Writing a Script for a Book Trailer - Jo-Ann Carson

Writing a Script for a Book Trailer

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from: Infinite monkey theorem, Wikipedia

How to do “it”

I Googled, “DIY book trailers” and found two helpful blog posts on the topic.

  1.  On Jami Gold’s  blog, Angela Quarles outlines 5 steps and provides lots of links.
  2.  Yukionna Publishing outlines 7 steps and also provides links.

Now I have to get to work.

Script Writing

I’ve decided to make the trailer about the whole series. My first step is to develop a script for the trailer. I want to hook the readers and bring them in to my story world, without giving away too many secrets. I’m aiming for a seductive, suspenseful tone.  Below is my script, broken up for 20 slides,  a vertical storyboard.

Angela recommends running your script by other people and so dear audience that’s what I’m doing right now. Does it make sense? Is it too much? Too little? Any comments here or sent privately will be most appreciated.

Book Trailer#1  for the Mata Hari Series

1 Mata Hari series logo?  A Single woman… A Double life
2 ? The modern Mata Hari
3Covert Danger cover Sadie Stewart
4 ? Fashion model by day
5Ancient Danger cover CIA spy by night
6Born of Magic cover Hunting ancient relics
7 ? Loving danger
8Lovin’Danger cover Sebastian Wilde
9 ? A man with a past
10 ? Determined to be with Sadie
11 Till Danger do us Part cover? Can their love survive?
12 ? From the gondolas of Venice…
13 ? To the canals of  Amsterdam
14 ? From the skyscrapers of New York…
15 ? To the pyramids of Egypt …
16 ? International intrigue
17 ?  A cross between Indiana Jones and Covert Affairs
18 ? Smart, sexy suspense
19 ?The Mata Hari Series:#1 Covert Danger#2 Born of Magic

#3 Ancient Danger

#4 Lovin’ Danger

#5 Till Danger do us Part

 20 Mata Hair series logo Credits:Covers by Nina French 


 Possibly the Best Advice

I’ve been asking everyone for advice. That’s how I learn.

My good friend Mimi Barbour emailed me: “Send hubbie on a trip, buy some antidepressants and a praying pillow???”

She cracks me up. I’ll let you know later if her advice hit the mark.


0 Replies to “Writing a Script for a Book Trailer”

  1. Thanks for the shout out to my blog! Yes, my good friend Angela Quarles did a great job with that guest post. I have a tab open to that post because I need to make a trailer, so I’m learning right along with you. 🙂

    1. Jami
      I love your blog. You give so much back to the writing community. I am in awe.
      I look forward to your trailer.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting. I’ve edited my post to make sure I give Angela due credit.
      Best Wishes

  2. Hey, Jo-Ann. I’m so impressed with how succinct you are. Your “Single Woman, Double Life” tag is brilliant. I might move the cross between Indiana Jones and Covert Affairs up farther in the list. It captures your books so well. It’s another really catchy tag. I love the from this to that locations at the end. That works really well. I assume the pics with the titles will be all the covers? But you’ve used them earlier so maybe not? Hmm.
    I wouldn’t put the book covers at the top. You can find other pics to go in those places. A model type for Sadie, clothes/high heels/ nail polish for the fashion model, and a night picture maybe with the moon for the spy by night. Then you can use your covers at the end.
    Maybe for the Can their love survive you use a heart with a jagged tear.
    Just ideas, sweetie. I know whatever you decide it will be awesome. 🙂

  3. Looks great Jo-Ann, I agree with Marsha, that’s an awesome tagline:) My only thought is that 20 slides in 30 seconds might be a push? You want to give people time to assimilate what they’re seeing, right? Unless you’re doing a longer trailer?
    Best of luck,
    Jacquie Biggar

    1. Hi Jacquie
      Yeah… uh I’m sketchy at the moment about length.
      Angela Quarles, on Jami Gold’s blog, suggested aiming for 18 to 20 frames. I suspect it will be longer than 30 seconds. If it feels too long, I’ll chop down the script.
      I’m really green at this, but it’s a fun project.
      I loved your trailer btw.
      Thanks for stopping by and giving me feedback. I will think about the length.
      Best Wishes

  4. You are a brave woman! You’ve condensed the story (stories?) well.
    I am not sure about “Hunting ancient relics, Loving danger.” Maybe because, as we’ve all been told, ‘ing’ words are weak. Maybe “Lives for danger, and hunting ancient relics.(Treasure?)” Or “On the hunt for ancient relics” I don’t know, lots of possibilities.
    The from here to there part is right on.
    Also not sure about “A cross between…” Maybe “If you loved …”?
    “Smart sexy suspense” – always good.
    Looking forward to hearing about this journey.

  5. I just made my first book trailer. I’d wanted to for a long time. I uploaded it to YouTube, and it’s had almost 160 views. I’m sure at least 20 are mine. 🙂 I’m not sure what its overall effect will be. It did sell a few books. I can see things I’d like to change and might do that. I used Windows Movie Maker. You look like you’re well on the way to a great one, Jo-Ann. Good luck.

    If you’re interested, the link to my trailer is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhBZaD4kJFg

    1. Hi Polly
      Love the cover and premise of your book. I think you did a great job of the trailer. I found it hard to read all of the text as the lines sped past, but that’s me. The music is awesome. Congratulations on getting so many views. People are skeptical that book trailers work, but 160 views is fantastic. I’d say that really worked.
      I’ve been playing with Animoto, but it will cost a bit. I’m going to look into Windows Movie Maker next, just because of you.
      Thanks for sharing and thanks for the encouragement.
      Best Wishes

      1. Yes, Jo-Ann, slowing down the reviews is one of the things I’d fix. I have a new one I could upload, but I’m afraid I’ll lose all the views. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

  6. Sounds great, Jo-Ann! And so does the advice everyone has given you! What a smart cookie you are to use your blog to gain this important feedback before you complete your book trailer. I used PowerPoint to make my trailers. Don’t forget to end with a slide for your website and hold on it long enough for all to see (and write down). It’s an important connection to link your readers to the next step – learning more about your great novels and you too!

    1. Hi Jacqui
      Power Point! That’s awesome. I know how to use that one. And I love your advice about the ending. Thank you so much.
      Best Wishes
      and yes, asking for feedback is really helping me.

    1. Hi Ellisv
      I hope you do. I think, or I should say I hope, it’s like most big projects, if you take it one step at a time it’s doable. I’d love to hear how you make out and I’m glad my post inspired you. Thanks for stopping by.
      Best Wishes

    1. I hope so. Video clips are such a mixture of sensory input that I think clear wording is essential. The music and pictures add textures and dimensions to the message that I’m not used to having when I write. It’s going to be interesting.

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