The Making of a Book Trailer, Part 4

 This is the final in a series of posts on the making of our first book trailer, which is created made for the upcoming Banktown: The Rise and Struggles of Charlotte’s Big BanksOnce again, here is John F. Blair, Publisher Marketing Assistant Mike Martin with an update.

Showing an audience a finished work is one of the things anyone who does creative work looks forward to most.  It’s also one of the things they most dread.

That was on my mind yesterday afternoon as I constructed the finishing touches on the trailer for Banktown

Because of other job duties—as well as rustier-than-predicted editing skills—I’ve been working on the trailer longer than planned.  And because of the delay, I had a feeling folks in the office would have pretty lofty expectations. 

During the process, when inspiration failed—as it often did—I watched another book trailer I’d found particularly effective:  God is Not One.  If you haven’t watched it yet, do:  It’s a perfect commercial, a quick primer for both a great non-fiction work and a terrific, interview-friendly author. 

Still, I’ve wanted since the beginning for the trailer to feel ominous, so imitation of that sunny work, however fine, wouldn’t get me far. 

And there were the challenges I hadn’t anticipated:  How do you make this video ominous without being sensationalistic?   How do you create a cinematic sense of build and rhythm in the structure of the book trailer?  And heck, how do you make it clear that this is an ad for a book, not a movie, without talking down to an audience, or seeming redundant? 

Answer:  By working really hard. 

And then hoping your audience doesn’t hate it.

And I did work hard.  And—thankfully!—people seemed to love the trailer. 

It was a delight to get the hoped-for responses—from people going Oooo, spooky! about the cinematography to complimenting the music choices.  But as gratifying as it was personally, I’m much more excited that the trailer will be helpful to us to promote what I think is a special book. 

Banktown will hit streets this September.  But you’ll be seeing the trailer—maybe in some surprising places—before then.  We’ve already come up with what I think are incredibly unique and exciting ways to use it to create a buzz for the book. 

Until then, here’s a preview of the trailer. 

If you enjoy watching it half as much as I enjoyed making it, we’re both lucky. 


2 thoughts on “The Making of a Book Trailer, Part 4

  1. Good job, Mike. As an old Blair hand myself (editor 1979-1981, under another name), I can tell you Mr. Blair would be amazed. He would be thrilled also. Good job. I created my first trailer myself recently. It’s on my Website, along with a link to my blog ( Keep up the good work. I enjoy following the continuing saga of John F. Blair, Publisher. — James Guy Roberts

  2. Thanks, James! I appreciate you stopping by. I never knew Mr. Blair, but I’m happy to know that you think he’d be pleased.

    – Mike

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