Monday, April 26, 2010

How to do a Book Trailer

MOOD STATUS: "Sick". No more feeling "meh". Now feeling REALLY "meh" and a sore throat, too.


Well, from my last post on "why do a book trailer", I can see most of you are interested in them.
Hey, what a coincidence. Me, too!

Okay. So NOW you're thinking, "How do I get a book trailer anyway?"
I'm glad you asked.

Your first option is You can pay someone to make one for you. I confess, I like this option and am thinking about paying for one for my book due out in October. There are a lot of wonderful online companies who specialize in making videos for your books. Some are pricey and some are extremely reasonable.
Here are just a few examples of places that authors I know have used:

DK RENDERS
Goddess Fish Promotions
Triad Film Productions (uses actual actors instead of pictures)
Trailer to the Stars!

Your second option is You can make your own book trailer. What?! Yes, in fact if a techno dummy like myself can do it, ANYONE can. There are plenty of cool techno places you can use like one true media, but I used Windows Movie Maker. It's on most PCs and is very self-explanatory. If you have it on your computer but need a quick tutorial, it's here.

So... if you're going to make your own, how do you start?

a)Watch a lot of book trailers. Go to YouTube to start. You'll get a feel for styles and lengths and be able to figure out what you personally like. I've watched videos in the one minute to three minute range. The average being about a minute in a half. My first one went a little long (over two minutes). But it was my first! I plan on making my next one a little shorter, after all time is precious to people. :)

b) Next, come up with a frame by frame "storyboard" of what you want to say about your book. What do I mean? Look at your blurb or what you used in your query letter to sell your book. That will give you an idea of where to start.

You're probably going to average about 20 frames (give or take depending on how long your video is). Keep in mind that your first and last frame will usually be your cover and title of your book or maybe your name and website.

**Take out a notebook and start with a simple flowchart of what you want to show. Keep in mind, you may want to take up some frames with just words and no picture or just a picture and no words. In my book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME, I used a frame to say something serious then in the next frame I showed a funny picture. In some frames I put words on my picture.

**keep in mind the TONE you want to create. I wanted mine to be amusing since I write lighthearted and wanted people to know that. I also chose to showcase the book from the hero's POV since his "role" was the more comedic part of the story.

c)Now that you have "idea" of what you want to show, the real fun begins: looking for pictures. (I mean this sarcastically because this is the MOST TIME CONSUMING part of the process) When looking for pictures keep in mind you want to look for Royalty free photos. Every online photo store has different rules and procedures. I bought from a sight were I paid $10 to get "credits". I could upload a certain amount of photos depending on how much the credit was for each picture.
Here are a few sites I found looking around online: (Always be sure and read the fine print and that even though they are royalty free you can use them commercially.)

http://www.pdphoto.org/

http://www.bigstockphoto.com/

http://www.shutterstock.com/

http://freestockphotos.com/

http://www.audiomicro.com/free-sound-effects

http://www.jupiterimages.com/RoyaltyFreePhotos

http://www.dreamstime.com/aboutimages

**if you want to save money, take your own pictures

**also, keep in mind that looking for pictures might even give you new ideas as to what you show in your video.

d) Once you have the pictures and the order and what you want to say, you're probably going to need some background music. After all, you don't want to watch a silent video. This is where it can get pricey, so you may need to need to get creative if some of these aren't in your price range.

http://www.audiomicro.com/

http://www.musopen.com/ (free, public domain music!)

http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/

http://www.studiocutz.com/

http://www.stockmusicsite.com/default.cfm/agent.109929?gclid=COjf3KnHnaECFRRM5QodeGQlzw

http://www.danosongs.com/ (free but must give credit to their site in your video)

Whew! Now that you have all that, you can then start putting it all together to see how it looks. Plus, Windows Movie Maker has a lot of neat gadgets you can play around with, like having your pictures or words fade in and out of the frame. This is the FUN part.

Still need more advice? Shame on you. (Just kidding) Steeple Hill author Brenda Coulter has a wonderful post on book trailers, too, which helped me a lot when I didn't know where to start.

Have you used any of these sites before? Have you used or know of different sites for a book trailer?

34 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

Wow! This is great. Thanks, Jennifer.

My husband asked for some fancy, schmancy video software and I thought---perfect, he can make me a book trailer.

Has he made me a trailer?

Phhht!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Lot of great info here. IMovie is great for book trailere too.:)

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you so much for listing where I can get free photos! I've been searching and will find one and then can't remember the next time:))
I'll be back the day I ever need a trailor!

