Book Trailers
Background: Digital book trailers are short videos that promote a book and motivate others to read it. Basically, they are advertisements to get you to buy into their product. There are different ways to create book trailers using various technologies.

  • Book trailers are short and can be compared to film trailers that you see at the movies.

  • There are ways to create an effecitve book trailer with just pictures, music and a few words on each screen, or with music and voiceovers throughout the trailer.
  • There are different tools you can use to create a book trailer:

    • Movie Maker allows you to import pictures and videos, add words to each picture, and add either music or narration. If you want music and narration, you will need to create it in audacity and import it into movie maker.

    • Animoto is a simple way to create videos. They use uploaded images and videoclips and set them to music, creating a video that is paced to the beat of the music. You can add your narration as words on each picture, but you cannot add an audio narration. You will need to create your own log in for Animoto.

  • Deciding on the software and format is more a matter of preference, and how you can best portray the "mood" of the book.
    • Matching the format and music to the story is just as important as the words you use to narrate it.

  • Book trailers cause the creator to consider the main ideas and plot of a book.
  • Trailers that include narration reinforce the writing process.
  • Book trailers can be used instead of the typical "book report".
  • They are a basis for technology integration and motivate other students to read recreationally.
  • Instead of presenting your project to the teacher, you will be able to share it with a larger audience. Especially if you allow the school to add it to the library catalog!! Before students check out a book, they can watch the book trailer you created to see if it looks interesting.

How to get started:

1. Pick the right book.
2. Watch other trailers.

  • Consider images, voice, music, and pacing.
  • See Bottom of page for book trailer examples

3. Write your script/storyboard....try to create suspense....leave them wanting more.

4. Find your pictures. Save them to a flashdrive or your H drive.

Filter your Google search by usage rights.
  • If you need to use pictures for a class project and want to rely on a Google search for images, go to advanced search options, scroll down to usage rights, and choose "label for reuse." Your search will only contain pictures that are copyright free and therefore you don't need to get permission before you use them. If you want to sell your video or project in the future, make sure you select a filter option for commercial use.
  • If you can't find enough pictures when you filter by usage rights, it is o.k. to do a normal search without filter options and use those pictures, if your project and the way you intend to use it, fits under "Fair Use" guidelines. The project needs to fit the following criteria in order for you to use pictures that are not labeled for reuse and without getting permission from the owner:
    • Fair Use: Fair use is a legal principle that provides certain limitations on the exclusive rights** of copyright holders. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance on the application of fair use principles by educators, scholars and students who develop multimedia projects using portions of copyrighted works under fair use rather than by seeking authorization for non-commercial educational uses.
      1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes. If it is for commercial use, or is shown to large audiences (youtube) it does not fall under fair use.
      2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
      3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
      4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work. If it could possibly hurt the market for the product you use, it is not considered fair use.
    • The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the situation.
    • For the purposes of these guidelines, educators include faculty, teachers, instructors and others who engage in scholarly research and instructional activities for educational institutions. Educational multimedia projects which incorporate portions of copyrighted works under these guidelines may be used only for educational purposes in systematic learning activities including use in connection with non-commercial curriculum-based learning and teaching activities by educators to students enrolled in courses at nonprofit educational institutions.
  • Save urls of pictures as you find them. You always need to site your sources, regardless of usage rights.
  • Make sure they are large pictures (640 by 480 jpg or bigger)

5. Find a song that creates the right mood for your book.

  • See Creative Licensing Sites and Information page located on the left menu.
  • Make note of the length of the song. It is better to be too long than too short.
  • Save the url, artist, and name of the song to add to the credits.
  • Most mp3 files should work in Movie Maker, but depending on how the song was coded, some do not. If the mp3 file you choose does not import into movie maker, all you have to do is go to audacity>>project>>import audio>>select the song/mp3 you would like>>export as mp3>>and then import into movie maker. It's just a couple extra steps, but worth it if you really want that song!!
6. Use Audacity to create a narration layered with music.
  • See audacity tutorial for instructions:
    • If you are using audacity for the first time on a computer, you may need to do one additional step in order to export your file as an mp3. When you go to File and click on Export as MP3, the following box may appear:
      Go ahead and click yes>>go to My Computer>>Local Disk>>Program Files>>Audacity>>Lame-enc.dll
      Enter any additional information that it asks you for, and then make sure you have an exported MP3 file in the folder you chose.
  • Make sure you adjust the volume so the song does not overpower your voice.

