Four Intriguing Low-Budget Book Trailers

I am creating a book trailer for a friend of mine, so of course I perused the YouTube offerings to see what’s what. Book trailers seem to fall into two categories: the low-budget and the “hey did a Hollywood filmmaker direct that?”. In a subsequent post, I’ll tackle some of the high end book trailers. The ones below are anywhere from a near zero budget to knowing some film students to help you. Let’s check them out…

Souless by Gail Carriger

This trailer appears to use found footage, or perhaps recreated footage, in a grainy black and white. Instead of a voice-over, black screens with text outline the premise of the book. Like it or not, this trailer gives you want you need, a reason to buy (or not buy) the book. It clearly explains the genre and premise as well as giving the mood of the writing. Compare the Souless trailer to the one below.

A Common Pornography by Kevin Sampsell

This trailer is quite clever and low budget (simply a camera filming the author). It engaged the viewer, but perhaps not enough to click over and check out the book. Despite the shocking title, I get no sense of what the book is about. I did click over to Amazon, but only so that I could be sure it wasn’t really about pornography (you never can tell these days).

Nocturnal by Scott Sigler

This is the man that gave away so much of his writing that gathered tens of thousands of followers. The publishers came begging to sign him. Although this trailer has a heightened budget, it is still essentially drawings animated to outline the plot. It’s the pacing and style that capture you. I was instantly enthralled. It also serves its purpose: you know what the book is about.

i am in the air right now by Kathryn Regina

I am addicted to this trailer. It not only captivates me, but makes me want to read Regina’s poetry. Partly this is due to her reading some of poetry for the trailer. She “animates” her poems, matching the images to the words. While the we see images of a bird crying for help and wasting away, we hear this:

“I was thinking of the bird that flew into a man’s head, hard, so that it actually flew inside the head and it got trapped there and confused.”

Addicting. This is clearly a brilliant book trailer, though not easily emulated unless you’re writing poetry.

The next post will explore some of the higher budget book trailers.

Tim Kane

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5 comments on “Four Intriguing Low-Budget Book Trailers

  1. I don’t know if it’s just my browser or computer, but instead of the trailers, all I got was a black box for each trailer. Do you have the links we could go to so we can check them out? Thanks!

  2. Never mind, it just took a really long time to load! I found some of the messages in Soulless ran by a little too quickly to read and I recognized scenes from another movie, which I hope she had permission to use, but she did give the audience as idea about the premise – unlike the second trailer! You’re right about it. Like you, I still have no idea what it’s all about! Nocturnal is definitely more professionally done. While I don’t like the subject matter (not a fan of horror) I think it was well done. The last one, although the animation is very simplistic, it does give a good impression what her poetry is like. Thanks for sharing these. I’ve been thinking about how to do a trailer for my books and this shows several ways how it can be done. 🙂

  3. I’d love to know what tools you use to create your trailer and why you chose them. This is great information! It’s a medium authors need to understand … especially deubut authors. Thanks for blazing the trail and sharing your discoveries!

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