In my quest to promote my books and reach more potential readers, I’ve recently dived into the world of book trailers. My latest effort is the trailer for The Time Capsule that accompanies this post. Like movie trailers, book trailers are intended to spark interest by giving readers a tantalizing glimpse of the story.
Of course, to produce a video trailer you have to create a video. Which means you need images or video to dramatize your story. Since I can’t afford to hire actors and go on location, I have to search for images and video online. Those can be purchased on websites like iStock, Shutterstock and others. But that can be costly. If you’re lucky, you might find some free images and video to suit your project. Then again, maybe not.
You also need video editing software. Because I couldn’t afford to spend a ton of money and didn’t want to throw myself into the deep end of the pool learning advanced video editing techniques, I chose an amateur-friendly online service called Animoto. The free version leaves a large Animoto watermark on your video, so I paid a subscription fee, not wanting their logo on my book trailers. The subscription also gives me access to a variety of free images, videos and background music. So far, I’m using a lot of still images and a little bit of video. Canva is where I create the graphics images I need – little "posters" saying things like Historical Fiction and Time Travel. I record voiceovers using Adobe Audition - the same software I used when I recorded the audiobook version of The Time Capsule. I drag and drop and upload what I need through the Animoto site and – Voila! – I have a video to share. So far, I’ve posted them to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Goodreads, my website and my newsletter.
The advice I see online is that a book trailer should be between 30 and 90 seconds, although I’ve seen trailers much longer. I did a short version of my trailer for Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland specifically to post on TikTok that’s only 22 seconds long. I shared it in my last newsletter along with a link to a 56 second version. I also created what might be called an Author Trailer – lots of pictures of me and my books. (See it here.) That video has the most views on my YouTube channel. Maybe it’s because I used some upbeat music rather than the atmospheric music in the other videos. Who knows.
I’ll be posting all my videos on my YouTube channel. If you care to take a peek or want to subscribe, here’s the link. https://www.youtube.com/@connielacybooks/featured