Book Trailers

Despite my Hollywood address, I find creating book trailers a million times more rewarding than typical graphics work in the entertainment industry. Some favorites:

So…do you need one? Do you want one? If you have a picture book releasing soon and want to chat about it, please be in touch!

I’m eager to promote great books, and realize our readers’ eyeballs are quite often glued to screens. Let’s meet them there, catch their eye, and create a space in their heart (and on their bookshelf) for your story! I would love to make your words and art come to life and give you an animated celebration of your book. Your book is worth it. Because your book is unique, your trailer will be. We can talk specifically about what works for you, for your work, for your budget, and create something exciting to reach your readers.

Check out these posts for other examples:

Picture Book Month Celebrates Moms

Picture Book Month {teaser}

Picture Book Month {Trailer}

Dinosaur Mardi Gras by Dianne de Las Casas

A Long Way From You by Gwendolyn Heasley

The Gingerbread Man Loose In The School by Laura Murray

(And not a post, but a trailer for Julie Hedlund’s amazing Florence getaway, Writer’s Renaissance)

{A big WELCOME if you are here from my guest post on Julie Hedlund’s blog! In order to qualify for the FREE book trailer giveaway, just leave your comment on this page by February 20th, 2012 at midnight PST. Peek around my main page while you are here; hope you will stay a while!}

63 thoughts on “Book Trailers

  1. Great post on Julie’s blog, Carter! As a person who puts all her poems on YouTube, I understand the power of using visuals to enhance one’s writing. And I love book trailers! Your Dinosaur Mardi Gras trailer is terrific. Thanks for the generous giveaway – don’t know when or if I’ll ever need it, but fingers crossed and all that. :)

  2. I love your post on Julie’s blog! My 3 year old son Cameron was sititng beside me as I watched the trailers. The trailers drew his attention away from watching Dora (which, if you knew his love for Dora, you would know is not an easy task). He even stated, “It’s funny!” while watching one of them. Those book trailers were great! :)

  3. Carter,

    I loved your Dinosaur Mardi Gras trailer – and your demo reel. Thank you soooo much for your generous offer for a free trailer. Crossing my fingers on that one — got a few things coming out this year.

  4. Such a timely post (on Julie’s blog) as i have begun playing around with youtube, video, images and sound! I would just LOVE to see what you could do with my children’s books in the form of aTrailer. I loved the Dinosaur Mardi Gras trailer! very, very impressed! thank you for offering such a great giveaway! I have my fingers and toes crossed!! cheers Nicky

  5. Thanks for sharing your love of picture books and book trailers on Julie’s blog. My son enjoyed the dinosaur trailer. What a great bio…jumping from teaching to following your hobby/passion. Best wishes on publishing your own book!

  6. Book trailers are awesome, and yes, I LOVE the coming attractions at the movies, too. My book, Keep Your Ear on the Ball (Tilbury, 2007) is about a blind 3rd grader learning (and teaching) about interdependence in a sighted classroom. It’s available in Braille. Have you ever done a trailer for a possibly blind audience? You have the coolest job in the world!

  7. I so enjoyed your post on Julie’s blog! I would love to win a trailer. I made my own for 5 of my books, but I’ve still got a couple without trailers, and I have an idea I want to try… I might have to get in touch and ask you about that one in either case! Loved your Dinosaur Mardi Gras trailer!

  8. Loved your book trailers on Carter’s blog. Can’t believe the good fortune to be able to enter a giveaway trailer. Don’t know when I will be ready to use it, but look forward to the opportunity of participating in the draw. Thankyou.

  9. Hi, Carter, and interesting post and loved the sample trailers you included for different reasons of course. I also really like how you said our trailers “should set the mood for what’s to come and prepare room in your heart for the story.”
    I had a trailer made for my latest PB,”Giveaways: An ABC Book of Loanwords from the Americas” when it was released in late 2010

    My other two titles came out before trailers were the rage, so what’s your take on doing trailers for older works? Is it worth the investment of time and money?
    Appreciate any advice.

  10. I loved your post on Julie’s blog. Thanks so much for offering the giveaway to the 12 x 12 community. Very generous! Your passion for kidlit is very apparent! I look forward to following your work.

  11. Love your work and love your blog; just signed up to follow what goes on in your noggin with DESIGN PB – such a great topic to discuss.
    Found you on Julie Hedlund’s blog. I have four books in production at present with illustrations including talent from the stylish artist Susie Ghahremani ( and clever Caldecott medalist Steve Jenkins. Wouldn’t I be lucky to win a trailer with your talent? Um, YES!! Looking forward to following your blog.

  12. Hi, read your interview on Julie Hedlund’s blog site. I devoured all you said, because I am making a trailer for one of my stories. Then, when I read you would be willing to make a trailer for free for your contest winner, I was floored. Thank you. :)

  13. Thanks for your post Julie Hedlund’s blog. I’ve got one pb already out (last May, Don’t Panic, Annika!), an early reader out in May, 2012 (Pirate Picnic) and another picture book this coming autumn (The Kite Princess, Barefoot Books). I’m so excited about the release of The Kite Princess and it would be amazing to have a really well produced trailer. It’s a very generous offer and I hope it generates lots of other work for you. Thank you, Clare

  14. This came at the perfect time. I was just starting to research the value of book trailers and was hoping to find some models. How do you feel about simple book trailers for pre published work? Could you reference a book trailer in a query letter?

