I’ve spent several weeks doing research and the general consensus is: yes, a book trailer will help your book get NOTICED—or at least stand out a little more. Most indie authors and self-published authors seem to agree on this. If given the choice to either produce a book trailer or make do without one, go with the former. Why? I came up with three answers to that question.
1. You create buzz.
The movie industry has been using movies trailers to achieve this for years. It’s a safe assumption that the publishing industry can achieve the same result with book trailers.
2. You reach more people.
Let’s face it, there’s only so much you can write about your book without giving everything away. Everyone will have read about it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. By presenting everything visually (and naturally, sharing the final project on Youtube along with all the other social media platforms), you not only reach out to a new audience, you also rekindle interest in your book.
And the last, and in my opinion, most important answer as it is the subject of today’s post is:
3. You DON’T—Well, don’t have to, anyway—spend millions to do it, so why NOT do it?
Like I said, I’ve done my research. Trust me when I say that creating a trailer for your book does not have to mean draining your bank account. There are several ways to go about it, without having to dole out the big bucks. The three I am sharing are the three I believe will result in a decent, if not awesome, book trailer.
OPTION 1: PAY SOMEONE TO DO IT
I know you all must be thinking, “Liar! You said I didn’t have to break the bank!” Well, you don’t. There are several artists out there willing to offer their services for cheap. You can find such artists on freelancer websites.
Fiverr - I’ve been visiting this site for well over a year now. There are some pretty good deals to be had. Sure, it takes some effort to sift through the results (there will be a lot of gag ads and bad artists), but as long as you know what you want, you’ll be able to find a seller and a price that will suit you. Most gigs start at only $5.
Elance - I actually spent some time on Elance as a freelancer. I am confident in their talent pool. Users are able to browse through profiles and portfolios before they make selections. Odds are you won’t find $5 deals like you would on Fiverr. However, the level of skill of the candidates on Elance is also a lot higher than those on Fiverr. Unfortunately, more often than not, you get what you pay for. You can choose to pay by the hour or offer a fixed price for the entire job.
Odesk (Elance merged with Odesk in December 2013) - Odesk, much like Elance possesses a large pool of talents and makes these prospective hires available to businesses (that’s you, in this case). The interface, the pricing and the results are similar to that of Elance.
OPTION 2: MAKE YOUR OWN
This heading must have made you cringe. Let me set your mind at ease; it isn’t as difficult as it sounds. There are probably hundreds of programs out there that will help you produce your book trailer, but these are the two I recommend:
Windows Movie Maker (Which comes free on your PC)
Microsoft Photo Story (Which is also free here)
NOTE: If you’re a little more tech-savvy, feel free to use programs like Adobe Premiere Elements or Adobe After Effects.
As to your content, you either shoot your own, or you download royalty-free images, footage, and music from the internet. Here are some sites that will help you do just that:
Once you have all the content you want to use in your trailer, then it is just the matter of putting it all together. Once you have your program open, all you have to do is put your photos and clips in the order you want them to appear, add a few transition effects, mix in some background music and voila, you have a book trailer.
OPTION 3: ANIMOTO
This option is probably the easiest and most cost-effective. Provided that you already have your video clips and images, and that you keep your trailer under 30 seconds, this option is absolutely free!
Simply upload your pictures and video clips, choose your style, add words and music, and click the "produce video" button. Then, Animoto’s cinematic technology does its magic and in minutes brings it all to life with a beautifully orchestrated production you can share with family and friends. (Animoto. About Us. Retrieved from http://animoto.com/about)
Which option did I decide to go with? Well… ALL THREE! That’s right! Expect to see a lot more on Baby Hunt within the year. For now, here’s the trailer I made with Animoto. Let me know what you think!