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How to make a book trailer

03 Aug

Today is one of those rare things for us in England. A sunny day!! You’ll never find a person who appreciates sunlight more than a British person. The sun rarely deigns to visit us so when it does I should make the most of it right? Apparently not. I was once again inspired to do something that makes me want to block the sun out to prevent glare on my laptop screen. Creating a book trailer!!

Now I know I’m not the only one who gets struck by these bursts of creativity so I thought I could map out my journey for anyone brave enough to do it. The first thing you’re going to need to do is set aside some time…not a little bit of time, a lot of time. Your book trailer might only be a few minutes long but trust me when I say it takes a lot of time to put it together!

The next thing you’re going to need is software. Depending on how committed you are you’re going to need either one or two pieces. One for video editing and one for image editing. I’m a mac and proud so I’m going to being using iMovie for the video editing software and I used pixelmator for the image editing. Now both of these are applications you have to pay for but there are others out there that have that magic price tag! FREE. Here’s a few that you could look into that won’t make your wallet weep =)

How to make a book trailer continued…

What’s next? Next you need to summarise your books into a few short sentences. Literally only a few. No more than twenty. Anymore than that and it’s not snappy enough and your trailler will be too long to keep people’s attention.

Here are a few for FREE =)

Image editing

– Sketchbook express

– Seashore

– Paintbrush

Video editing

– Muvee Maker

– Windows Movie Maker

Right so you’ve got your software and now the next step is your images. You’re going to need images that capture what you’ve written. Now this isn’t going to be easy I admit it honestly. You’ve spent months with your characters, you know what you want them to look like and if I’m being honest which I always try to be, there’s not going to be a single picture that represents your book. Why? Because your book is unique to you and unless you’ve figured out a way to take pictures of the images running through your head then you’re going to have to compromise.

P.S. If you’ve found a way to take pictures of the images running through your mind tell me!!

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, pictures. There are a whole host of images out there that are going to be the closest approximation of your book all you need to do is find them. Two things.

1 – Google is your new best friend.

2 – I’m here to help so here are some sites that have pictures on them.

ó www.istockphoto.com

ó http://www.freeimages.co.uk/galleries/nature/index.htm

ó http://www.stockfootageforfree.com/

ó http://www.dreamstime.com/

ó http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1076917

ó http://www.123rf.com/

Some of them are free, some of them aren’t. The images you choose will all be specific to your book so I can’t really recommend any site over another but that’s half the fun!

Okay, so you’ve got your images! Well done. Here’s the tricky part. Making them into what you want. Remember that image editing software I recommended before, you’re going to want to grab it now. Some images will be fine as they are, others will want some tweaking. If you’ve set aside lots of time like I suggested then you’re going to be fine. If not then it’s not too late to get that extra time.

Why do you need this extra time you ask?

Because you’re going to take those images and make them into something that they might not have originally been intended for.

Take for instance this image here.

I saw it and instantly thought of the heroine in my book, Rocked by Passion. It was almost perfect but Estraya’s eyes aren’t gree. Damn! So what did I do? I sat down with the time I didn’t have and made her eyes the right colour.

See much better, that little trick took me the better part of 15 minutes and it wasn’t even the hardest one I had to do. If you spent 15 minutes on even just 10 pictures that’s two and a half hours!! And you had to find the pictures in the first place which isn’t a walk in the park either.

Right, so you’ve got your pictures, you’ve edited them slightly and now you want to put them together. Get that movie editing software ready now.

Put your pictures in the orer that best reflects the story and place the short sentences you wrote on top of the images or between the images or both whichever suits you best.

My next piece of advice is to get your soundtrack! There are lots of places that you can get music to act as the background for your words. It will all depend really on what you like to listen to and what you think best compliments your book trailer.

The last thing you’re going to need to do is add effects to your images. Spinning, fading in/out, mosaic effects. The list is a long one and again you’re going to need to pick what best suits your book!

I think that’s it. You should have a book trailer!

Congratualtions.

I think that’s enough from me. I’m off to enjoy the sunshine before it disappears!! Oh before I forget, in honour of this post which actually took me about 3 weeks to complete from start to finish, I’ll be uploading a book trailer for my Elemental Passions series soon!

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