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book trailer

What I Learned From Making a Book Trailer

This week, I received the final version of a book trailer for Change with Confidence that was filmed after I completed my Building Your Change Capability course for Soundview.  

A book trailer is an important promotional vehicle because it provides the potential reader with an overview of the book and the author. I had filmed six ‘author tips’ videos for Wiley last April but I didn’t have a promotional piece about my book, which was a gap. 


I really enjoyed discussing filming options and script choices with Jen and Jackie, Soundview’s creative videographers. We weighed the benefits of different camera angles and supporting graphics against the objectives of the video.

Jackie and Jen

Initially, we tried using a Powerpoint slide as a guide for me. This worked well when filming the course because I knew the material well and a reminder of the sequence points was all I needed. 

The support I needed  for the book trailer was different. Since it would be one minute long, I needed extra help to deliver each point precisely and succinctly. 

We opted to use a teleprompter. I had only used one once before while on vacation at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Being a pretend newscaster with my friend Dan was not a lot of experience.

It took about fifteen takes to make the video. I spoke quickly for my first few takes as if I would not be able to keep up with the teleprompter that Jackie was controlling manually. I needed to relax and focus less on the screen (an ipad).

What worked best was a mixture of reading and talking freely. I started each point by reading from the teleprompter and then ended it with a follow-on thought. For example, I read “…illustrated by real world examples” and added “many of which I actually experienced in my career.” This approach felt natural and captured the key points about the book and the author. 

Jen edited the video and added the graphics. I loved the initial cut. We only made one small adjustment on the banner and it was done. 

Here’s what I learned from the experience:

  • Skilled professionals do excellent work – work with the best;
  • Experiment with different options – one will outshine the others;
  • Be yourself. The buyer is buying the book and the author who wrote it;
  • Test the final product with trusted advisers. They know what good looks like for you; and
  • Use it – distribute it broadlyYoutube, blog, Amazon, website, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

So here it is. I hope you like it.

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