Let’s get started with making your very own book trailer!

What is a book trailer?  It’s just like a movie trailer – it gives you hints about the book’s plot, characters, and theme.  It piques your curiosity and makes you want to read the book.  Look at this example and this one and this one.   

They look very professional but anyone can make them.  Check Arnie the Doughnut come to life.

There are 5 Steps

1: Find a book
Find a book you love – or your own, if you’ve written one. Picture books are the easiest to start with. Read the book and think about how you’d like to ‘sell’ it or share the story in little teasing scenes.  You don’t want to tell the whole story!

2:  Create a script with illustrations & footage

To start with, you’ll find it easiest to work with books that have illustrations or a clear theme.  

Your script or story board will detail the scenes the trailer will be made up of – including the visuals, words and music.  Think in order of the beginning, middle and end. Start right away with the most exciting or interesting aspect of the book. You don’t need to waste time introducing the book and don’t give away plot twisters or exciting details.  This is a great example here. Make sure the reader will want to read the book. Don’t make the book trailer longer than 1 minute – people get bored quickly! 

You can also make your own illustrations or create them with stock images online. You can find royalty-free (no payment to be made) photos online.

We like Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash and Canva.

Save the last page for the book cover, author’s details and maybe their website address (or yours), and hashtags. Use the book’s name, the authors name and the type of book it is. For example. #ArnieTheDoughnut #LaurieKeller #ChildrensPictureBook  (Use capital letters for each new word).

3: Music and Sound Effects

You can’t just use any music you like as there are copyright laws and you don’t have permission to use them. Luckily there are many Royalty Free Music websites such as:

Choose music that suits the type of book you are sharing.

4: Video Editing 

Choose a video editing or animation software program to create your video. Here’s a full list of apps. Get a grown up to help you work out which ones are free.

The app will prompt you to add in the visuals first with photos, drawings, or video clips.

The next step is to add text, transitions, titles, and audio. Choose favourite quotes from the book and find visuals to go with them.

If you’re narrating, make sure you take your time and speak clearly.

We like the following video editing software apps:

  • Canva is easy to use and there are lots of tutorials available online. 
  • iMovie is for Mac users and it’s quite easy to use, filled with effects, and transition packs so you can look really professional.  KidLit TV has an iMovie Tutorial Series!
  • PowToon is a DIY animated presentation tool. It takes the presentation tools and styles of PowerPoint, adds more character animation and powerful abilities and allow you to make  cool videos.  This tutorial will tell you everything you need to know.
  • Adobe After Effects is a more sophisticated programme with lots of cool animation features. See a tutorial here, this programme may need adult assistance.

5. Share your book trailer online on YouTube Kid’s or show your teacher and friends.

We’d love to see your book trailers! Share them with the hashtag #TheBookTreeTrailers or send them to hello@thebooktree.co.za and we’ll share them online!





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"I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in"


Robert Louis Stevenson

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