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How to Make an Effective Book Video Trailer

I've had some encouraging comments about my latest book video trailer for 'Sicilian Channel', so I thought I'd share the production process with you, and explain some of the marketing benefits. I didn't use a formal storyboard technique - as the book author the story and scenes were in my head.

Benefits

Why bother to make a book video trailer? There are many benefits to be derived from increased exposure through:

  • Publication of the book using video channels such as YouTube, Vimeo
  • A video upload to Amazon Author Central gives your profile more beef
  • Uploading to many author and book marketing sites. E.g. BookMarketingNetwork, AuthorsDen offer the facility to upload book trailers
  • Posting: The music theme and voiceover can each be used for blog posts, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and so on.
  • Podcasting:The voiceover can be used as a podcast (e.g. 'hero interview') - I use Podbean but there are many others
  • Press releases: Sites such as prlog.com offer the facility to upload video trailers - these can really add weight to book launch press releases. For example: Sicilian Channel Book Launch Press Release

A book video trailer can bring life to your book and characters and therefore...

...an effective book video trailer will engage potential readers and should increase book sales.

You probably know by now that there are no 'quick results' for most authors and that book video trailers are just one component in the overall marketing mix and communication with readers - and even with professional readers, potential agents and publishers.

Video trailers do offer the opporunity to multiply exposure.

Production

Here's how I went about the process of producing a book video trailer.

  1. I let the MC speak. I wrote a short voiceover script (2 minutes or so) and got that recorded by someone on fiverr.com. I used the outline of the story as a guide, without any spoilers.
  2. I took some location stills shots years ago when researching the book. I also had a few more shots from elsewhere that I used - look back through your photo library as there's always something you can use. I keep many of mine on James Marinero's Pinterest.
  3. I found some suitable still and video clips on fotolia.com
  4. Found a good soundtrack and got permission to use it, although you can get one written (I've done this before for the 'Gate of Tears' music track) - there are plenty of artists on Fiverr.
  5. Used Audacity (free) to chop and change the voiceover to suit the video mix - even down to cutting/pasting individual words, and to fade the music where needed. I edited the music, voice and sound FX tracks within Audacity but saved them separately.
  6. Mixed the stills,video and audio using Windows Movie Maker (though I've ditched that now for VSDC free video editor). The voiceover was a rough story guide for the video mixing. I tried to make the pace of the video edit match the pace of the music.
  7. Mixed in some free sounds from universal-soundbank.com. Each element of the audio track was a separate track within VSDC, so I was able to fine-tune the final results in VSDC (for example positioning the helicopter sound dub).

    Along the way I also used paint.net (free) for image edits. If you need to do any really clever stuff, then use GIMP (free, nearly as functionally rich as Photoshop, but a steep learning curve).

It is an iterative process, so be prepared to 'go round the loop' a few times.

Final editing was done using VSDC. You need to be very ruthless at this stage. The optimum length is said to be 1 min 10 secs - and I still ran over. I cut 70% of the voiceover script during the final editing phase. However, the full voiceover is used later in other podcasts from the MC. Because 'Sicilian Channel' is one of a series, this 'update' podcasting should work well.

Producing a book video trailer is not difficult, and as I've said, quite good fun (sad for some, I know)! However, you do need to invest time in learning the tools.  Total production time was of the order of 40 hrs.

Finally, do make sure that you don't give the plot away!

Ps: If you found this page useful I would really appreciate a 'share' or 'like'

Thank you.

I learned a lot making my first book video trailer - which was much too long - for 'Gate of Tears'