So you’re sitting down to finally start writing that book you’ve been mulling over for months and the first thing you need to do is…write a book trailer? Seems counter-intuitive, like putting a bow on a present before wrapping it. Actually though, it’s not a bad idea, and I’ll tell you why. First though, here’s an example of a book trailer that independent film group Starwatcher Studios made for my first novel, Dreamweaver:
If you look at a lot of book trailers, you’ll notice that they are simply summaries of books, which are creatively told in a visual format. It actually makes a lot of sense to map out a book trailer in your mind or write a back-of-the-book summary before you start the book itself. This holds true for a book’s elevator pitch (several sentence description that authors give when asked about their book) or a book description in a query letter too.
Starting off with a “book trailer” idea is helpful because it points the writer in the right direction, right away. I’ve written novels before that start off with a girl with fantastical abilities and then end up becoming more of a contemporary young adult journey to find oneself. If I have my book trailer script to refer to right away, I can avoid some of these rabbit holes right away, and maybe even get some foreshadowing in for that daring twist at the end, too.
Of course, all you “pantsers,” as the noveling term goes, or those who can’t stand planning, don’t despair! Another great thing about starting with a back-of-the-book cover summary or book trailer is that you don’t actually have to know where your story is heading right away. These summaries just get us excited about the book, and, conveniently enough, they don’t give away the end!
So, if you’re a visual/auditory thinker, planning out your novel in terms of how the book trailer would look may not be a bad way to go. Or, if you just want to see some words on the page, write a thrilling, just-picked-this-up-at-the-bookstore summary. I’ve even known writers who act out scenes of their stories to get it clear in their heads. And when you’re all ready to publish, you’ll already have a freaking great summary to show for it.
Interested in creating a book trailer? Check out this site for examples of some of the best (and maybe find some good YA books to add to your shelf along the way)!