    • Hi Kirsten!
      That’s a really great question, one I haven’t thought about before! I think the best thing would be to pause on the trailer until you have a complete and perfect book. The agent/editor you query might make some tweaks to your story, and I don’t think you would want your readers to have an earlier version of the story in their minds once they see the final version. I’m not one, so I don’t want to put words in their mouths, but I would assume an agent/editor reading your query won’t want to see a link to extra work, unless it’s your illustrator portfolio perhaps.
      So…that’s a lot of words to say that I would wait until your story is ready for the world before you think about having a trailer. A book will ultimately be a huge team effort, and the trailer will benefit from pausing until all parties involved have contributed. (Unless of course, you are self-pubbing, and then you can go for it whenever you are ready!)
      Thanks for coming by!!

      • Thanks for your very well-thought-out response. I guess you are right. The editors clearly would want the illustrators to have full reign and probably would not appreciate too much input. Plus there are issues of the MS being edited and the story changing. Thanks!

  15. Hi Carter, I enjoyed your post on Julie’s blog today. Thanks for sharing your exciting job with us. I have a book due out before the fall of 2013, so I’d still love to get a chance at one of your trailers. Thanks for offering this amazing giveaway.

  16. I loved your post over at Julie’s house. Thank you for taking the time to do it. I left you a question. I don’t know if you will see it, but that’s okay. I am just really puzzled about how I would do a trailer when I do not have any art. (Sadly, I don’t illustrate) And I am prepubbed. *sigh*

    I hope I win. If I can’t do one of my own, I’ll give it to an artist/writer. *smiling*

  17. So glad to have “met” you and your beautiful work. I made a video of my writing group’s celebration (we self-published a book) and one to promote my business, but neither have the creativity and quality yours show. Goes to show…let the professionals do their thing! Having a trailer completed by you is motivation to keep writing and SENDING MSS OUT.

  18. Your post on book trailers was interesting and informative. I loved your Dinosaur Mardi Gras trailer! I’m an author of early readers and picture books and would love to be in the running to win a trailer — perhaps for my new picture book Duck Sock Hop, which comes out in May from Dial.

  19. Hi Carter! Thanks for your guest post on my blog. I’m enthralled with you trailers and since YOU are hosting the trailer giveaway, I’m hereby making myself eligible by leaving this comment. (I exclude myself from other 12 x 12 giveaways) :-)

  20. As another past elementary librarian, I applaud you for following your creative passions! My third dinobook comes out this June, and I’d love to talk with you more about book trailers. What a great beginning to my book trailer education.Can’t wait to learn more. There’s just something trustworthy and full of value in someone who has dedicated part of their life to kids and books, don’t you think?

    • Deb, that is amazing. I’m going to post your last sentence to my mirror and look at it on *those* days where nothing is going right:) Thank you for saying that! Looking forward to talking to you about your dinos…I have a bit of a soft spot for them now.

  21. Okay, so I don’t have a book–yet. Maybe this is the karma I need to seal the book deal, seal the trailer first! Worth a try, and I know I’d be in good hands…

  22. Carter – My debut pb is coming out this June and I would love, love, love a trailer created by you. : ) I used some video footage of my daughter (looks strangely like the mc in my book) and a couple of illustrations along with some annimated text and music to create one myself but I guarantee that you would create something a zillion times better.

  23. Carter, loved the post on Julie’s blog. Book trailers are wonderful teases I’ve just discovered as a new writer. Maybe i’ll get to see some of my picture BAooks in one!

  24. wow! What an offer! I have a fear of doing a video although many here have one. Can you count me in? I would love a trailer for my book “Annie’s Special Day.” I saw your offer on Julie’s blog and came right over. Thanks for this opportunity. I hope I win. I love your trailers. They are great! Like the comment above. “You have a gift” :)

  25. I’m a former educator who is now concentrating on my publishing career. I love the dynamic energy of your site–makes me want to create something! Thanks for the specifics. If I don’t win, I will try my hand at it.

  26. It is so true that while we want to get books in the hands of our kids, we need to meet them where they are at, and oftentimes, that place is the screen. I would be ecstatic to have you work on a trailer for my debut pb coming out this fall. I would of course love to win it, but may contact you either way!

  27. Your book trailers are awesome! Though I never win anything, I hope the random generator gods look down upon me and see I can use a little (maybe a lot) help. :-) My book has a lot of tick-tock and clocks.

    You rock!

    Debbie LaCroix

  28. What a generous giveaway! I’m going to go back and reread your post on Julie’s blog and watch all of your trailers. This is an area I have no expertise in…I’ve wanted to put something up on me reading a picture book or doing a related craft or SOMETHING! But I’m “scared” cause it’s something I’ve never done before. My book that is already published is not a picture book…it is a book for parents about picture books and activities to go with them. Perhaps a trailer would be helpful for that?
    Regarding picture books, I am busy like a bee with Julie’s 12 x 12 challenge and know that as the year goes on, I will have several picture books (no illustrations) to submit somewhere.
    Thank you so much, Carter, for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. :)

  29. Hi Carter! I enjoyed your guest post on Julie’s blog. I’ve visited here before and love your website. Throwing my hat in the ring just for the fun of it–you never know–maybe this will work like a charm to get that first pb pubbed. Thanks!

  30. Thanks for your informative post on Julie’s blog, and for your generous offer. Please put my name in the proverbial hat for the book trailer.

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  32. Pingback: A Long Way From You – Book Trailer « Design of the Picture Book

  33. Carter!!! you NEED to get in some sort of partnership with the Sprout channel or PBS. your book trailers as “commercials” would be PERFECT. PERFECT!!!!

  34. Pingback: Balloons Over Broadway «

  35. I love the idea of book trailers! I never heard of this before. I have three kids and am always looking for a good book. I also love the first trailer on here about NYC. NYC holds a special place in my heart. What a great trailer… now I want to buy the book. I guess that’s the point!!

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