Okay, full disclosure, WE have no idea how to make a book trailer.
But Lisa Black does--and, it turns out, this full time latent print examiner and CSI for a police department in Florida has a whole nother talent! Not only is her fourth book Defensive Wounds just out from Harper Collins--but she incredibly has time to make her own book trailers! And not only that--she's gonna show us. Step by step.
Get out your notebooks, Reds.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough to promote your book? It would probably be simpler to ask: Do you ever feel like you are doing enough to promote your book? I don’t. I spend every minute of every day feeling a vague sense of guilt over my feeble efforts to get my title out there in this very harsh retail world. No matter what I do, it feels like a teeny drop in a vast and teeming ocean.
Correction--a vast, teeming, and expensive ocean. All publicity costs something. So I try to make the most of what costs the least, what I can do at home on the PC I already own, in my spare time, for free (and without being an über-hacker): Make your own book trailer.
***First, you’ll need Windows Movie Maker (if you don’t have it you can probably download it for free). If you have something else, try it, they’re all fairly similar.
Make a folder on your desktop for your photos and music. Open Powerpoint and Insert – Clip Art. You want to make a collection of all the photos that you think you’ll use in your trailer. The beauty is, there’s lot of them, and they’re free, so grab any one you like. Type in the keywords from your book, ‘murder’ ‘crime’ ‘actress’ ‘seeing-eye dog’ or anything else that strikes your fancy. Or use your own photos, any jpg will be just fine--just don’t use anything you don’t have the rights to. Same with the music.
When you’ve inserted the photo in your Powerpoint (and altered it, cropped, changed the color if you felt like it because you won’t be able to later) then right click and save it as a picture to the folder you created.
When you’ve got a good supply of photos, then Insert – Movies and Sounds - Sound clip from Clip Organizer. Find some you like by moving the cursor over it until the down arrow appears and click on it. Click on Preview. (Be forewarned that, at least on my computer, it takes a while for it to load up and play; photos are much faster.)
If you like it, go back to the down arrow and then select Copy. Go into your designated folder and hit Paste. Once you have your collection of photos and music (you can always go back and add more) open Windows Movie Maker. Click the upper far left blank page icon that should be “New Project”.
On the left there will be a task pane that says “Movie Tasks”. Click on Make Titles or Credits. Click Make Title for Beginning of Movie. (Don’t get too concerned if you click something else, they’re very easy to move around once on the storyboard.) It will take you to a pane where you can type in your intro text, select a background color, text color and font. When you click Done it will insert the text box into the Timeline. (If you double click on anything in the Timeline, it will open automatically the editing window for that clip, so you can always come back and change text, font and color.)
Next import the collection of photos you saved to your desktop file. Just select and then Control-Click on the last one to select them all and click Import. Pick one you want to use, and drag it to the Timeline.
To add text over this photo, go back to Make Titles or Credits and select Add Title On the Selected Clip. On the Timeline it will show up in Title Overlay, so you can easily make it last longer or shorter than the photo, spill over onto the next photo, etc.
Add the music just as you added the photos—drag and drop from the Collections window. You can adjust the length to coincide with your photos and text. Unfortunately you can only choose one volume level per music clip, so you might want to pick music clips that go up and down by themselves. You can select ‘fade in’ or ‘fade out’ for the clip.
Once you’re all done with that, save it to your computer.
**Now, go to YouTube.
If you don’t have an account, open one. At the top bar, click Upload and follow the instructions. Easy-peasy. Give it a good title and tags. It will show you the link to your video. Check it out to be sure it’s working all right, then copy the url address at the top of the screen. Now you can send the url to your friends, embed it in your website, post it on your blog. And you can let your friends think you paid your web designer $500 to make it for you!
If you want to see a finished product, check out mine at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v_YZIVVVDo
HANK: Didn't we tell you? How cool is this? And Lisa will be around today to answer questions. But wait--there's more! We're giving away a copy of her brand new book to one lucky commenter!