What’s a Book Trailer?
A while back, I complained on my Facebook fan page for Gringa about my summer struggles to make a book trailer. One of my friends e-mailed back, “Wouldn’t it be easier if you just searched on Craigslist for a used Library Bookmobile and called it good?”
Tempting as it was to simply pack our VW bus with copies of the book and hit the road, I nevertheless slaved away for two months learning Final Cut Express so that I could create a 3 1/2 minute book trailer to promote Gringa. A book trailer functions like a movie trailer–both are short and compelling, with the goal of selling a product. More and more authors are making book trailers, or having them made. Here’s a good article from Poets & Writers Magazine which explains further. You can also watch numerous trailers at http://www.book-trailers.net/.
I first became aware of the genre when I viewed the trailer for Marc Acito’s book How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater. VidLit does a marvelous job, but I didn’t have the money to pay for a professional trailer. I know of one author who’s paying a multimedia journalism student to create a book trailer, but–crazy as it sounds–I wanted to learn to make one myself. I knew I didn’t want the footage to include merely shots of me talking, interspersed with a photo of the book. Kirkus Reviews called my book “quirky,” and I wanted the book trailer to reflect that . . . but how?
I thought about the themes in Gringa, as well as the tone of the writing. As the book includes recipes, I structured the trailer around teaching viewers how to make one of the key “meals”–Frito Boats. I scanned numerous old photos and composed some new ones. It took me several hours to record clips with a Flipcam and an external microphone, and more time searching for a suitable tune on FreePlay Music. I spent dozens of hours putting it all together. I ate way too many Fritos, and relied way too much on the technological expertise of two friends, but in the end, I came away with a book trailer that’s flawed, but funny.
Feel free to view the book trailer for Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood, and pass it on!