Let’s Make a Book Trailer — Part 5

et's Make a Book Trailer Part 5Hello everyone, and welcome back to my series on making a book trailer.

Previous parts are here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

As with the previous posts, the content following are merely my thoughts on the trailer construction process.  Feel free to use or snort with derision.

Today’s post is on book trailer storyboarding.

First, though, a brief recap of our trailer constraints:

  • We’re creating a “Teaser” trailer
  • Using PowerPoint only
  • No video, music, animation or voice overs
  • Working with stock images or some commissioned images

These constraints force us to craft more of a book trailer slideshow, but future posts will show how to increase its sophistication by using various tools.

So now, let’s continue where we left off:


Storyboarding is a concept borrowed originally from the film industry.  It refers to the practice of sketching or drawing specific scenes in the planned movie.  The sketches are sequenced and meant to provide instruction and information to those directing, filming, and acting within the movie.  Movies can have dozens or hundreds of storyboard sketches made before a single second of film is shot.

The concept of storyboarding has bee “borrowed” by a number of other industries and activities as well.  Advertising uses storyboard, which is not surprising considering how much advertising is delivered by video.  Commercials are actually small stories with a beginning, middle and ending.  It makes sense to storyboard them just as feature films are storyboarded.

Training, and in particular eLearning, has embraced the concept of storyboarding as well.  Again, this isn’t surprising.  A significant portion of  eLearning courses are either partly or wholly video based.  Even the “non-video” portions of the course may have animations, pop-up text boxes, roll-overs and conditional branching.  All of these should be planned in advance by using storyboarding.

A storyboard, therefore, acts as a blue print for the creative effort, be it a movie, TV commercial, certain Youtube videos, eLearning course, or book trailer.  With regard to a book trailer a storyboard:

  • Catalogues general information such as number scenes, trailer length, setting(s), and book title
  • Lays out the scene sequence and identifies the graphic elements, the timing, narration or text information, and any considerations specific to that need, such as pans, zooms, lighting, camera direction, etc
  • Inventories the assets needed to complete the trailer:  graphics, images, voice-overs, background music, etc., and provides their sources
  • Collects other information to be used in the trailer such as credits, author name and contact information, channels through which the book is available, and the date it will be available (if applicable)

The idea is to create one document that:

  • Lists all of the information you require to create the book trailer
  • Provides the detail of each scene

such that all of the decisions have been made before the actual trailer creation begins.

You do not have to storyboard, but the more sophisticated the end end result is projected to be, the greater the need for advanced planning using a storyboard.

Storyboard Formats

Storyboard formats range from simple to complex, and there are a number freely available on the web, for example here, here, and here.  You can find others as well.  Many of the storyboard templates available assume you are creating a trailer for someone else’s book that has already been published, but you can easily adapt them for your own needs.

Here’s a partial screen grab of the one I created for this series of articles:

Book Trailer StoryboardI will go into this storyboard in more detail in the next post.  Thanks for reading, and I will see you again soon.




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