Book Trailers: Advice from a Pro

The genesis of my book trailer started simply enough. My aunt, Sharyn Murray, is a talented filmmaker, and I asked her if she had ever heard of book trailers. She sounded interested, but had a lot going on in her life at the time, so I let it drop. But then she got back to me, asking for more details, and soon we were off.

To create the trailer, I asked my publisher (Bloomsbury) for high resolution copies of Jim Kay’s awesome illustration for the book. I created a script that matched up the pictures with text. I wanted the text to invite the reader in, but not give away too much of the story. I passed this on to my Sharyn. From there, it was almost like an HGTV home makeover show. I had done my part, now I waited for a reveal. And what a reveal it was! Sharyn surprised me with voiceover, sound effects, and cool animations.

When I asked Sharyn if she would answer some questions about her work and the process of creating a book trailer, she obliged with a video, of course.

Be sure to watch the whole video, but here are some highlights:
  • If you want to get into filmmaking, find a place to volunteer.
  • Digital storytellers work in layers, just like visual artists.
  • “There are two ways to show emotion: they eyes or the voice.” Sharyn included the voice over in the trailer in order to add emotional depth.

As she mentions in the video, Sharyn is a graphic designer as well as a video storyteller (she also performs puppetry!), so if you are looking for a book trailer or some new graphics for your promotional materials, be sure to visit her website. She's smart, easy to work with, and a lot of fun.


  1. How cool is it that you have a filmmaker in the family?

  2. Megan, what a fantastic blog--with so much information! And Sharyn is amazing. How wonderful to get to work with your aunt.

  3. Yes, Sharyn is very, very talented. Her work has a huge range. I especially like the movie she did about her dog's stage debut.

  4. So helpful, Megan--thank you for the post!


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