How to Make a Book Trailer

Book trailers (also known as book commercials) are a fun alternative or extension activity to writing traditional book reviews.  They can be acted out or recorded via video and shared with friends and family.

Elements of a Book Trailer

There are three elements to a good book trailer: the hook, the summary and the reason to read.

1. The Hook – start with something that grabs the attention of your audience.

  • Read a favorite scene from the book
  • Share a quote you liked
  • Show the book cover
  • Pose a question (Have you ever been so angry with your brother that you wanted to scream?)

2. Short Summary – give a short summary of what the book is about.

  • Share the title, author’s name, and reading level of the book
  • Give a brief overview of characters and main plot/conflict
  • Don’t give away the ending!

3. Reason to Read & Cliffhanger

  • Tell them why you love this book and why they will, too
  • End with a question or unresolved issue like “If you want to know how Sam and Dave escape the hot lava pit, read the book!”
Extra Tips

Pick a book you’re excited about.

Write down your script/narration first.

Use Bookopolis to get Level info about your book (Lexile, F&P, DRA, etc.)

Watch other examples on sites like this or search YouTube for “Book Trailers” or “Book Commercials” for examples like this.

How to Record Your Book Trailer

Kids love using iMovie (or similar apps) which has a template for making trailers. You can drop in photos or video clips and edit the template to make your own book trailer.

You can also use a smart phone to videotape kids sharing their summary and comments about the book and share the video.

Fun Ways to Share Your Book Commercial

Need new ideas for books to read? Visit

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