|A still from Glinda Chen’s fan book trailer for Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise|
Fans eagerly awaiting the release of their favorite author’s next book are filling the void by creating their own homemade book trailers. Other lit-geeks are making trailers to pay tribute to books they’ve loved, to encourage people to take a look at what they’ve been reading, or to propose their dream cast for a future movie version. Whatever the source of inspiration, in recent years there has been an explosion of fan-made book trailers.
The vast majority of fan book trailers are a pastiche of still images, quotes, stock footage, or existing clips from films, fashioned together with varying degrees of editing expertise. Some of these are receiving an astonishing number of views. In 2009, The Huffington Post featured a book trailer for Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn that had received 10 million hits. It has now been removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement – highlighting one of the challenges involved in making fan book trailers. Nonetheless there are countless trailers of this variety still out there on the web. Some elegant examples can be seen on The YA Book Traveler’s YouTube channel.
Although trickier to track down, there are fans who are taking things to the next level and producing slick, original-content book trailers. Take art student Glinda Chen’s animated trailer for Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise. Featured recently on i09, this film noir-inspired trailer is definitely one of the most stylish animations we’ve seen recently.
We also love this thrilling, action movie-reminiscent fan trailer for Legend by Marie Lu, made by Ideas for Hollywood. These self-professed, “brothers, professional daydreamers, kids at heart, and lovers of stories”, were musing over whether they could make book trailers for a living. Their trailer now has over 25,000 views!
Meanwhile, first-time animator Ilya Kuvshinov spent over a month storyboarding and learning After Effects, to produce this kitsch, artsy, and engaging book trailer for Victor Pelevin’s The Sacred Book of the Werewolf.
The prevalence of amateur book trailer competitions, such as those held by public libraries around the country, is also giving rise to original content fan trailers. One very young fan, Maia Buljeta, enlisted acting help from her family to film a trailer for the Moffat Library Teen Book Trailer Contest. Her Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder trailer was so charming that the book’s author, Joanne Fluke, posted it on her website!
If these fans have inspired you to make your own book trailer, there are now numerous how-to guides available. We know we’re biased, but you can’t do much better than listen to our very own Adam Cushman pass on his advice about making a DIY cinematic book trailer.
After that, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, check out this savvy guide by Tim Ferriss on making your book trailer go viral. Who knows? Maybe you could be the next fan to produce a book trailer with over a 1,000,000 hits…