Since we started out our mission at Film 14 has been to make live-action book trailers affordable for authors and publishers worldwide. While creating trailers with live actors, award-winning directors and cinematographers is pricier than a trailer of the slide show variety, the investment pays for itself over time. Which is to say, paid ads dry up, whereas book trailers live online forever.
That said, Film 14 is run by independent filmmakers who know how to get things done at budget-friendly levels. So while dragons, spaceships, CGI, and fictional kingdoms might seem prohibitive, a little less-is-more style thinking goes a long way. This is true even if your book doesn’t have magical elements and is more reality-based.
Below are 5 book trailer examples from our most affordable production tier, The Filmmaker Package.
Summit Lake by Charlie Donlea (2017)
Kevin O’Brien calls Donlea’s debut mystery novel, “The Lovely Bones meets The Silence of the Lambs-with a bit of Twin Peaks thrown in.” A mystery unfolds after a law student is murdered in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Directed by David Formentin, whose approach to this literary thriller was to follow the actress/murder victim in a series of long shots that give the audience a taste of the tension and suspense inside the book. At the same time keeping the character’s physical features in the negative space. 2017.
Red Tide by Jeff Lindsay (2015)
When NY-based publisher Diversion Books hired us to make a book trailer for the author of the Dexter Series, we knew we wanted to do something unique. At the same time, we needed to drive home that this was indeed a trailer for a book, and not a new Showtime series. So, together with the team at Diversion we developed the playful idea of staging a crime scene where the lead detective uncovers something… revealing… in the final shot.
I Am Mercy by Mandi Lynn (2020)
Filmed during the pandemic, this trailer for Mandi Lynn’s YA novel about a woman accused of witchcraft in 14th century France is a case study in low-budget book trailer making, as well as how to utilize a less-is-more approach. Shot on a Southern California cliffside, the trailer focuses on the main character, played by Whitney Able, and uses voice over and pitch black cutaways. Further accompanied by an eerie sound design to bring Lynn’s book to the small screen. The minimalist filmmaking approach makes this a more affordable book trailer comparatively.
Deepwoods by Honor Raconteur (2014)
Similar in approach to I Am Mercy, this series book trailer for the period saga by author Honor Raconteur has a few more locations and props (sword, scroll) for a larger impact. Furthermore, the trailer gives a sense of the heroine and the arduous journey that lies ahead for her in this exciting YA series.
The Billionaire Wins the Game by Melody Anne (2013)
We’ve had the pleasure of making three book trailers for indie romance author Melody Anne. For Billionaire, we shot in an upper floor New York office. Instead of using the imagery to drive the narrative, director Dara Van Dusen took an excerpt from Melody Anne’s novel and used the award-winning writing itself as the primary storytelling device.
If you’d like to dive deeper, check out this Youtube playlist with more book trailer examples from the Filmmaker’s Package.
To get an idea of how much a book trailer costs to create professionally, this article has everything you need.
Need a book trailer? Film 14 offers book trailers for authors and services such as audiobook recording, book cover design, and more! Check us out here, or shoot us an email! Want to make your own book trailer? Check out our free guide!