A year ago I hadn't heard of a book trailer, but now I'm immersed in the genre, even though I'm still uncertain about whether book trailers sell books. What they do, I think, is filter into the electronic chatter that surrounds us and almost imperceptibly raise awareness that a book exists. It turns out a book trailer is also a lot of fun to make.
To make the book trailer for Lost in Lexicon, I started by watching a number of trailers for other books, mostly picture books or young adult books. One key is brevity. So I wrote a script of less than forty words emphasizing the adventure aspect of the book. I asked my nephew Mathew, who is a budding actor with a lovely deep voice, to read the script through several takes.
Next I assembled pictures, almost all of them drawn from Joan Charles's illustrations for the book. Leo helped me put the slides and narration into i-Movie, and then we adjusted timing and transitions, which is actually quite a complex job.
Meanwhile, my son Owen and I were searching for royalty-free music appropriate for a soundtrack. We found our way to a great site of background music composed by Kevin MacLeod, available for a small donation. We chose a song called Fairy Tale Waltz, and to our amazement, when we added its soundtrack to the movie, it fit perfectly. The song rose into high drama at just the right moment, and a major phrase concluded just as the climactic slide faded out of view.
Then it was a matter of balancing, refining, and adding titles, all of which took much longer that we expected. For those of you who haven't seen it, the link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_USQYLapgs. Encourage your friends to take a look and leave a comment!