Author Amy Briant on creating a book trailer for her YA novel, “The Book of Kell”

If there’s one thing Bella authors love, it’s connecting with their readers. There are so many ways to do that, starting with the authors’ own blogs and websites. Other social media opportunities abound, from Facebook to Twitter, from Goodreads to Instagram. Authors and fans alike attend annual events like Clexacon (this April in Las Vegas) and the Golden Crown Literary Society’s conference (July in Albuquerque).

One more way to connect is the book trailer – what’s that? Similar to a trailer for a Hollywood film, it’s a mini-movie capturing the essence of the book and (hopefully) inspiring people to read it. Check some out on Bella’s YouTube channel – the great thing about book trailers is that they are as individual and unique as the books and the writers themselves.

My own trailer for my fourth novel, THE BOOK OF KELL, is posted there. THE BOOK OF KELL is a post-apocalyptic thrill ride – it’s the tale of three teenagers, struggling to survive as they embark on a 100-mile road trip on foot through the wilderness and what remains of civilization in Northern California. So I wanted the trailer to capture all of that in under 90 seconds. The trick is to entertain and entice potential readers while not giving away too much of the story.

Huge publishers like Simon & Schuster or HarperCollins have publicity departments with big budgets and fancy software to produce their authors’ book trailers. Most Bella trailers are created by the authors themselves, often using PowerPoint. Because I’m also a musician, I love composing the music for my book trailers to set the mood. The right music can change the whole experience of viewing a book trailer.

For THE BOOK OF KELL’s trailer, I had four musical goals:

  • a haunting melody for that post-apocalyptic ambience
  • some not-so-obvious chord progressions to evoke the joy and resilience central to my protagonist
  • a primitive drum beat representing the lack of resources in Kell’s world
  • layering of instruments to bring to mind the excitement and chaos of the teens’ adventure, from battling Nature in all her fierce glory to the worst that humanity (still) has to offer, from the fight to simply stay alive to the internal conflicts that threaten to rip Kell’s soul apart

Not to mention seriously untrustworthy companions, some domestic terrorists and an Amazon enclave. Throw in a pack of wild dogs and it’s one heck of an Armageddon party!

THE BOOK OF KELL – come for the post-apocalypse, stay for the humor. As one reviewer said of my first book, “I can’t remember ever laughing my way through something this fiendish.” If you like thrilling tales of queer women with some mystery, laughs and a little romance, you’ll like THE BOOK OF KELL. Please check out the trailer and let me know what you think – I’m @AuthorAmyBriant on Twitter.

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