For years we've only seen two types of book trailers, the slide show - voiceover version and the big production version with actors and a big budget to go with it. What if I told you there was a happy medium that was not only cost effective like the slide show, but also movie quality like the big budget production?
Guess what? There is, and you can do it yourself too! You just need a few things and you're on your way to attracting new readers and movie producers alike!
This should be the easiest part because, as writers, this is what you do! Also, if you have a great back cover description - then you've already written the script for your trailer! Since book trailers should be short, your back cover description will be just perfect for this.
Book trailers should only last between 30 and 90 seconds, Why? Because in essence, this is an ad, and no-one wants to watch long ads. Also, because we want to leave our viewers wanting more. We want them to be compelled to buy the book to see what happens next!
So you have your script, now lets talk about video! As we mentioned above traditional, easy book trailers use picture slideshows and big productions use actors and sets. You don't have to do any of that, and no, you don't have to act out your own script or record any footage (unless you want to)!
What can I use? I know we've all heard of royalty free photos, but have you heard of royalty free videos? Yep, they do exist! And you can even find some websites that offer them for free!
Hello, Pexels.com and Pixabay.com!
Of course, there are also websites where you can buy royalty free videos just do a google search for Royalty Free Videos and you'll get quite a few.
Now we need a good video editor to put the first few pieces together. Yes, there are all types of free video editors. You can use the editor that comes with your cell phone. You can use opensource software like OpenShot Video Editor, which is so easy; I love using it!
Even Canva.com is getting in on the action with their online video editor. They even have some free video clips from Pixabay and free music right in the studio area! I've used Canva.com to make IGTV videos and IG Reels and even some Tiktoks. It's definitely a great resource, the only issue is you can't add your own sound files, yet. Hopefully it's something they are working on!
There's one more video editor that I want to mention, Invideo. This is an online video editor, which gives you access to free and premium videos (all royalty free), video templates, automated text-to-speech, free music, & more! They have a free version where you have access to most of these features, but your video will have a watermark once you export it.
They also have a paid Business Plan where you get full access with no watermark. You can export 60 videos and use 300 premium royalty free videos per month. It's really great because all the videos, music, voiceover options are right there and you don't have to download any software. You can even just copy and paste your script and it will create a video for you.
I use the business plan myself and it's so easy to use! It's also great because they have a monthly payment option where you can sign up for one month and cancel until you need it again.
Ok, the gushing is over! Let's talk about narration. This is a big part of creating a great trailer because it helps guide your audience along the journey. You can use your own voice for this by doing a recording on your phone, or have someone from Fiverr.com read the script for you, or you can use some free text-to-voice options available online.
You can google search free text-to-speech converter and get quite a few options. I won't list any here because I haven't used them. As mentioned earlier Invideo has the option included right in the studio with several different accent options. The ones I've used did not sound like robots.
Captions are optional. It really depends on your video, it may work with the aesthetic or it may not, it's up to you. When I make trailers, sometimes I use them and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I'll just highlight a few key phrases. Consider your audience here too! Who are you hoping to reach, will your audience benefit from having captions on the video?
This last component is mandatory! Music is how you set the tone and pace of your video. It's a key driving force of the trailer. Of course you want to use royalty free music, as well.
I usually use YouTube Audio Library, they have a huge selection and since any video I make goes on YouTube… Why? Well, since you asked, it's free promotion, one day I'll get some ad revenue from it, and did I mention, free promotion?
So now you have all the tools you need to make an incredible book trailer. I hope this was helpful and look forward to seeing your book trailer real soon! In the meantime, check out the two book trailers below and tell me what you think?