Erika Krouse

Official website for Erika Krouse, author of Contenders and Come Up and See Me Sometime.

In a World...Where Books Have Trailers

I was encouraged to make a book trailer for my novel, Contenders, but I feel uncertain about book trailers in general. I know I'm the not the first person to say it: if you're interested in a book, the book, right? Regardless, I did some snooping to see what this book trailer thing is all about, and found two great ones. First, this:

And this:

Both trailers rock, but they didn't inspire me to read the books. Instead, I picked up Middlemarch to read for the fourth time. But yes, I shot my own trailer, partly because why not, and partly because I got to hit things in it:

If you like it, please share it! Here's the YouTube link.

What I learned about shooting a book trailer:

  • It takes exponentially longer than you thought it would. A minute of film time can easily take 5 hours of shooting and editing.
  • Bring snacks.
  • Don't try to make it like a movie trailer, because you probably won't have enough money to do that very well.
  • Hire a friend, someone who owes you money, or a film graduate student.
  • Hire someone patient and nice, because you will get annoying and OCD.
  • Make sure your filmmaker really knows all that technical video/audio stuff, has access to expensive HD equipment, and knows all that editing software.
  • If you're not using a soundtrack, sound quality is a big deal, and requires a bunch of techy stuff (see above).
  • Prep the night before the shoot, not the morning of.
  • Have a script that you like, and know exactly what you want.
  • Then be okay with tossing out what you want, in exchange for something better. Your filmmaker knows more than you do. And if you think s/he doesn't, you are probably being annoying and OCD.
  • Have fun with it.
  • It's not that big a deal, anyway.
  • First caffeine, then alcohol.