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Animoto Book Trailer Elements

Who doesn’t love movie trailers? Granted, sometimes there can be a few too many, and we end up eating the entire box of popcorn before the feature starts. But we love trailers because they’re emotionally packed teasers that draw us in quickly and keep us riveted.

A book trailer can do the same thing: entertain people and, at the same time, give a potential reader a taste of what they’ll experience when engrossed in a good book. Here are the elements every successful book trailer should have, whether it’s for fiction or nonfiction:

A beginning, middle, and end: In short, just like a movie trailer, a book trailer needs a story. The beginning sets the stage — perhaps introducing the characters or setting the tone of the book. The middle introduces something to hook the reader possibly a question, twist or complication. The ending directs readers to check out the book from the library. No spoilers! Please don't reveal the actual ending.

A concise script: Since you only have a few minutes to grab a potential reader’s attention your script is crucial. All the words and images have to count, moving your trailer’s short story forward. You don’t need a voiceover, because using words on the screen is very effective. Just make sure that the phrases explain enough without being wordy — and without giving too much away. It’s great practice to write a summary of your book in a few short sentences, too.

A tone that reflects your book: Combining one of Animoto’s themes with music from their library makes it fun to create a trailer that reflects your book’s tone. Is it a suspenseful thriller? An uplifting romance? A how-to nonfiction book? Try different blends of themes and music until you capture the feeling you want your book trailer to evoke in the reader.

Appropriate images and/or video: With Animoto, it’s easy to create exciting videos with still photographs. In addition to your book cover, you’ll need a few images or video clips to help illustrate your book trailer’s story: maybe an image that shows someone resembling your main character or the setting. Whatever photo websites you use, make sure you give credit in Works Cited.

Want to see examples of student book trailers created using Animoto? Visit Student Book Trailer Projects <insert link> and START MAKING YOUR OWN BOOK TRAILERS today!