Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Trailers: It's All in the Soundtrack

Tip of the Day: The deadline for materials to ARRIVE for the SCBWI work in progress grant in March 15.

More and more authors are making book trailers to promote their novels, and I think it's a good thing. A book trailer can make me more willing to pick up a book than I might have been before I watched it. I found this out when we did some Author2Author scoping out of book trailers for this week's post series on book trailers. The question we asked is: what works in a trailer and what doesn't?

After watching a few trailers, I found what really makes a trailer resonate with me is the music. The music should recreate the tone and mood of the novel.

What kind of novel is it? Emotional and haunting, like Lisa's CHASING BROOKLYN? Then the trailer features modern classical music that is also emotional and haunting. The trailer for BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl uses modern classical music that's straight up creepy. I like it!

So then I got curious as to what kind of music a light rom-com novel might use in a trailer. How about the trailer to PROM KINGS AND DRAMA QUEENS by Dorian Cirrone? This alt-pop music is totally upbeat and energetic, which fits the story. I've already read this novel and enjoyed it, but it seemed to me that the trailer gave away too much of the plot. I prefer trailers that convey the mood better.

Here's an example of a trailer for a humorous novel: INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER by Julie Halpern. This trailer is so different than the others. It uses animated drawings instead of still pictures, and the music is electronica! Cool! I've seen this novel in the library, but it has a very busy hot pink cover and didn't look appealing. But after seeing the trailer, I'm much more intrigued and plan to pick it up.

So if you're making a book trailer, think MUSIC! Whether it's pop, electronica, or haunting violins, that music will tell me what I can expect: high energy fun, modern tech, or a good scare. I'd love to know how people pick out the music for their trailers.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


Alissa said...

I find that shorter tends to work better for book trailers. Anything more that a minute is too long, and well for me moving images as opposed to static ones seem more appealing.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I totally agree! Music makes a HUGE difference. And I agree with Alissa too, about length.

And there are some really great programs out there (iMovie for macs, and Windows Movie Maker, which I think is free)

Here's mine

DeenaML said...

Kate -- this trailer does make me want to read NERD YONDER more than the cover of the book.

Alissa -- I agree -- under a minute long is best.

Kristina Springer said...

Wow Sara! That looks great!! And you're right about the music!

Christina Farley said...

I've actually been working on a book trailer for Chosen Warrior for fun. I've found it hard to find music that I can use. Most of the places are either really expensive to buy the rights or the quality isn't so good. I did find one site that is really good, you just have to credit the composer. If anyone is interested, I'll find it somewhere for you!

Kristina Springer said...

Oooh-- I'm interested to see Christina!