This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.
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Book trailers are interesting, they’re fun to watch and can be fun to make. In the past few years they’ve become all the rage with publishers and authors. It’s as if your book has hit the big screen even though it’s still on paper.
How important are book trailers to book sales? I can’t answer that. The only information I’ve read is ‘unknown’. Like many marketing ideas, it’s difficult to say which one entices readers to buy a book.
Still, book trailers are an asset, and if you can make one, they certainly shouldn’t hurt sales.
I create my trailers in Windows Live Movie Maker that came with MS Word 2010. Here are the basic steps:
- Decide on the words that will appear in the trailer. In this case I used one of my back cover story summaries.
- Look at each block of text and think about the image that conveys the message you want to send.
- Gather the images from your own photographs, public domain sources or stock photos.
- Line up the image with the text and decide how each one will do the other justice, but do not embed the text into the photograph. Edit and crop photos to fit into the movie screen. I used the 4:3 ration which translated to 12 inches wide (4×3) and 9 inches wide (3×3).
- Open Windows Live Movie Maker and start a new project.
- Insert images (or video, if you decide to go that route) into the program. Don’t worry if they are in the wrong order. You can drag and drop them wherever you want.
- Add a title page and the text for the book name. You can add the author name here too, or add another title page. Font types, size and colour can be edited.
- Add the specified text to the images. By NOT embedding the text into the picture, you can give the text movement.
- Add a few pages at the end for credits, the book cover and web site addresses.
- Each slide can be animated to fade in or out, panned or theatrically edited. It’s up to you how much or how little you want. If this is your first video, I recommend making a short test video and playing with the options.
- Play through the video several times to see if you’ve achieved the desired effects.
- This is when I add the music, but others add it before adding the animated effects. If need be, I can tweak the animation afterwards.
- I play it through a few times at full screen to see if there are any mistakes.
- Upload to YouTube. Add a proper title, description and tags, and you’re video is public. Then you can embed it onto your website.
Although the trailer for Fowl Summer Nights is okay, I don’t feel it properly conveys the silliness and light-heartedness of the story. I might change it in the future.
The words in one or two slides disappear quicker than I intended for them to, so that will be fixed. I had worked on the trailer for about seven hours and believed it was ready, and then I played it through and the text was all messed up. I did my best to align it to the proper slide, but I couldn’t get it perfect.
NOTE: Available Everywhere.
This isn’t exactly true. My book is not available everywhere, and I’ll have to edit this to read “Available in many locations online”.
The first trailer I created was for Shadows in the Stone. At the end of the video I listed several places where readers could purchase the book. This was a mistake. When I set up my author page at Amazon, I discovered I couldn’t post the trailer because iTunes, Chapters and a few other outlets were mentioned.
To solve this problem this time around, I simple stated: Available Everywhere.
Fowl Summer Nights Trailer
Children’s Waltz by Lee Duane FitzSimmons
Link to Home: http://leefitzsimmons.com
Link for Music: http://leefitzsimmons.com/symphonic/index5.html
Lady by Window by Chalmers Butterfield
Elderly Lady by Hugó Poll (1867 – 1931)
Portrait of an Elderly Lady by Mary Cassatt (1844 – 1926)
This completes this step in the Draft to Book in 30 Days challenge.
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