7. Option: Use powerpoint to create a title page and credits page.
  • Save the slide as a jpg and import to movie maker.

8. Use Movie Maker and set up a new project.
  • See Movie Maker Tutorial at the bottom of the page, or Movie Maker Resources page located in the left column menu for more directions and tutorials.

9. Import pictures, music, titles and credits.
  • Make sure you have access to the folder you saved all your images and music in everytime you work on your project. When you are finished and finalize the move, you will not need access to those files anymore.
  • See Movie Maker tutorials for help.

10. Match script to the pictures.

11. Flow and Focus.

12. Enhance and Edit.

13. Test and show round one.

  • Is it boring, too fast, fuzzy pictures, music too loud, can't hear it, too much, too little....etc.?
  • Ask a friend what they think and get some feedback. Does it entice them to read the book?

14. Make adjustments

15. Test and show round 2.

16. Finalize, upload to a designated folder, and present.

Review: tips for a successful book trailer

  1. Remember not to create "spoilers" or give away the ending of the book.
  2. Create suspense and "sell" the book to your classmates.
  3. Identify the high points of the book.
  4. Adhere to Copyright/Acceptable Use Policy.
  5. Follow image licensing and cite references.
  6. Get really big pictures. 640 by 480 at least
  7. Script writing and image searching go hand in hand.
  8. Get the narration right. Focus on emotion and tone.
  9. Make sure the music fits the tone of the book.
  10. Keep your audience in mind.
  11. Keep it short 1:00-4:00.
  12. Create a citation page in PowerPoint with links to the URLs used in the video and save it as a jpeg.
  13. Enhance your video with effects/transitions
  14. Add background music, but make sure it is lower volume than your narration. Does it match the mood? Enhance the story?

For more tips on creating a book trailer view the following presentation:

Disclaimer for these instructions: Mrs. Meyers class will be using Movie Maker, instead of photo story 3. This was made for another class, so some directions and requirements are a little different. However, this is a great tutorial of how to make an effective book trailer.

Audacity Tutorial:

Movie Maker Tutorial:

Book Trailer Examples:
Watch for pace, how the music can change the entire feel for a book, how some leave you wanting more, how some books give too much information and detail, and notice the things you don't like about each (abrupt endings, too slow, too fast, not enough information). Watch to see how some books focus on the bigger issues in the book, instead of the details (is that more effective, not as effective).....

Short Version:

Long Version:

Diary of Ann Frank Examples:

Good Example of a "hook" at the end:

Not as effective example:

A Boy Who Dared Audio Narration Example:

Alaskan Gold Rush Audio Narration Example:

Chasing Lincoln's Killer Examples:

Night, By Elie Wiese Examples:
Great example that advertises the book and makes you want to read it:

This example has great information, but it is too detailed and gives away the ending. Your mission is to get someone to want to read the book, not tell them everything about it.

Unbroken Example:
Music would have made this much for effective.

Fiction Book Trailer Examples:!873&parid=6CE1296DEFFF772A!870!872&parid=6CE1296DEFFF772A!870!876&parid=6CE1296DEFFF772A!870

What did you like about each? What didn't you like? How did they match the music, narration, pictures, pace, and voice, to the mood of the book?

Remember: I would love to use these to promote books in our library, so having copyright free images and music are important! Especially, since our new library software will be on the internet and available for others to watch. Also, if you ever want to share your projects (from any class) on the internet via YouTube or a website, you will always need to use copyright free materials. You will be very disappointed if you start off with your favorite song, and then need to change it to a song that allows you to have free rights to it.