How To Promote Your Book With A Book Trailer

If you are not using book trailers to promote your novel, you are missing out on a very cheap and effective way of racking up sales.  There are dozens of places on the web you can post a book trailer and they can be made good use of in the terrestrial world too.

As with anything involving technology and the web, there is a learning curve, but fortunately the software you need is quite easy to use and if you’ve got a few pounds to spare, you can get these done for a pittance so keep reading!

What Is A Book Trailer?

Think of those teasers at the cinema of forthcoming block busters and you’ll get the idea.  The aim is to tempt the reader to buy your book by creating a package of words, music and pictures to give an enticing over view of what your book it about.

What Do You Need To Create A Book Trailer?

You can create your book trailer in various ways with different types of software, most of which you can get free.  Here’s what you need:

  1. An image editing programme to crop and enhance photographs.  I use Photoshop, but this is expensive and you really don’t need a full blown package of this magnitude.  A quick search of the web will point you to some free options which will be perfectly adequate.  Here’s one to get you started:
    Picasa
  1. A compiler to turn your photos, captions and music into a movie.  Again there are lots and lots of these about.  You may have Windows Movie Maker on your machine which is free and will do the job O.K.  I personally use Pic to Exe as this lets me create a stand alone file which enables you to offer a version on disc that will play on any machine.  It isn’t free though, so best practice with Movie Maker before shelling out cash.
    Pic To Exe 
  1. An audio editing programme.  You may be able to get away without this initially, but eventually you will almost certainly need one if only to create atmospheric fade ins and outs and trim to the required length. 

My favourite is Audacity.  I’ve been using it for years and it’s totally free!  There is good documentation and once you get the hang of it, you can edit your audio files and record too which means you can add voice overs as well as music.  Make sure you download and add the lame encoder which is an add on then you will be able to export your file as an mp3.
Audacity  

  1. Images and music.  You may have your own which is to be preferred, but if you have to use those belonging to someone else, you must have permission from the copyright holder!  There are places you can get free images and sound tracks from, but you will probably have to credit the copyright holder and maybe link back to their work. 

There are also online stock image agencies where you can purchase credits to download quality images.  Prices are usually so low it hardly makes it worth while spending hours scouring the web for something free and probably inferior.  Tip: If you do decide to purchase images, do a search for a coupon code for the relevant site.  Nearly all offer discounts for new accounts. 

If you really don’t feel like parting with hard cash, you can try Wikipedia.  Run a search for what you are looking for and then click the Wikipedia link which should appear near the top of the listings.  You will usually find images posted which can be used.

Be careful to check the license terms, many allow free use with accreditation, but not all.

As for audio, I’m quiet lucky in the fact I have several friends who are accomplished musicians, but if they can’t supply me with anything suitable, I go to Kevin McCloud’s site.  He allows free use of his music as long as you give him credit. http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/

You can also try Partners In Rhyme.  They have a collection of music loops which you can download and use f.o.c. as long as you link back to their site.
Partners In rhyme

  1. Captions.  This is one job you really should be capable of doing yourself!  Write the script out before you start putting your trailer together as this will dictate what images you need.

How Do I Create My Book Trailer?

This really depends upon which software you are using, but they nearly all work in roughly the same way. 

Basically, you create a timeline of images by dragging and dropping into position.  Add captions plus any special effects such as fade outs and spins and then the music file.  You can edit to your heart’s content and then when satisfied, upload to Youtube and or one of the many other video sharing sites.

A Few Tips To Create A Good Book Trailer

  1. Less is best!  Keep your trailer short.  Web readers are notorious for short attention spans so around 1 – 2 minutes is best.
  1. Create buzz!  You have just one shot to entice your viewer to find out more about your book so make the most of it by grabbing attention with the first frame! 
  1. Write a good description beginning with the web link to your book page on your own site or wherever you are selling it.  This will help drive traffic. 
  1. Take some time to fill in the “tags” box when you upload to a video sharing site.  These tags are important as they will help Google list your book in search results and may even get you listed on the first page.
  1. Ensure the final frame of your video contains a link to your website and ordering details.  Make sure it remains viewable long enough to be read!

Where To Post Your Book Trailer Video

Youtube is the number one video sharing site and you should definitely post there.  Don’t go rushing off to create an account though as there are a lot of other places to post which you should also use.

Here is a quick way to post to as many or as few as you wish!  (Be warned, you will still have to create accounts for each, but once done, this will save you a lot of time).

  1. Go to http://www.tubemogul.com/ and create an account.
  1. Add the channels you wish to post to.  There are a lot of them!
  1. When your book trailer is complete, upload to Tubemogul and it will be distributed to all the video sharing sites you have signed up to.

Tubemogul has lots and lots of features you can use including stats to track views and an advertising service if you’ve got cash to play around with.

Twitter & FaceBook

Facebook allows you to posts videos so, do it!  Also let everyone know about it by posting frequent status updates. 

If you haven’t got a Twitter account, get one and post frequently to that.

Using Your Book Trailer For Off-Line Promotion

Few authors think of using a trailer to promote their book to the terrestrial world, but it can be quite affective.  Depending on the capabilities of the software you are using, the chances are you can publish your trailer to a DVD.

Once you have done this, it can be played on your laptop at author talks and or given away as a freebie.  Even better, if you have a digital projector, create a special version to play on screen behind you while you give your talk.

A word of warning!  Do make sure you use attractive and appropriate packaging!  People not only judge a book by its cover, but also DVDs.  Amateurish graphics and a collection of weird fonts are likely to devalue your book no matter how good your story.

The Easy Way To Make A Book Trailer!

If you really don’t want to spend the time learning how to use new software then you can simply get someone else to do it all for you!  No you can’t get this done for nothing, but surprisingly, it won’t cost a fortune either.

Assemble your graphics, audio and script then head over to Fiverr.  This is an out sourcing site where you can get almost anything done for $5.  That’s about £3 in our money.  When I last looked there were at least 14 suppliers offering book trailers. Fiverr 

Some Good Book Trailers

A Halloween Homicide by David Robinson
http://youtu.be/kl-yiU9VQ6s

The Aristocratic Neck by Sue Kendrick
http://youtu.be/PmrDgM-lfkQ

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