How to make a book trailer

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about “book trailers” recently and I have to admit I was a bit confused. I know what film trailers are all about but why on earth would you create one for a book? But then again, I thought, why not? When you think about it, a film trailer is just a marketing tool to pique your interest and get you into the cinema – so if you could do the same in a video about a book, then you open up another avenue of potential sales. The trouble is, films are very visual and books … well, books just aren’t. So while the idea appealed to me, I wasn’t really sure how to make a book trailer. Then I stumbled across Morgen Bailey‘s incredibly useful website for authors and read her blog post on how to create a 30 second book trailer using Animoto – and the video below is the result!

Animoto is a fantastic resource. The site offers a free account that enables you to make 30 second videos at no cost, and for a very reasonable £5 a month you can upgrade to get access to longer videos, more themes and the option to download them to your computer. The interface is very easy to use (in fact the iPad app, which is free and which I created my video on, is even easier!)  and it literally took me five minutes to make my video. Now I’m not going to go through the steps in this post – Morgen’s post has plenty of information on that, though I may go into more detail in a future post – but I would just give you a few tips on how to make a book trailer:

1. Keep it simple. 30 seconds (or so) is not very long, and if you’re combining images with text there’s a limit on the number of slides you can include if you want people to take them in.

2. Pick effective images. Pick a handful of images that represent your book – for me it was a picture of my son, a picture of me, a picture of a box of books and the actual cover image.

3. Choose your words carefully. Animoto limits the number of words you can use on each slide so make sure you choose ones that give a little insight into your book without giving too much away. Remember, you want to encourage people to buy your book so make the trailer intriguing!

4. Tell them where to go. In the nicest possible way, of course! Make sure you include information in your video on where they can find your book. My final text screen says “Out now – available from Amazon or www.theboyfromhell.co.uk” so people know where to go if they want to find out more.

5. Experiment with themes and music. Animoto has lots of different themes and pieces of music you can use, so play around to find the ones that best suit your book. I initially liked a fire theme – playing on the “hell” idea – but seeing the photo of my little boy burning just didn’t work for me!

6. Don’t just leave your trailer on Animoto! The website makes it really easy for you to upload your video to YouTube and you can instantly share it to hundreds of social media networks too. You can also get a code to embed it in your website.

Anyway, I hope you like my little book trailer and feel inspired enough to create your own too. If you do, do leave the link below!

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