A couple of years ago I had no idea that book trailers were an actual thing. It didn’t make sense to me back at the time to make a trailer for something that can be read. But, as time progressed I found that my opinion of them changed and eventually it led me to believe that having a book trailer for my debut “The Fall of Netherea” would be a pretty good thing. And so, I set out to get one made!
So, where do you start making a book trailer? Was the first question I had in my head. Well, my first step was doing some research into book trailers, by watching a whole lot of them. I’ve seen some good book trailers and I’ve also seen a whole slew of horrible ones. I won’t go into any naming and shaming, but an animated PowerPoint is not a good book trailer. Let’s be honest here.
Whenever I look into something I want to do, I always want to have an idea of what exactly it is that I don’t want. This always helps me to find out what it is that I do want. Looking at a whole slew of book trailers I quickly found out what it was I didn’t like about most of them. Bad artwork, too much text on the screen (it’s a trailer people, not a book), they were way too long (e.g. over 2 minutes), or they didn’t convey a message other than “you really need to buy this shit”.
To the drawing board!
After figuring out what I wanted; a short, animated book trailer with awesome artwork, I set out to making a storyboard and a short script. I penned down the script first, or rather, the voice-over and then tested its duration, to check if it wasn’t too long. After some careful slicing I ended up at about 52 seconds, including pauses. A perfect length for a book trailer, if you ask me.
I then drew a storyboard, based on my script. It was basically some bad line sketches, but enough to convey what I wanted to the artist. I also included some basic information for the animator, so he would know what type of action would be required at certain scenes.
Since Peter is my go-to guy for artwork after he made the wonderful cover of “The Fall of Netherea”, I decided to hire him to make the artwork I needed. We sat together for an evening, discussing the storyboard with Niels from Roodbaard Media, who was going to do the animation work. One of the most important things we discussed was the fact that Peter needed to work in layers so the animation work could be done a whole lot easier.
Collecting the artwork, animating and sound
After Peter was done making the artwork Niels set out to start the animation work. In the meantime, I contacted Patty and asked her if she wanted to do the voice-over for the trailer. I was delighted that she accepted the job. I was even more delighted that she nailed it!
The only thing that remained was to compose some music and render the whole thing. Niels is also a musician and asked if it was OK if he did the music as well. I thought that was a pretty good idea and when I first saw the finished trailer, I loved everything about it. The artwork, the animation, the way Patty’s voice-over sounds, mixed with the mysterious music. It truly creates the atmosphere I was hoping it would have.
You can see the end result on YouTube. Please enjoy!
I hope you all like the book trailer and that it’ll make you curious what the books are all about! I’m currently checking all my editor’s hard work on book II, which is due for release on December 3rd of this year! I’ll be writing updates on the road to the release of book II as well in the upcoming weeks.