How to Make a Book Trailer on a Shoestring BudgetBy Jason Boog
If you are like most writers and publishers, you have an ever-shrinking budget for book publicity.
Writers House agent Stephen Barr confronted this very problem in the book trailer embedded above. He loved The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter (by his agency’s client, John Gosselink), and decided to make a book trailer for “pocket change.”
Barr explained his process in an email: “I learned that the publisher didn’t have much of a budget for a book trailer, so I decided to try something more homegrown! The book’s hero, Thaddeus, gets sentenced (unjustly!) to in-school-suspension for the rest of the year, and in addition to writing a comprehensive defense of his myriad misunderstood transgressions, he writes the lyrics to a few blues songs too, just to deal with his “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” situation. Long story short, my brother and I wrote music to one of those songs (the “I’m So Bored That My Ears Fell Off” blues), then an NYU film school friend and I shot a music video for it—an homage to a Bob Dylan documentary, actually—in the courtyard of Writers House, and voila, a book trailer made for pocket change! And now I own a vest!”