We live in an increasingly digital and visual world and as an author, and someone who would very much like to earn some money from my writing at some point so needs my books to reach as large an audience as possible, I looked into book trailer marketing possibilities. I heard somewhere that the legions of YouTube fans and TV viewers are more likely to read a book if they’ve been tempted via a visual stimulus. I have to admit that I have never bought a book because I watched a book trailer, but then I never watched many of them till I decided to make one. :).
Then I made four in quick succession? I have seen very few BT’s I enjoyed, and very many I loathed outright. But the occasional one I enjoyed because it was different and suggested or hinted or left me wondering. I know, I should have kept all the links for this post, but I didn’t know I would write this post at the time, did I.
A few people asked me to write a post about how I made my book trailers, so I’ll attempt to do so here 🙂
Now, I’m no techie and have never done anything like this before so I wanted the easiest route possible. I also needed resources to be FREE because I’m skint. Did you know we just moved house? 🙂
So off I trot – well, my fingers did the trotting, all over my keyboard, searching the worn-out shelves of my Google search engine. I searched for Free book trailer making software and found. Then I looked for the easiest way to make a book trailer. You get the idea. Nothing magic. Eventually, after sifting through quite a few searches I found one which leads me to Stupeflix Video Maker. It has its limitations I admit, but for those of you like me, it’s perfectly accessible and easy to use. I didn’t want to spend weeks on a learning curve, I wanted to read instructions and go. And this is it! No, I’m not an affiliate.
Here’s what they say:
Tell a story with your photos and videos. Make beautiful videos in a few simple clicks.
HOW IT WORKS
– select a beautiful theme for your video
– fill the project with photos, video clips, music,
– add text slides, captions, maps, transitions,
– arrange, preview, fine-tune
– download your movie, embed it or export it to YouTube, Facebook
THEY LOVE US
“a unique and sophisticated approach to turning digital content into story-telling”, Mashable.com
“a radically new way of creating, processing and editing online video”, TechCrunch.com
“Stupeflix wows the crowd”, FreeTech4Teachers.com
COOL THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH STUPEFLIX
– Import pictures from your Facebook, Flickr or Picasa accounts
– Use our library of high quality, licensed music tracks
– Preview your video project whenever you want
– Add maps in your movie with just an address
– Insert text spoken by computer voices (Text-To-Speech)
– Record video straight from your webcam
The steps to making your book trailer :
- Visualise! What’s your book about and can you tell us visually in under two mins? Think about this, close your eyes and imagine your book as TV commercial.
- Then write a storybook sketch or script it. Make up your storyboard via ten or so images/text blocks/title pages and some movement if you find some free video which inspires you.
- Search for images and video which will help you create what’s in your head – images can be powerful and don’t forget you can edit pictures so easily now using things like pic monkey and Pixlr.com. Creative Commons via Flickr provided most of mine. I found a recording of someone following the path of the sun as they drove. It made me feel on a journey and as Luna is in her journey, I used it twice 🙂 And fire features a lot in my story, so I found fire video and popped that in too.
- Once you’ve found and edited those perfect images and added in a few video clips, you need to look for emotive music which fits the pace of your video, and creates the right mood (although you may prefer a voice-over instead of music). For my third book trailer attempt, I picked Kasabian’s Fire because it was perfect. However, due to copyright issues some people in the world couldn’t see my book trailer? Grr… Even though Kasabian’s policy is not to block the use of it, rather earn from it with a pop-up advert? I removed it replacing it with something I selected from the very many on offer from YouTube archives. (Or you could try Altavista search engine indexes, offering over a million sound files, Soundsnap, Find Sounds, Partners in Rhyme, Brainy Betty, Open Music Archive, Opsound, ccMixter, Neo Sounds). Plus, I just found this here (I wish I’d found it before)
“If you are looking for public domain material to use in your own book trailers, you should explore the Prelinger Archives online–a collection of 60,000 “advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur” films assembled by Rick Prelinger over the last twenty years.”
They quote them as saying,
“Rick Prelinger and The Internet Archive hereby offer these public domain films from Prelinger Archives to all for free downloading and reuse. You are warmly encouraged to download, use and reproduce these films in whole or in part, in any medium or market throughout the world. You are also warmly encouraged to share, exchange, redistribute, transfer and copy these films, and especially encouraged to do so for free. Any derivative works that you produce using these films are yours to perform, publish, reproduce, sell, or distribute in any way you wish without any limitations.”
- You will then be ready to compile it or rather use all your media using one of the following free software – Stupeflix – PhotoShow – unless you find something else or want to buy something. I have no idea about what you can buy or what those programmes offer which these do not, however. 🙂 Each has its own user manual/video tutorial.
- Then you’ll need to revise it many times. Get it to hit the beats of the music, to be clear enough for viewers to understand your point, to experience the mood, to feel teased. The more revision the better because you learn something each time, as we do with our writing. You might want to add at the end or beginning the cover of your book and date of publication.
- Once it’s made and you’re superbly happy with it, post it to these sites. Or some of them. I’ve only posted to my Social Networks (including FaceBook Book Trailer Group, my profile and fan page, Twitter, my blog, Stumble Upon, and Your Tube) so far because I’m not 100% happy with it yet. I’ll try Vimeo too at some point. Heres a list I picked up from here, I’m not sure how great this list is but I couldn’t find another.
And another list I got from a great post from NovelHelp, which also answers questions like “Does a trailer make you look like a self-published author? Does it make you look too ‘Indie?” What tools are necessary to create a trailer? Plus of course, “Does a book trailer sell books.”
This is another great post about book trailer resources from Darcy Pattison
- http://www.smashwords.com (eBook host)
- Then make an acknowledgments page and post it on your YouTube page below you’re video! Everything I used is acknowledged beneath my trailer on my YouTube page, I have also put it at the end of this post for your perusal.
MY BOOK TRAILER/PROMO VIDEO ATTRIBUTIONS
By goodsophism on flickr
Sillouette — URL:http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6036/6337048977_615272eb0f_b.jpg
Sad girl image -By kthompsonstudios flikr
Vampire mouth – by pareeerica on flickr
Vampire with woman –http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2245/2012428012_437c362c7d_b.jpg By outcast104
Biker by Highways Agencyhttp://farm7.staticflickr.com/6121/5997574570_0fd8d73988_b.jpg
Some rights reserved by MaR.I.P.
BLOOD IN PLUG_HOLE and RAZOR –http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3638/3695550360_80b15d8de2_z.jpg?zz=1
1) Fire Video Clip – http://youtu.be/jyZ_r_4JSlI?hd=1&t=3s 17 seconds
2) Full Moon time laps – By fraktus on flickr- http://flic.kr/p/8VFvuR
SOUND: It was Fire by the fabulous Kasabian, but I had to change this music due to copyright infringement issue. I selected something from the youtube library until I find something more suitable (suggestions welcome) X
Written and produced by WordsinSync Publishing Group
License: Standard YouTube License
Do you think BT’s are worth it, or do you think they’re a waste of time? Has watching one ever made you buy a book? Will you try your hand at making a book trailer? Have you got already got one? Did you make it yourself? Pop your BT link in the comments and let’s get some feedback going.
I hope you found this post useful and that you’re able to make your own book trailer if that is your intention. You could save yourself a fortune and offer a visual perspective to an ever-growing world of e-readers: Perhaps the digital writer needs to tempt the digital reader, after all?