We sat down with NY Times and USA Today best-selling author Jennifer Probst to discuss cinematic book trailers. We at Film 14 try to get as many perspectives as possible on the subject, that’s why we routinely interview our filmmakers, actors, and above all, the authors that these trailers were made for. Jennifer has a lot of insightful things to say about her book trailer for the hugely popular Marriage to a Billionaire series, as well as book trailers in general.
1. When/how did you first learn about the term “book trailer” and what was your initial reaction to the idea?
I learned about book trailers years ago when they were just beginning to gain popularity. I was excited about trying one for myself, so I printed out instructions, spent endless hours scouring through stock photo sites, music sites, etc, and finally got one together. I love the idea that a book can become visual and open up to a whole new audience. Also, they’re just FUN!
2. What qualities do you think are needed to make a good book trailer?
We’ve moved beyond throwing some photos, text and music on a page. Readers and viewers expect more with technology. I think a creative vision of the book is necessary to deliver the ideas the writer wants to get across. Music is key, placement of text, voice over, mood, and flow is crucial to keep a reader’s attention – just like a movie preview. It’s the entire dance coming together that makes an overall lasting impression.
3. Do you have any favorite book trailers?
Well, I love the ones on Film 14 of course! Melody Anne’s Surrender is awesome and different. Also Jennifer Armentrout’s book video for Obsidian is amazing.
4. What made you choose this series to be your first Film 14 cinematic book trailer?
First off, this series is completed so readers can dive right in. Also, my newest series, The Searching For series, is a spin off of the Marriage to a Billionaire, so it will lead them naturally to look at what’s next. The Marriage Bargain exploded two years ago and spent 26 weeks on the NYT list. I think the series deserved a unique trailer, especially with revealing brand new covers.
5. How did the final product of your book trailer, including choice of actors, style, tone, etc, hold up to your expectations and what you already had imagined when writing the book in the first place?
We spent a lot of time going over ideas and brainstormed how to shoot for a series rather than one specific book. I had a very open mind going in, because I wasn’t attached to a certain idea but wanted a solid overall feel readers would be intrigued with. We decided to play on the marriage concept because each book has a different set up of a marriage of convenience, and throughout the video the reader is unsure what type of marriage it really is. After the first round, I realized something was missing, so we decided to add the voice over to get the concept across and I think it came out great!
Here’s Jennifer’s book trailer for the Billionaire series, which to-date has nearly 35,000 views!