TIPS | How to create, and edit a stunning book trailer

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One creative way to market, and bring attention to your books (especially if you are a self published author) is by creating an enticing book trailer. People love entertaining visuals so I'm here to give you some helpful tips on creating a stunning book trailer for your fiction novel, series, etc.

Below is the demo book trailer I will be referencing. Take a look for an overall idea!


Password: VizDemo




I posted this up on an author's forum a few days ago, and got so many questions about it that I thought I might as well just share it here with the world, and anyone who wants to learn how to create great book trailers (if you find me that is ---- if you're here congrats). 

This is not an actual book trailer for an existing book ----- I simply just made it all up (the book cover image is also just a demo that I designed). If you were ever interested in buying this book I am sorry as I won't be writing it anytime soon. 

If you thought what you saw was awesome, and also want to create a similar book trailer keep on reading!


Quick Overview:

  • Creating your story (Rule of 3)
  • Mixing Your Content
  • Using Music and South Effects
  • Editing Software


The Rule of 3: Spark, Tide, Reveal


Whether you're an author, book marketer, or a regular wattpad story writing genius you have got a creative bone in your soul. I won't lie to you and tell you that I literally sat down, and wrote a full script for this. I did not.

Though as you will (and should) be creating a book trailer for a story that you've already written and (hopefully) finished you actually have the upper hand. You know your book inside, and out so my tip to you is to give a short teaser of your story as a whole.

The book trailer above had a short sypnosis without giving the whole entire story.

A girl was normal. Something went wrong. She is no longer normal.

The end.

Seem familiar?

Your book trailer is your grab, your pull, your cheese for mice! People don't want to see a whole 30 minute long video about your book. They usually have short attention spans. 2 minutes or less is pretty much the sweet spot (though I'd say less).

Use 3 main points to set your whole story. This could vary from genre to genre, but here is my rule of 3.

1. Spark - What "sparks" or ignites your whole story.

In this case it was "I used to be normal." This was repeated again, and again to emphasize the girl's past life or who she used to be. She wants the audience to remember that she was once normal, human, etc

In this first scene you're shown the main character during the very few seconds before her acccident, and then led back to the beginning (when she was normal) which features her backstory (i.e. friends, boyfriend, dancing, fireworks).

So what do you want your audience to know or remember?

2. Tide - This is what sets the story in motion or "changes the tide."

In the trailer above what set everything in motion was the "accident" that caused her change from humanity. You get to see an idea (very short) but not the full on story.

This is where you are brought back to the main character reading her book, and led to the "accident"


Your Tide should be your twist or a key thing that sets your story.


3. Reveal - Your cliffhanger

This is your seal the deal before completely ending your trailer. What was the point of the whole story? Why should I read your book?

Easy. In the end you see the main character in this mysterious unknown form, and boom it's over. So many questions, but only a split second revealed. The character is no longer human so what is she? Who did this to her and why? What about her old life? Blah, blah, blah

Want to know more? Buy the book!

Don't forget to leave an official website for readers to find you, and your book.




Spice Up Your Content: Mix your media


Using text, and images is usually the basic norm of book trailer creation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but at the same time don't be scared to use videos as well as voice overs.

As a content creator myself, I love seeing moving images as much as I love staring at still photos. If you'd like to use legally free stock videos where you do not breach the copyright of other people (you don't want to get sued or have your video taken down you know) I recommend the following sites:

  1. Pixabay (for images also)
  2. Mazwai 
  3. Pexels (for images also)
  4. Videezy (for images also)

Some of the above require attribution while some don't.

If you'd like to purchase licenses for the videos you use you can browse shutterstock, bigstock, dissolve, or a royalty free stock website of your choice. The paid site I'd recommend is pond5 for high quality (1080p as well as 4k), but affordable videos. 

You can also (if you have more time, and less complicated scenes) gather a few friends, grab your camera, and literally record a few shots of what you need. This is usually the safest, and best option if everyone is up for it.

I personally used the free alternative (yep, no shame here)!

Remember that not everything has to be exact, and that you can mix and match media. A video there, picture here, and maybe some text spread across. Get as creative as you'd like to.  If you want to know more about free HD stock video footage click here

Now as for using voice overs instead of text....

You do not have to do this, but I find that voice overs are a bit more exciting than silent text when it comes to watching videos. If you are not comfortable with using your own voice you can ask a good friend to do it or pay someone at Fiverr (they have a lot of talented voice over actors).

When recording your voice overs make sure you are in a quiet room without heavy ventilation (the air will be heard). You do not have to have studio quality equipment for this just use your headphone's or phone's mic.

To edit your audio you can use a free tool such as audacity.


MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS:


Music, and sound effects are very powerful mediums when setting the mood for a book trailer. If you want to portray a sad and gloomy scene you don't want to put happy go lucky music in the background -- it would kill the mood, and cause confusion.  

For free music (that won't breach copyright) I recommend using free Music Archive 

For sound effects, I downloaded a free sound effects pack so I can get the variety that I wanted. I had this a while ago from an After Effects Forum, but just search "Sound Effects Pack" and you will see links to better, and newer sound effects on Google. 


Sound effects are very useful, and can contribute a lot to a scene in which a twist occurs or something shocking is revealed. Use them generously to add some flavor to your trailer. 


Video Editing:


Now, when you're editing you want to keep your story in mind as you go. If you start to get a bit confused, stop, and think like the audience. Sit back and watch what you've edited so far. Do you understand what you are editing? Does it make sense to you? Does it relate to your story? 

If you are intentionally causing confusion during the first few seconds by all means do it, but remember to bring it back to your main story. Do not lose your audience the whole way.  

Video editing might cost you some money depending on what you are trying to do. I edited this book trailer on my windows computer using Sony Vegas (not free, but there are free alternatives), and Adobe Photoshop (book cover + ending eye image).

If you are looking for better software other than windows movie maker I would recommend trying the following video editors:


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