So, I started my search from my browser instead of going straight to YouTube. Mistake? Definitely not. The trailer for Brian Rathbone’s The Dawning of Power caught my eye. Just to rehash the rules. I’ve never read his work. I’m not familiar with the author. I have no investment in the outcome. (That’s to make it all nice and fair.)
So, let’s check it out:
Is your heart beating a little bit faster? Mine certainly is!
Let’s take a closer look to break down why:
One thing I really appreciated, that really worked for me, is the balance of storytelling text and the flashes of images. Books are text-based. Trailers are image-based. A balance uses the strength of the trailer to market the product, which is a book. Striking the right balance can make a big difference, and I personally prefer trailers where the story is text-based instead of (solely) relying on a disembodied voice.
Another thing that worked well for me was the background music—kind of dire, definitely dramatic and foreboding.
The images themselves were great—dark, forbidding and just a little scary. Combined with the text, the images serve as a warning: of some dark disaster coming in the book, of uncontrolled powers and awakening evils, of destruction and devastation.
I think the character—particularly the one who’s powers go out of control—could be established a little bit better. But maybe the author tried that, and it ruined the thematic, tonal quality of the trailer that works so well. It’s hard to say.
All these components work together, of course, and you have to find what works for your book, your tone when creating a trailer. All I can say is that this trailer worked, because this book is going on my list—and that’s the effect authors really want.