How I Created A Book Trailer

Hello once again Readers!!! What? Is that Aurora (the main character of Born in Flames) leaving the cave in which she shifts for the first time? Why yes, yes it is. At least, that’s as close to what I see in my head that I could find.

I digress.

So as promised, I finally found time to write-up a blog on how I created my book trailer-for free I might add. But I must warn you, these tips are geared towards Windows Movie Maker (which is what I used). Now, you don’t have to take my advice. There are tons of blogs out there will similar helpful tips which is I how I pretty much figured things out. I’m just going to break it down how I understood it. And it only took me about two weeks to get it all together.

Lets begin, shall we?

  1. Photo Scavenging- I think this would be the best thing to start with. There are tons of sites that offer free photos and others that offer paid, royalty-free photos. The choice is yours really. If you have the money, the paid photos are better quality and offer no hassle as far as the “fine print”. If you use the free photos, you have to follow their rules. Some want to know you’re using them, others just want a mention. The best site I found was PhotoPin. Now, there are a bunch of photos on there that have nothing to do with what you are looking for, but there are some real gems. I’d say about 95% of the photos I used came from there. Here are some other sites: Shutterstock, iStock, Free Digital Photos, and Stock.xchng.
  2. Music- This was not easy for me. There are so many rules and the sites that offer royalty-free are a bit too pricey for my taste. Some sites are: Royalty-Free Music, AudioMicro. If you have the money to invest, they do offer great music, but if you have a connection to someone with talent, that would be even better. They can customize to your needs. I was extremely lucky and was offered help by Phillip. I’m not sure what his standards are, but he is great at customizing and creating music!
  3. Upload Photos- Now that you have your photos and your music, open Windows Movie Maker and upload all of the photos to begin placement. Each slide has the option to add effects to it. I chose to add fade in and fade out for every one, as well as the different camera angles that best suited the photo. Play around with it to get a feel for what you like and what fits the tone of your novel. If you’re lost, google the question you are stuck on. Even Windows has self-help sites geared towards Movie Maker to help you with all the finicky issues.
  4. Your Pitch- This is the most important step since it is selling your story. There is the option to add credits and a title. If you click on it, it also gives you the option to add caption to the slide or before the slide. I didn’t like the way the caption looked on the slide. So I chose to go before each slide. You can change the font, the color, the background, and the positioning to get the most effect out of it. Make sure you don’t cram too much into one slide because the viewer needs time to read it. I tried to make sure each image I added, matched what each slide was saying before the image, that way the viewer could get a visual of what I was seeing.
  5. Syncing- This is the last and most difficult step. The music needs to sync with the placement and timing of your photos. Besides searching for the photos, this is what took me the longest. I had a lot of help with Phillip because he saw the entire video without music beforehand, so he had something to go off of when creating the music. He did an awesome job of making the music hit where it needed to. Just remember that it’s just like the movies. The music plays a huge part in how a scene affects us. This should be applied to your trailer. Take your time in building the suspense.

I hope this helped you. I am by no means an expert at this. At all. This is just what I picked up from my attempts at making a book trailer. I’m proud of it and sick of it all in the same. I think it’s a wonderful marketing tool and if you have the money to invest into a professional that can do it for you, I totally would. There are trailers out there that blow me away. But if you have a tight budget, well, this is how I did it…for free.

That being said my friends…have you dabbled in this? Do you have any better advice to offer to my readers? Sharing is caring!

♥Echelon out!

30 thoughts on “How I Created A Book Trailer

  1. It’s really interesting to read how you went about making the trailer, especially after seeing how great the finished product is! I’m really enjoying reading your posts, I’m taking away a lot about how to approach this whole ‘selling a novel’ thing. Do you still find it all quite scary and daunting? Or have you settled into your stride now?

    • Thank you. Yeah, I’m glad it turned out well. Yes it is daunting and scary. A small part of me is falling into a groove little by little though. Just have to take a deep breath and dive in!

  2. I used Movie Maker to make my vlog, but that was just basic editing, nothing fancy like your trailer with music and photos etc. etc. By the way, very nice trailer :) I really enjoyed it, and it looked great!

    • Thanks Michelle! About your current blog, I was going to try live-action for the trailer, it just didn’t pan out with conflicting schedules and the right effects I would need to accomplish the scenes. So if you can GO FOR IT! All the really cool ones are like that!

  3. That’s very helpful Candace. It’s going to be a while before I do my book trailer, but I’ll use your tips when the time comes…. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for this post Candace, I’ve been bouncing around ideas for making trailers for some of my lengthier short stories, (but had nary a clue as to how to begin).

  5. Candace
    Just watched the trailer. Good choice of pics and the music was inspiring.
    I use Sony Vegas 8.0 for mine, but I’ve had it a while ( I think version 10 is now out) but a bargain at $24!
    Most of my videos (YouTube, search for Andybee64) were made using this after I ditched the rather clunky Magix, but I still occasionally use Muvee for a quick lash-up.
    My preference is to lay down the music track first, but that’s mainly because it’s the music that inspires me to make the video in the first place.
    The music dictates the pace, mood and length of the piece and forms the backbone of the project.

    That said, If I had a talented friend who could compose to my videos, I might change my method… :)

    Looking forward to seeing the book.

      • Candace
        Magix and Sony Vegas can be a bit @nal. :)
        If you want to fiddle on to the Nth degree, they’re great – but very time-consuming. Muvee is a great little ‘thro it all into the mix and see what emerges. Useful for those holiday videos that you want to impress your parents or even your kids with.
        As an example, my ‘Bungee’ video was thrown together with Muvee…see what can be achieved in a short time.

  6. I think book trailers are the best way to get your book out there. It puts an image in people’s heads. I like to imagine while reading not just read sentences.

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