Book trailers are becoming a popular way for authors to pique interest in their work. At first, I thought book trailers were only a useful tool for published authors. What’s the point of promoting a not yet published work? One word: platform.
In today’s highly competitive writing and publishing world, writers have to take charge of promoting their career and show potential publishers/agents/editors that they are willing to work hard. In an interview with Christina Katz on Writers Unboxed she states, “A platform is a promise, which says you will not only create something to sell (a book), but also promote it to the specific readers who will want to purchase it.”
I found a guest post on Nathan Bransford’s blog titled “How to Make A Book Trailer.” Myrlin Hermes gives a step by step process of how to put together a book trailer for next to nothing. Hermes used Window’s Movie Maker. Though I don’t use Movie Maker often, the challenge intrigued me.
I started with script. If nothing else, this process will force authors to refine their pitch/query/synopsis. It’s so tempting to pack in everything you love about your story, but that will only result in a never-ending trailer. Try to focus only on the main storyline.
Once I finished the script – keeping the sentences as short as possible – I searched for images on Wikimedia Commons. Let me just say I love this site. It’s full of freely usable media files (note: some have some rights reserved). I wasn’t able to find every image I wanted and ended up tweaking my script, but I think that only made it better.
Last, background music. It’s very important for the music you use to be royalty-free to avoid rights issues. Hermes used Incompetech for a donation of $5 per clip. I decided to use Partners In Rhyme.
Quick tips for piecing together your trailer:
- don’t get too fancy with transitions and effects
- don’t get too wordy
- let the images speak for you
- keep the trailer between 1-5 minutes (the shorter the better)
- don’t give away too much information
- most importantly, HAVE FUN!
I had so much fun with this project I ended up making two book trailers. Since my Novel Clique critique partners were divided about which one I should post, I plan to put them both up for vote.
I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to watch my book trailers and cast your vote on which one will have a permanent home on the Edge of Truth page.
Vote For Your Favorite Trailer
Edge of Truth – Book Trailer #1
Edge of Truth – Book Trailer #2