Laura Pauling said...

Great post. I'm not at that stage yet but I'm sure it would be a challenge and fun!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

What a compilation of insights on this. I'm bookmarking this!

Excellent. The music was the thing I was having the most trouble with.

Great resources.
~ Wendy

Chicki said...

It's fantastic to have all this in one place. Thanks, Jennifer!

Hope you feel better soon.

Joanne said...

What a great way to really put your own spin on the book too, showing more of the author's intent. Thanks for sharing this.

Julie Jarnagin said...

This is so helpful I added a star to this on my reader because I know it will be useful before my book comes out next April.
My husband is pretty good with editing. I think he'll be able to help me do it myself.

JustineDell said...

Wow! Thanks for all the information. I've always thought book trailers where neat and I wanted to make one for my book just for fun. Now I think I might have the tools to do just that.

~JD

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, Kim! Didn't know about IMovie!

Georgiana said...

Great information! I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to make my own trailer.

Katie Ganshert said...

I think it would be SO hard to make my own book trailer. I'd need to pay somebody.

Linda Kage said...

I went the Windows Movie Maker way to make my book trailer. It's not as spiffy as a professional way, but it's tons cheaper!

Cindy said...

Good tips, Jennifer. I've made two trailers before (just experimenting) but I love the way they turned out. I used Windows Movie Maker and found my photos for free on Flickr. I also found a great site for music that was also free as long as you credit the artist. The name of it is slipping my mind right now, but they have such a great variety of music, from instrumentals to more specific and current genres.

Stephanie Faris said...

I think I'll wait til my publishing deal. But I keep asking myself, would I watch a book trailer? The answer is no...but I WOULD watch a video that was my favorite author talking about her books. I like the videos Meg Cabot does...they're SO fun!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Amazing. I want to try this out - how many weeks do I have to wait for the summer holidays? I'm going to need some time :)

Cynthia Reese said...

I know I need to do this. I know. My last book out, it was merely an option. And now it seems like it's mission critical. Thanks for the helpful links.

Karen Lange said...

Great info, thanks so much! Someday I will use this for my book. Please let us know if/when you do one for your book. Would love to see it and cheer for you:)

Kara said...

I ran across my first book trailer ahwile back and wondered about them. Great information! Hopefully some day I can use it:)

Kimberly Franklin said...

You're welcome! I haven't really used iMovie, but I've only heard good things about it. Windows Movie Maker is good too!!

I love book trailers!

Kenda said...

Wow, what a treasure of information. I'm not quite ready to pursue a book trailer, but now I know where to go for the information I'll need. Thank you, Jennifer!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Great tips. Now, all I have to do is get an agent. Then, get a publisher. Cue the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE theme.

Have a healthier week, Roland

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - great information! Thanks for all the links too. I don't need this at this point, but I'm bookmarking it for future reference :) Thanks!

Kelly said...

Very thorough post! Thank you!

CynBrat said...

Thank you, Jennifer! I neeeeeeed this information desperately.

Hugs--and feel better, willya? :(

Ann Best said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Best said...

You found me today, and now I've happily found you. I clicked on your novel icon and found 2 reviews of it on Amazon. It sounds like a good book. Your blog also looks like it's full of wonderful information. I've bookmarked it and intend to come back to it later. Thanks!!

patti said...

Wow! You've done your research, huh...

My web designer did my book trailers, and I think he did a bang-up job! I'm so lucky to have a former star in a Christian rock band to be my computer geek!!

Blessings on your project!
Patti

Michelle said...

Wow - you've given so much great info here - i think I save a link to this post somewhere for future reference.
thank you xx

Jen said...

Wow Jennifer I've never seen so many helpful links in my life!!! Thank you, I've been thinking about doing one for quite sometime so the tips and research are great!

Thanks :)

Samantha Bennett said...

Great info! You even made sense to a technologically-challenged person, which is no small feat. :) (Thanks for visiting my blog!)

Palindrome said...

oooh, I have to bookmark this post so I can use them when I'm ready to make a trailer!!

I've watched a few book trailers. I'm partial to the horror ones because they're creepy. I also love the new Jane Austen series ones...hilarious.

Lily Robinson said...

Lots of good tips here. Excellent post!

Carolyn V. said...

This is great advice Jennifer! My critique buddy and I were just discussing this last week (someone approached her about a trailer for her book). So cool! Thanks for the advice. =)