Monday, June 8, 2009

The Making of a Book Trailer ~ Day 1

What is a book trailer you may ask? Well, you’ve all watched a bazillion (yes, that is a highly technical term) movie trailers - intriguing ads intended to pique your interest so you will watch the film. A book trailer has the same purpose - basically, it is an ad for your novel, with the goal of making everyone who watches it run right out to buy your book.

Creating a book trailer will be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your marketing experience. I had a lot of fun creating mine.

There are several aspects to consider when creating a book trailer. There are two basic styles that I have seen. There is the documentary approach, where the author parks themself in front of a picturesque (or not-so-picturesque) scene and talks about what a great book they’ve written and why you should read it. The style I prefer is more of a movie style. These show the story happening in pictures or video-clips with either readable words or a voice-over of a short, intriguing synopsis. I’ve also seen a combination of these two styles where the author speaks the synopsis.

Before you launch into creating your trailer you need to decide on the style you like. So, first, go to YouTube and search for the term ‘book trailer’. Watch a few and get a feel for the type that intrigues you. You can also find several Christian ones on OakTara's website. I personally find an author yammering on in front of his bookcase about what a great book he’s written pretty boring. But, that may be just the kind that gets your attention and makes you want to pick up the book.

Keep costs in mind as you peruse the trailers - cost in time as well as money. When I started to create the book trailer for my first book, Rocky Mountain Oasis, I wanted to use video clips. This book is a historical romance, so I was looking for clips of cowboys and western themes. I found some and was very excited until I saw the cost! One short 20-30 second clip ranged from $1000.00 to $5000.00! That’s quite a lot of mulla when you consider that you will need several clips to make a movie. Now, if you have your own video camera you can create your own clips. But consider the time it will take, not to mention finding ‘actors’ to model for you etc. For this reason I chose to use still pictures. We’ll talk more about where to find them later. Once you’ve decided what style of book trailer you want to create, you are ready for the next steps.

I am going to talk specifically about how to create the movie-type book trailer using still pictures. But even if you want to create a different style, I’m sure you will be able to glean some tips from the next several posts. So I hope you will tune in next time to learn more.

The Making of a Book Trailer ~ Day 2

The Making of a Book Trailer ~ Day 3

The Making of a Book Trailer ~ Finishing Up
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