Recently I was browsing the internet when, on my Google+ wall, up popped a book trailer for one of my author acquaintances. I consider book trailers as an excellent marketing tool. Most people browsing the internet will stop briefly when something visual catches their eye, quite often missing the posts of carefully constructed words. I don't have a book trailer believing that I didn't have the skills to create something like that. I browsed YouTube for book trailers and came across a large number of trailers with real people acting out the characters. The concept is great but I felt it was beyond what I was capable of. After searching the internet for a professional company who could make a trailer for me I couldn't believe the price! Most basic packages I found were around $650! No way.
I searched YouTube further and found a trailer that caught my eye. The trailer is that of the book Indigo by Gina Linko. The trailer didn't have actors or motion sequences. It is relatively simple using simple backgrounds and animating the text and a couple of pictures on different slides. I deemed it a bit more eye catching than some of the acted trailers I had seen. Then I noticed that the author was published by Random House and my heart dropped. Could I make a trailer like that when this one was obviously professionally made?
The answer is, "Yes".
I am in the process of producing a trailer for my novel, Sky Stone. I am not sure if it will look as professional as the trailer for Indigo however I am trying. I discovered an article written by Judy Croome called 12 Easy Steps to The Making of a Book Trailer and it lifted my spirits and showed me that it is possible for someone with limited skills in making videos. I took most of Judy's advice, watching this trailer and discovering what made it work. I noticed how much text was on the screen at one time, the length of each slide, the type of music, etc. Then I headed over to a royalty free video clips site to see if I could find any short pieces of animation or video that would look great in my trailer. I used Getty Images to find royalty free video clips. The next step was to find a website for my trailer's music that suited the mood I was aiming for. I have already played a little with Microsoft Powerpoint and I was unable to use the video clips I wanted. I tried using Windows Live Movie Maker and found that it was fine for making fairly simple videos however I wanted further ability to manipulate the timing of my text and images (however I did fine Windows Live Movie Maker to be fairly simple to use and good to get a feel of what I was doing). Next I am going to try Adobe Premier (it looks a little daunting) since I already own the Adobe Mastersuite. Just looking at the confusing layout of this program puts me off a little but I am determined to create the best trailer that I can… but perhaps I am expecting too much of myself. Well, we'll see.
If I am able to create a trailer for Sky Stone, which I am satisfied with, then I will share it with you all. Don't keep your hopes up though.
If any of you aspire to attempt making your own trailers then go ahead, there is nothing to lose by trying.
Hey guys. So since writing this blog post I have found that somethings that I believed to be true were in fact not a great way to approach making trailers. I said above that I was finding video clips from Getty Images to make my trailer not realizing that these clips cost an arm and a leg! Their prices are through the roof. Therefore I will be retrying to make my trailer, scraping this attempt, this time using still images. Audio can still be found for either free or for fairly cheep depending on the owner and how they allow you to use their sound tracks.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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