Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Making of a Book Trailer ~ Day 2

View the first article in this series here: The Making of a Book Trailer ~ Day 1

Okay, so hopefully you’ve had time to view a few book trailers and now have an idea of what you would like yours to look like. To see what mine looks like you can go here. (Ignore the "now available" info. 'cause it's not quite true yet. :) I put up the brand new trailer just for you all to take a peek at.)

The next step in creating your book trailer is to find the pictures. It will be helpful to you if you have a specific idea of what you are looking for. So take a few minutes to plan out your trailer.

When looking for pictures keep in mind that many of the pictures on the Internet are copyrighted. There are several sites where you can sign up for an account and buy pictures for a fairly reasonable fee. There are also several sites where you can get free pictures - but many of them you have to sign up for an account. Just do a google search for ‘free pictures’ or something along that line and you will get plenty of returns.

The site I like to use is Flickr. You’ll notice that the link takes you to the ‘Creative Commons’ section of that site. Many of the photos on Flickr are copyrighted, however the ones in the Creative Commons area have user-friendly licenses associated with them. I only used the ‘Attribution License’ photos. These photos are denoted with the word ‘By:’ in a circle. You can use these pictures freely, and even make changes to them, as long as you give the author credit.

Click the ‘See More’ link under the Attribution License section. Then you will be able to search for specific types of pictures. Here I should put a caveat - you may run into some offensive pictures.

When you find a picture that you think you may use, click into it and you will be given the option of different sizes that are available for download. Select the size you want (I went for larger sizes, though not always the largest) and click download. (It will help you later if you have all your pictures in the same folder, so I suggest that you make a specific folder on your computer to put all your pictures into. Mine was called, “Book Trailer Images”.) Don’t forget to keep a log of the photostream names for the pictures you want to use - later you will need these in order to credit the authors.

I would also like to say thanks to Cindy for bringing my attention to You can use images from that site with freedom to edit them and you don't even have to keep track of attributions.

Alright, you are ready to go! Have fun downloading your pictures. I recommend that you download more than you think you will use.

If any of you have links to royalty-and-copyright-free picture sites, please comment with the url.

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  1. This step's a little harder. I'm thinking about using pix from iStockphoto, since Flickr often frustrates me. iStockphoto isn't free, but most of the pictures you can get for as a little as a dollar.

  2. Woe is me! I better get to work on a book or I'll forget all I'm learning here by the time it's finished.

  3. Yes, istock and bigstock are two places that are great for buying pictures.

    You'll get there, Shaddy! Keep plugging away.

    Also, I want to applogize for the cluster of paragraphs all crammed together at the end of the post. I have tried numberous times to put a space in there and nothing seems to be working. Blogger isn't being kind to me today. :)

  4. Lynnette: I have a problem with paragraphs bunching up with no space between them too. If I see that has happened when I post a blog, I go back and edit it, putting a dash where I want a space. Then when I post it again, voila, the space is there. I don't like the dash sitting there at the left margin, it's better than having extra long paragraphs. Give it a try. I hope it works for you.

    Hey, it feels good to be able to offer some advice for a change.

  5. Thanks, Shaddy. I actually went in and put (br)(/br) (replace the "()" with carrot tags)in the html text right before the paragraph and that fixed it. (Thanks for the email, Katie - I should have thought of that.)

  6. I found the most perfect royalty free photos at istockphoto too. They run about $1.50 a piece for trailer size. For me, it's worth the price. There are a ton of photos of a teen girl who fits my protag's specs exactly. And there are some of a model who looks very much like her but a bit older, and they will work well for my sequel. I've already made my trailers and would like to obtain a license for copyrighted work but I'm not sure how much that would cost me. If I can get a decent advance, I'd be willing to pay for the songs I really want.

    ~ Courtney

  7. Thanks for the info., Courtney. I've looked at pics on iStock but never purchased any.

    I think it's great that you have your trailers made already before the book is even out. Are they up on YouTube? If so, post your links - we'd love to see them! :)

  8. No. I didn't put them up on Youtube yet. I'll wait until I'm published. I want to make 2 vids, one short one-about 35 seconds-and then a song-length, if I can obtain a license for the songs I want. Hope so, cuz they are PERFECT. Part of my market is teens, maybe the bulk of it depending on which side of the shelf they stick it, and a trailer of that type would get favorited more than a mini one. I also want to create a brand with a long one, like if someone sees it, they'll know it's mine based on the style.

  9. Thanks for this series! Look for free pics at

  10. Hi! I wanted to let you know that I use for a good majority of the stock photos I use for publishing. It's free and there are wonderful photos there.