How to Make a Book Trailer

Before I began writing children’s and teen books I worked in film and TV and I love the crossover between books and motion pictures. I’ve been making trailers for my books for the past seven years. I’ve made some stinkers and some that have been really effective in bringing the story to life.

In this post I’ll share some of my trailers, a few that I love from other authors and my top five book-trailer-making tips.

First up, here are the three My Life book trailers that I have made over the past three years. They use simple techniques to bring the books to life. Watch them and consider the elements that were needed to make them – things like images, music, voiceover, video editing software, video transitions from shot to shot, actors, false teeth and slime.

Here’s the trailer for Two Wolves (published in the US as On the Run). I wrote the story and asked a newsreader to record it for me…

And here’s a behind-the-scenes on the writing of Two Wolves / On the Run, a very different kind of trailer.

Here are two of my favourite trailers for other authors’ books…

And a couple of my favourite student LitVids book trailers from last year’s competition. Check out the LitVids Vimeo channel for more.

My Top 5 Tips for Trailer-Making

1. Choose a book you’ve written or one that you really love. Your trailer is a tool to get other people excited to pick up a book.

2. Write a 30-second to 1-minute trailer script. Two minutes max! Remember: Short is good. Long is bad.

3. Pre-visualise your trailer, gathering images, music and other videos for ideas. Try using Story Scrapbook, my free transmedia story brainstorming tool at

4. Shoot and edit. Or, if you’re using still pictures, gather your images and music and edit. (Make sure you own the copyright to the images or search for Creative Commons or Royalty-Free images and music.)

5. Share it on YouTube, Vimeo, submit it to book trailer-making competitions and screen it live if you have a chance to speak in front of a class or another audience.

You can also check out Anatomy of a Book Trailer at Sydney Writers Centre for more tips.

Good luck!


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    June 3, 2015 / 2:59 am


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