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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  1. It appears there's a lot more to being an author, getting published and advertising effectively than meets the eye. There's more than I was aware of, that's for sure.

    It's wonderful that the three of you are willing to share all that you know about writing and selling books. The information you are presenting will save a lot of aspiring writers from running around in circles, trying to figure out what to do next.

    Where are book trailers normally available for readers' observation?

  2. Shaddy, One of my posts towards the end of this series will give several places to look at them/upload them. But to get you started, YouTube and GodTube are two such places to view them.

  3. Hey Lynnette! I was preparing to do a post on this soon! Now I can just send everyone over here :D I found a great new place to get music and pictures for my new trailer. Oh, and I came across for more Christian book trailers.

  4. I am no where near this part of the process in my writing journey, but this just fascinates me! I will be bookmarking these posts, for sure!

  5. I'm on the brink of creating a book trailer for my upcoming book Behold the Dawn, so I've been awaiting this series with baited breath!

    Step Number One: Decide what kind of trailer I want.
    Decision: Movie style.

    Something tells me that's going to be the easiest step of the process!

  6. THis is a great idea! I hadn´t thought of this, so thank you! I can do an exciting trailer for my memoir, as my father was a professional basketball coach and I can surely get clips of him in action from the NBA.

    Again, gracias!
    Susan McKinney de Ortega

  7. I can't wait to read more. I've avoided making a trailer because it seemed so difficult and I had no clue where to begin. But, I need to get one or two done sooner than later.

  8. Cindy, I'd love to hear what the sites were that you found for free music and pictures, and I'm sure it would be helpful to other readers too. Do you mind posting them in a comment?

    Sherrinda, you will get here sooner than you think! You are already over 80% done with your novel - and summer is almost here! :)

    Katie, Step one down! Yee Haw! :)

    Susan, that is a great idea to have clips of your father in action! That will add a very nice touch.

    Amy, I'm glad these posts will prove useful to you. And making a trailer really is a lot of fun.

  9. I love your header!!
    And I have wondered how people make those book trailors--can't wait to read more:)

  10. Ooh, I've been planning to do a trailer but keep putting it off. I think I'll have fun, but I'm so nervous about copyright infringement. LOL

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. :-)

  11. Terri, all credit for our beautiful header goes to Katie - she did a great job, I agree.

    Jessica, I'm going to address copyright infringement and hopefully that will alleviate your nervousness in that area. Your post on echos was a good reminder. :)

  12. Lynnette, I got my music from As far as I know, they still work under the Creative Commons laws. They have a wonderful variety from some really talented bands. As far as pictures, you know of course and there's also

  13. Great! Thanks for the links, Cindy. I'll add Podsafeaudio and Morguefile to my posts on pictures and music.

  14. This may have been covered but is it legal to use music you would hear on the radio? I'm curious about liscensing(sp) issues.

  15. T. Anne, You can't use just any song you hear on the radio. It depends on the license that the song was recorded under.

    Here is a good site with some good information about music copyrights.

  16. Lynette - I'm just getting around to making a trailer, and I stumbled on this site. I've already "met" K.M. Weiland on the blogosphere, but this is my first time here!

    You may have another post about music, but since that was the hardest part for me, I thought I'd add some of the sites I've found as well for music.

    I'd be careful of Flick'r. Even though a lot of people post pictures and don't restrict downloading, don't assume the photographer is okay with you using their stuff. Make sure you ask!

    Now I'm off to browse the rest of your blog!

  17. Small suggestion: Add links in this series of posts to the other posts in this series on book trailers. As it is, I had to look for parts 2, 3, and 4.