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BookTrailers: A Student Project Guide

Making Book Trailers

Your guide...

Your guide...


This guide is based on a guide authored by Lora Cowell and originally published at HUHS Library Media Center LibGuides.

Your book...

Your task begins with reading (or reviewing) your book.  As you read, think about the following literary elements in your book and how you will present them in your book trailer. Consider...

...title.

What is the significance of the title? 

...theme.

Is there an obvious or implied theme or message?

Is there a larger lesson or moral to the story? 

Try listing 3-5 words that you feel embody the theme of the book.

...setting.

In what time and place is the story set?

What is the ambiance or mood of the time/place?

How does the setting effect the narrative? the characters?

...characters.

Who are the primary characters?

Can you describe them and their roles in the story. 

...point-of-view.

From whose point of view is the story told?

How does this effect the story?

...audience.

Is an intended audience obvious?

How does this effect the story?

...narrative/conflict.

What conflict or dilemma drives the story?

What rising action leads to the climax of the book?

Is there a resolution?

...word play.

Are there any powerful quotes that grabbed your attention?

Are there any recurring words or phrases that resonate as you read the story?

Your trailer...

Making the trailer...

Book trailers, like movie trailers, offer audiences a preview what to expect from a book.  It is the editor's job to develop a trailer that highlights the mood and tone of a book, providing just enough information about the plot to "tease" the reader, making them want to find out what happens. 

You will be creating a book trailer designed to entice your classmates to try a book you've recently read. Your trailer should:

  • identify a likely reading audience for the book.
  • Establish the mood and tone of the book.
  • Introduce primary characters.
  • Introduce the main conflict.
  • Avoid "spoiling" the plot.

Each book trailer should be a between 1 (one) and 2 (two) minutes in length. Respect for the intellectual property rights is important.  Adhere to copyright law, applying fair use guidelines, provide a written listing of all resources used and include an appropriate single screen fair use disclaimer. 

Planning Templates

Useful Tools...

  • Book Trailer Planning Template COMING SOON!
  • Book Trailer Story Board COMING SOON!
  • Movie Credits - Do's and Don'ts COMING SOON!

Related Guides...

Styles and approaches...

Check out these different styles and approaches...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
This example was created by publishers to promote the sale and reading of the title

The Outsiders
This example was created by a teacher to promote a book that would be read together in class. Notice the use of an existing interview with the book's author, as well as images from a movie rendition of the book she'll be showing in class.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie
This student made book trailer uses unique props to introduce the story, eliminating the need to rely on outside actors.

Frankenstein
This student made book trailer uses text as it's primary visual element to set mood and tone.

The Knife of Never Letting Go
This student made book trailer relies heavily on setting rather than a full cast of characters, to establish the theme of the book.

Of Mice and Men
This student made book trailer scrambles brief scenes from the book and eliminates dialog to keep us wondering what is happening.

Some Girls Are
This book trailer uses a simple sound effect to gives the sense that we are participating in the book.

Undone
This student made book trailer effectively blends still images through transitions to keep us hooked.  

The Cemetary Boys
This book trailer takes advantage of quotes from professional reviewers you'll often find on a book jacket or inside cover.

Ruby Red
This student create video effectively uses text and transition to communicate her message.  The credits she provides are not useful in their current form.  Be sure to see our tips on Movie Credits in the tools section above.


Compare this official book trailer for Wintergirls to this student made book trailer. What devices did each use to capture the reader's attention? 

Compare two different takes on The Maze Runnerhere and here. How are they similar? How do they reflect the reader's point of view?

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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