How to make a stunning Book Trailer

I recently saw Mike Watson’s Book Trailer for Wilderness Justice.

It was great and I asked him to write about it:

You Can Make A Book Trailer and Why You Would Want To

First, let me explain why I felt I needed a book trailer for my newest book, Wilderness Justice.

I had a good experience at my last book signing at a local library by showing the book trailer as an introduction to my talk. It served as a good prompt for questions.

The other reason to make a book trailer is the possibility that it could aid book sales through social media sites.

I was happy with the trailer for my previous book, Treasure of the Anasazi. I had paid a very reasonable price to have it made, but it had been loaded directly to YouTube, without direct access.

This time I wanted more control and I liked the challenge of seeing if I could do it.

I went online to learn what software was available as freeware or low cost. I wasn’t finding what I wanted, then I discovered that my laptop had come with Windows Movie Maker by Microsoft.

When I opened it, there was not a tutorial as I had expected. There was a help section, but it provided only minimal help.

Through trial and error I muddled my way through the process.

I must admit that using this method, I did learn a great deal about what to do and what not to do. There is an order to follow that helps during the process of producing your trailer.

Before starting, you might look at trailers you like and count the number of frames used and check the length of the trailer.

This will give you an idea of how many frames you’ll need to fill. Most frames are seven to nine seconds long, which you can customize. You want the duration of each frame to last long enough for the viewer to read the caption.

Don’t make the trailer too long or your audience may lose interest. I think two minutes or a little over is about as long as you want to make it.

First, there were certain photos that I wanted to incorporate. After printing them off and arranging them in the right order, I wrote a script to tell key elements of the story, without giving everything away, and ending with a “what happens next?”

The photos are uploaded individually into Movie Maker, forming a sequence, which can easily be rearranged by dragging, if necessary. Blank frames can also be added as needed.

See how I used one of these near the end of Wilderness Justice. Once you are happy with the order, then the caption is added to each picture.

Here you have numerous options, including font, color and size of font, and special effects of the text. The text can be static in the frame as the frame picture appears or slides into the frame from top, bottom, or side. Experiment with the different options until you get the look you are looking for.

Finally, and in my opinion, the most important element is the music because it sets the mood that you are wanting the audience to feel.

Again, I went online, where I found audionautix.com, that provides royalty free music. I experimented with different sounds until I found the sound that just seemed to fit perfectly. I chose to use the same piece of music throughout since it helped build suspense as the trailer advanced. You have the capability to mix and match for different moods.

Experimentation with all the elements is key to finding the right combination to making your trailer personal. If you decide something needs to be changed, it can be done easily.

Don’t be afraid to give it a try. Beginning from ground zero and working on it off and on, it took me three days to produce this book trailer. I know you can do it too. Have fun with it!

Please think about these elements as you take a look at the book trailer for Wilderness Justice. http://youtu.be/drKmZIZ8RCU

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