Hi Everyone!

Have you ever tried to make a book trailer? I haven’t. They scare me. It looks complicated, but I love watching them. In January Publisher Stacy Whitman had an interesting post on that topic, while investigating a book trailer contest. I hope that you will check it out.

Last week I came across the trailer for Shattered, a book written by Sara McClung and currently in search of a home. Here it is. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sara kindly agreed to an interview–Thanks Sara!

Hi Sara, thank you for joining us at Multiculturalism Rocks! today. Please, tell us about your book, Shattered.

SMC: Hi, thanks so much for having me! Shattered is a young adult urban fantasy about Jane—a girl who discovers she can move things with her mind. But the ability is difficult to control, and it comes with deadly strings attached. I can’t give away too much just yet, though, so I’ll let the trailer do the rest of the work. 😉

I hope to start seeking representation for Shattered within the next month. Wish me luck!!

Best of luck! Keep us update. I find your book trailer fantastic, and I wanted to read your book as soon as I saw it! Could you share what prompted you to create one?

Thanks! I’m quite partial to it myself 😉 The concept is pretty new to me, to be honest. But a few months back I saw several posts about book trailers on some of the blogs I follow—one was even having a contest. I was immediately hooked on the notion—I thought a book trailer would be a great promotional tool! While I wrote Shattered, I collected images of the way I pictured my main characters and hung them on the wall in front of my desk—so I had a nice little collection to choose from for the trailer.

What about the creation process? Did you have any experience beforehand?

Oh gosh. I went into this with NO experience, ha. (It was part of the reason I didn’t have a chance to enter the contest I mentioned.) But I did have a new laptop—a MacBookPro that came with iMovie, the video editing software I used. It a few tries to figure out, but it was pretty user friendly overall!

Are you the girl with the black make-up? 😀

LOL, no. I kinda wish though—I think she’s beautiful! I found the image a long time ago when trying to picture my main character, Jane. I edited the eyes to make them green, but otherwise she was perfect!

How does one handle the rights attached to music or images used in book trailer? Your music rocks, by the way!

This is a tricky question because I’m honestly not 100% sure. From what I’ve read, though, you can use images/clips of music as long as you give credit to what’s used—and, most importantly, as long as the trailer’s not created for profit.

Thanks for the music compliment—I searched for a long time to find clips that would make the tension pop out the way it does!

Any advice or resources you would recommend to writers who would like to try their hands on book trailer making?

I think the best advice that I read before making mine was to keep it close to a minute in length. Not everyone feels this way, but I’m pretty sure it’s what makes mine work—it gives enough information to tease you into wanting to read the book (hopefully!), but doesn’t drag on so that you get bored. There are longer ones out there that are awesome (you’ll see in my choice of favorite book trailer below). But there are also longer ones out there that come across as boring because they’re too long. Oh, and don’t give away too much information about what happens in the novel. I’ve walked away after watching some trailers knowing exactly what happens in the book. Why would anyone want to read the actual book if they already know what happens?

If you have a Mac, the iMovie software is probably already available to you. If you don’t, you can download Windows Movie Maker for free (I think), which has similar capabilities. And watch other book trailers. Make note of what you like about them and what you don’t–so you can get an idea of what you’d like to shape YOURS into.

Finally, don’t rush. Take your time to get familiar with the software. AND even when you think you’re ready to share your trailer? Take another few days before you post it. I finished Shattered’s trailer in about two weeks. But I didn’t post it for an additional two weeks—and thank goodness I waited, because I made SO many changes during that extra time (including the music selection!)

Last but not least, what are your all-time favorite book trailer?

Oooo, this is a tough question! There are lots of good ones out there (seriously, just search for “book trailer” on YouTube). I think my current favorite is for a book called The Karma Club, by Jessica Brody. It’s much different than mine—it’s longer and it’s an actual video. It’s wonderful. It looks like an actual movie trailer and it makes me want to read the book like whoa! =) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpQK4sLfk1A

Sara, thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. I wish you the best on your road to publication; keep us posted!

More samples of book trailers to come in the future. I have yet to share my other favorites. 🙂

Merry Thursday,


4 thoughts on “Thursday Tip: How Do You Make a Book Trailer? Sara McClung Interview!

  1. Very timely post. I think the use of book trailers is gaining momentum, but I do think more consideration should be given to the rights issue. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think that using a book trailer to promote a book being sold for profit would be considered a “not for profit” use.



  2. Thanks for this. I’m about to start work on the trailer for “The Freak Observer.” I think it’s gong to be a lot of fun to put together, although not very “polished.” My 8 year old is my technical advisor.


  3. Nathalie, thanks for this 🙂 Seriously!

    Carl, perhaps you’re correct. That’s why I said I wasn’t 100% sure. Based on the places I went to learn about making a book trailer, that was how they described it. Certainly though if I ever found out otherwise from an owner of the songs/images I would make whatever adjustments I needed to! (Or pay to use them if they required.)

    Good luck Blythe 🙂 And 8 year olds can be great technical advisors, I’m sure!


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