Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Making a Book Trailer


I've made my share of book trailers so I thought I'd share some tips on how you can make a trailer without spending a fortune. It's also fairly simple, so even if you aren't computer savvy, you can figure it out pretty quickly.

First, your computer comes with programs to create movies. I use iMovie because I have a Mac. PCs usually have Movie Maker. If you don't see an icon on your desktop, search your Applications. I'm willing to bet you'll find a program. The programs are designed to let you drop pictures into the frames and then add text, voiceover, music, etc. You get to set the duration of each clip, which is great for adjusting the length of your trailer to fit your music. There are even transitions to choose from between the slides.

Once you locate your program, you need to find images for your trailer. A very cost efficient way to do this is to create a book trailer for an entire series instead of each book. You can then use your book covers and crop them for images. That's what I did for the Touch of Death series. All the images, with the exception of one, came from the front and back covers of the books.



I did the same thing for my Campus Crush series, written under my pen name. 



If you have a budget that allows you to purchase images for your trailer, I suggest royalty-free stock photos. I use Shutterstock, which allows you to purchase images on demand. I usually opt for the package of five downloads, which isn't expensive at all, and you can almost always find a coupon code online to take about $10 off the price.

For The Monster Within, I opted to purchase images instead of sticking to my cover. I did find some sites (thanks to an article in the SCBWI Bulletin) that offer completely free images as long as you credit them. I found similar sites for the music tracks. Both are great options for keeping costs down. The Monster Within Book Trailer uses paid images and free images along with free music. I made sure to credit my sources on the final slide.



Another option is to film your book trailer yourself and hire some actors to portray your characters. I haven't tried this myself just yet, but maybe one day.

I recommend playing around with whatever movie program your computer has and get used to the different features and how they work. You'll be surprised by how easy it actually is to create a trailer for your book.

35 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information, Kelly. That's really helpful.

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  2. Sweet!! I've made two book trailers--Well, three, but I took one down when the first book was no longer represented by an agent and I decided to edit the novel to be a stand alone. That's the one the first trailer is for, my novel Death Island. Unfortunately, during submission process it got so diced and hacked that I'm still editing for self pub. Stupid me saved over the original. *Head to desk* But I get the chance to rewrite it for NA now, which I think is more appropriate. And of course, I have a general one for the Descendants of Isis Trilogy. Both are up on my site under My Novels.

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    1. Awesome! Can you find the original file in your sent email? I do that sometimes. Email is great as a backup.

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    2. Unfortunately, I checked. I only have a bound print version I had just in case someone wanted a snail mail submission. The original was about 800 pages, so cropping is totally necessary anyway. Hoping to cut to 250 with the subtraction of certain POVs and other adjustments. But the version I have on my computer looks and reads like Swiss cheese, except for the first 6 chapters I've gotten to.

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  3. I would love to try this. How do you get the music/background? Do you have to get a license or something, or do you create that yourself?

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    1. There are sites that allow you to use their music as long as you credit them. Others charge small fees for use of the music.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this, Kelly. Trailers are something I've stayed clear of, but I suppose I should get on that.

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    1. They're actually a lot of fun to make.

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  5. You are one talented lady! I didn't realize that you made your own trailers! I'll have to remember this post whenever I get up the nerve to make mine... if I dare try.

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    1. It's fun, Catherine. You should try it.

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  6. Great advice, Kelly. And the trailers are great too.

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  7. Your trailers look terrific, Kelly!

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  8. Awesome advice! I do want to make a book trailer some time in the future. Your trailers will be my inspiration. :)

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  9. I love making book trailers! I get most of my stock photos from 123rf. Its on the inexpensive side. I buy credit instead of a subscription. I get my music and videos from istock though 123rf does have some good music. I use Shutterstock as well. They have some really good images.

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  10. I have bookmarked this post! I don't have time to make a book trailer right now- but it has been on my list for ages. Thanks for all the helpful tips! :)
    ~Jess

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  11. I love your book trailers, Kelly! Very inspiring=)
    I have a couple of friends who play around with photography, acting and even videos. To stay on budget, I might ask them to help me if I ever wanted to make a trailer. Your advice has me pondering now!

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    1. Ooh, that's great! Use those resources. I'm sure they'd love to help.

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  12. Those are awesome trailers and the books sound fabulous! Thanks for sharing your tips. I'm totally, totally intrigued by The Monster Within!!

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    1. Thanks, Kimberly! I'm glad you found the tips helpful.

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  13. I've seen some good book trailers, but I'm still not sure if it's worth it. I know a book trailer wouldn't influence whether I bought a book or not...mostly because if I weren't an author, I'd never, ever watch one. I prefer to read about a book. I don't have the patience to even sit through a 30-second trailer because it takes so long for it to get through it to figure out what the book is about!

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    1. lol I like book trailers, but I know most people don't watch them. I make them because I think it's fun to make them.

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  14. Book trailers do help in promotion and they don't have to be expensive to be made. I love watching trailers with great music accompaniment.

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    1. No, not at all. There are very inexpensive ways to make them yourself.

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  15. Great trailers. It's not hard to do it yourself. There are also some really good public domain images out there.

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  16. Very good advice. DD made the trailer of my book with Movie Maker and images plus music that were homemade (i.e. owned by us...) and I saw she had fun with it. The real question is how important these are to book marketing.

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    1. I'm not sure they do much in terms of marketing, but I enjoy them.

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  17. I've made several book (and video) trailers, some I think I made too long.

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    1. I like to keep them under a minute if possible. That's just me though.

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