Tips for Creating a Video (Book Trailer) for Your Book
by J.Q. Rose
H0w DO you put together a book trailer? Does putting together a video seem like an impossible idea? Well, I'm here to tell you it is possible. Like everything you want to do well, it takes practice. I'm still learning, but I love a challenge and truthfully, creating a movie trailer is a lot of fun.
Today I'm sharing a list of helpful information I've discovered while learning. Please note, I'm still learning. I am no professional. I use the Windows Movie Maker already on my laptop. To find it in Windows 7 and 8, click on the colorful start button at the bottom of the screen and type in movie maker and it will pop up for you. Click on it and your screen will be filled with this amazing FREE program. I cannot explain how to use Movie Maker. It is intuitive if you have any computer knowledge at all. Otherwise Google for a tutorial for the program.
There are other Free programs, iMovies for the Mac and Slideroll which works with any computer. But I have no experience with either one of these. These hints though will help you with whatever movie program you use.
Let's get started:
- Begin by writing the copy for your video. Actually, if you have a blurb or back of the book piece done for your book, use that for your video.
- Photos are the main feature of the video trailer so selecting he right ones to tell your story is crucial. You can download your own, buy them, or find some excellent ones at Dreamstime and Public Domain Pictures. Google "royalty free" free photos and you will have a lot of sites to choose from. Most sites allow you to use the photo, but request an attribution to the site and/or photographer.
- While writing a book, I pin photos of places and faces and anything related to the plot into my Pinterest board. No, you cannot use anyone else's photos to sell your book, so you must get permission from the site or photographer due to copyright laws to include them in your video.
- When I pour over photos, either my own or from a site, I save them in a file labeled with the book name e.g. Coda to Murder Movie Trailer. Because they are all in one file, it's easy to go to that file and upload the photos you want to use into the story board on Movie Maker.
- Don't make your trailer more than 2 minutes long. Tell your story in as short of time as possible.
- I like to place the caption on the photo because using a blank slide for every image lengthens the time. However, a caption on a plain colored slide is a good break when needed or if you just couldn't find the right picture for that part. I used the slide below in my Coda to Murder trailer. I use Print Shop 22 to make a plain or textured slide by opening to a blank page, then selecting the background. Save it to your movie trailer file and you can use it over and over.
- In movie maker, you have the choice of captioning or using a credit slide. The difference is the credit slide rolls like you might see in a real movie. I find it difficult to get all that important information on the roll and make it easy for readers to absorb everything. I suggest using the caption slide to display the name of the book and author, author's links, buy links, credits for photos and music. Yes, definitely include those credits!!
- I love, love, love, Kevin McLeod's Infotech.com music site. He has the music according to genre, so if you want horror or mystery or comedy, it's easy to find the right sound to give your show the right atmosphere. I could listen all day to the music. He is brilliant!
- Be careful you don't pick annoying background music. The longer the trailer, the more chance the music will become unbearable unless you choose more than one tune.
- Be sure to SAVE your work as you go! It takes a lot of time to put this work together, so you don't want to lose it if there is a hiccup in the system. --Yes, I'm speaking from experience.
- Once you are happy with the trailer, and your eyeballs are weary of watching the 15 slides or more and your ears are ringing with that snappy soundtrack music, you are ready to save it and download to You Tube or several other options. I don't use the recommended file for publishing it on You Tube because it takes forever to upload. It is such a big file, I worry it will not load quickly on websites, so I use the 960 x 720 selection.
- Now you are ready to notify your friends the trailer is up, and let them know you are open to suggestions for fine tuning the presentation. This is the time to find embarrassing spelling errors, typos, awkward captions, and length of slides. You definitely want to have enough time for viewers to read captions and credits.
- When you are happy with the entire trailer, then shout about it to the world via social media, your websites, and even send your family an email about your accomplishment.
- I don't just use Movie Maker for book trailers, I have fun with my photos and sharing them with friends via a video. We took a trip to Alaska last summer....no, I haven't made a video out of the 100's of photos, but maybe this winter?
- If you have experience with Movie Maker, please leave your tips and suggestions in the comments section. We all want to learn how to do a better job. Thank you!
Here's a peek at my trailer for mystery, sweet romance, Coda to Murder. This is my second attempt. That's the beauty of this program. You can have do-overs when you discover something new to try. So, if you have suggestions for improvement, I'm ready!
Coda to Murder, mystery/sweet romance
Monday, August 19--YA author Kaitlin Bevis and I are swapping blogs. Her blog on her pathway to writing is up at the Girls Succeed blog. And my guest post on what inspired to write the non-fiction book for girls is up at Kaitlin's blog . Hop on over this week if you get a chance a leave a comment for us. Thank you!
Thursday, August 22--Karina Fabian shares her hobby of circuit training.(She says it could be labeled circuit torture. Ouch!) She'll be here with her always entertaining writing.
Saturday, August 24--Carolyn Howard-Johnson features Sue Pernz (Perkins) 5 star review for Coda to Murder on the New Book Review blog. Yep, I'm poppin' my buttons with this review.
Thanks, J.Q. Rose. I'm going to bookmark this and save it for future use. Great stuff here!
Fantastic post, Janet. :) I'd love to get into designing trailers but then I wouldn't have time to write. :)
Brilliant trailer, J.Q., I absolutely loved it! The music is perfect. You should start a business as a designer of trailers!
Fabulous post JQ. I think you should get really good at this and then I'll send you all my books (seven so far) and you can whip some up for me. LOL
I would love to be able to do this type thing.
Great info, JQ - thanks for sharing!
Why, thank you, Ladies for your kind comments. I was out of town for the last 2 days, so I am sorry I am so late in replying.
Susan and Heather, I do hope this info will help when you try to create your own trailers. Don't hesitate to ask if you have a question about it. And I would love to see you finished projects!
Kim, you're right about taking time away from writing. Trailers are great procrastinators. (is that a word?)
Helena, I'm glad you like the music. That was the impetus to re-do the trailer. I didn't like the soundtrack in my first one.
Penny, I admire folks who DO create trailers professionally. I'd love to learn how to do all the flashy transitions and fancy stuff, but alas, not enough time. If I were just looking to begin a new career it would be in videos.
I think what you can do is amazing. Way below this kid.
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