Why have a book trailer when you don’t yet have a book? I’m glad you asked that. Before I answer that, let’s start with what they are. Book trailers have taken off as a means to promote that new/upcoming release or generate an interest in a new series. For those who were as hooked on Game of Thrones as I was, the teaser videos released before the next instalment fed the addiction and left me squealing, “I can’t wait!”
Book trailers should do the same thing. It’s an interesting concept when you think of it: visual arts generating interest in the written word, where both are different disciplines. Or are they? Writing is storytelling, and it’s effectiveness depends on how the words are arranged on a page and the specific words used. Visual arts is also about storytelling, though it engages a different part of our brain. Colours, shapes and form combine to tell a story and their arrangement is designed to trigger an emotional response in the viewer. No different than storytelling through words.
I have found through creating my book trailers how powerful images can be in telling a story and how music can enhance the narrative. It’s also made me look at my own writing more carefully, to consider word choices in the same way as I do a visual image–does it communicate the story that I’m trying to tell? And sentence structure is very much like music, for words spoken aloud or in your head have a melody and rhythm of their own.
So back to my question–why have a book trailer when you don’t yet have a book available? Working with audio and visual tools helps you penetrate the heart of your story. You have one minute to tell your story using video and to do so, you must condense your entire labour of love down to its most impactful elements. It helps you answer the question, what is the story about?
A year ago I took Rich Helm’s excellent course, Book Trailer 101. It started out as a short workshop before Rich expanded it to a 5 week course. Rich proved to us that anyone can create an effective book trailer, even non-techy people, and through the process we created a log line and a tag line, both of which led to a script. That’s when I truly felt that I understood my story. It was no longer a collection of scenes, one playing off the other, like a dense tangle of trees. I could now see the trail running through the forest. Thanks Rich!
Over the next week, I will be releasing my book trailers, Traitor’s Knot Part 1, and Traitor’s Knot Part 2. There are two parts because my story is told through two characters, each with their own perspective. It’s only fair that they get equal time.
Rather than simply posting them, I thought they deserved to be ushered in with a splash! Stay tuned tomorrow for the pre-show.