial version on the clips that I wanted and saved them separately. Tricky, but free!

Total Cost: $20.

Then What?

To oversimplify things, you use the editing software to put all your assets together, then you output a video and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo or Facebook, or however you want to share it. In reality, even though I wasn’t paying someone to do the work for me, it did cost me around two days of my own time, which is also valuable. If I had been paying myself to work on the video at my usual freelance rates, I couldn’t have afforded it! But basically, I ended up with this:

When the sequel, Quantum Coin, came out, I was pretty sure I didn’t need a trailer, but I made one just on principle, and for the symmetry of it, and the process was very similar.

Let me know in the comments if you’d like to know more about making book trailers, and if you have any questions. Also, please share some of your favorite book trailers! Two of my favorites, which are fairly straightforward, are for A Wrinkle in Time (50th Anniversary) by Madeline L’Engle and Tempest by Julie Cross.

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22. Video Sunday: Great Scott!

Ack!  Too many good videos, too little time!  We’ve an embarrassment of riches today.  The only question really is where to start.  And the only natural answer is with Obama’s nominee for the Librarian of Congress.  Not much of a question there, really.

Next up, there is beginning to be a bit of a tradition of authors and illustrators recording videos of how they got “the call” when they won the Caldecott or Newbery (I almost wrote and/or Newbery, which is an interesting near flub).  Last year we had Dan Santat’s video.  This year, Sophie Blackall’s:

At this rate it may behoove us to just give the medals to people who are good at making videos.  And the Newbery Medal goes to . . . Tyler Oakley!

Now let’s get down to brass tacks.  People, there are awards out there that go beyond the mere borders of this great nation of ours.  And the Hans Christian Andersen Award is the greatest of these (though the Astrid Lindgren Award gives it a run for its money).  Now they’ve made a video for us that goes through the 2016 nominees.  I adore this.   I just want to meet all these people.  Suzy Lee!!!  Now, weirdly, I want her to adopt me.  And Iran! How cool is that?

This next book trailer seemingly has an international flavor to it, but is homegrown Americana through and through.  It may also be the most beautiful trailer of 2016 thus far.

Thanks to educating alice for the link.

Earlier this week, Phil Nel posted a killer post called Seuss on Film.  The piece is “a brief (but far from complete) collection of Seuss on film!”  Turns out, it was somewhat tricky getting Mr. Geisel on the old camera.  Phil’s a trooper, though.  He found newsreel after newsreel and has posted them on YouTube for our collective enjoyment.  You should really read his posting yourself.  In fact, I insist upon it.  And just to whet your whistle, here’s a jaw-dropping 1964 discussion with Seuss in New Zealand where he improvises answers to kids’ questions.

As for our Off-Topic Video of the week, I give this to you because I love you.  Really, truly, deeply love you.



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23. Book Trailer!

Teaching faith and values to pre-schoolers is not always easy.  So, books like this one are helpful for extolling the wonderfulness of the world - and the Maker.  And the trailer is pretty just the way it is.

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24. Blackthorn Key

The book is so much better - truly.  The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands.

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25. Ta Dah! The LATER, GATOR book trailer!

Hooray for my first official book trailer! LATER, GATOR doesn't publish 'til July 19th, but I'm excited to start sharing it around :) And much thanks to my daughter for the lovely sound track!

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