I’ve been researching book trailers (software, how to, best practices, options, etc) in anticipation of doing a how-to ebook. Once again, it’s apparent to me that we must be able to describe a novel in one sentence.
Elevator Pitches and Book Trailers
You’ve heard that the one-sentence elevator pitch is the standard tool for getting interest in your story. You need a hook that shows how unusual your story is, a hook that has an emotional tug, a hook that makes your story irresistible.
Book trailers need the same kind of hook. You have a minute, give or take, to present a multi-media version of the elevator pitch. Really – the only difference is that it’s multi-media: images & text, voice/music/sound effects.
Log your Story.One suggestion for developing a concept for a MOVIE trailer is to “log” the movie, or to watch it and jot down brief descriptions of important scenes, bits of dialogue that reveal character conflict and emotion, dialogue or images that reveal theme. Once you’ve logged the movie, then you analyze and extract just the bits needed to pitch the movie in a trailer.
I tried this in my novel, The Wayfinder, and found that the theme is contained in such a small amount of direct dialogue, description, action or exposition. Yet, the theme is an important element to work into a pitch.
Yeah, I know, I’m mixing up movie trailers, book trailers, elevator pitches and the theme of your story. But they all relate to the idea that we must describe our stories in truncated, incomplete, enticing tidbits. One sentence. A 30-second video.
In fact, it’s what we practice all along. The theme of your novel is delicately woven into the story with just a few hints, a bit of dialogue, a turn of phrase. You know how to do this already.
Log Your Novel. Log your novel, then mine it for those places you’ve already done it; then use those gems to craft a short, but compelling hook for your novel.
NOTE: Look for an eBook about book trailers later in the summer! While I’m researching – I’m looking for input about what you want to know about trailers. Please leave a comment.