Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Trailers

I've made book trailers for my last three books (Greetings From Nowhere, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, and my upcoming The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester).

Because I had no idea how to make a book trailer, I put a lot of time into learning how.

For any authors who are fiddling around with making one, I thought I'd pass along some of the things I learned:

  • I use iMovie. If you're a Mac lover, you'll like using it.
  • You need to have permission to use images. Even though they are "royalty-free", you still have to pay a fee to use them. This usually averages about $100 or so, for me. (I used the small size resolution.) I used the following sites for images.
  • I've used a variety of sources for music. For Greetings from Nowhere, I paid the composer for his original music. I paid a fee from FreePlayMusic.com for the music for The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis. For The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, I used music available (free) on iMovie.
  • You may be inclined to make your frames shorter (time-wise) because it feels too fast. Don't. Slow it down a bit. The viewer needs time to absorb the image and read the text. (It's like when you read out loud and you tend to go too fast.)
  • If you publish your trailer to YouTube, be sure you also publish to TeacherTube. Many (most?) schools block access to YouTube.
  • Test your site on YouTube using the private setting (i.e., not public). Sometimes, parts of the trailer will be jerky. I have no idea why. A couple of times I had to change a "moving" frame to a still frame because I couldn't get the jerkiness out of it. A smarter person probably knows how to fix this.
  • Your publisher may be able to have your trailer posted on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. But these sites prefer that you not have a pub date or an exterior web site reference.


Stephanie J. Blake said...

Thank you so much for this info. I have wanted to make a trailer but had no idea how to start.

devin said...

Thank you for the tips, Barbara! We have PCs at our school and use PhotoStory. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of iMovie, but it does the trick. Your book trailers are my favorite because there is no narration...but it contains great music and images and makes a reader super excited to read your book! You're amazing!