Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to Make a Cheap Book Trailer Yourself

While on a recent Caribbean cruise, my boyfriend and I shot additional footage of Belize with his video camera as a promotion for my latest book, “The Montezuma Secret,” which is set in Belize. He filmed me explaining the plot of the book, and I began by saying: “Here I am, in beautiful Belize.” He also shot footage of me doing an interview with a local TV reporter and camera crew. It’s set to appear as a book trailer on my website.

So whenever you travel, either cross-country or abroad, take your video camera! It doesn’t have to be expensive to shoot a book trailer promo. You can do it yourself! Use backgrounds that look similar to your book’s setting, even while at home. It doesn’t have to be the real thing. Go to the zoo. Shoot pictures of exotic animals and call it the jungle. Go to a nearby lake, pretend it’s the ocean. Visit a forest or national park. Go to the airport, film planes taking off. Shoot a train or sailboat in miniature. Film the sky, a sunset, a rainstorm, a blizzard. And don’t forget to include a picture of your book’s cover! Movies are all about imagination. You’ve heard the term “movie magic.” That’s what it is! Get friends and family in on the act. And use your own voice to promote the book. Read your blurb. Read an excerpt. Be dramatic. Let the actor or actress in you take over. You’re an artist too, a very special one. An author. So sell it! Post it on YouTube, your website and blog. People love video. A picture speaks a thousand words!

Any video camera will do. And if you don’t have one, buy one! Cheap video flip cameras abound, all for less than $100. Even your phone has a camera option. You don’t have to have a professional videographer and expensive camera crew. So the next time you think, I’d love to do a book trailer, but I just don’t know how, think again. Keep it simple and see what you can come up with! It’s a lot of fun to star in pictures!

What is your experience with making book trailers?

Next week: Do Book Trailers Sell Books?


Calisa Rhose said...

Wow. Thanks Alison. My thing is not knowing how to create of transform the video into a trailer. But if I knew someone who did... :) Something to keep in mind!

Marilyn Yarbrough said...

You're right about opportunities popping up when you least expect them. Alway keep an eye out.

Nancy Jardine said...

I think I'll just pack a little bag and take off to shoot my next trailer...well, I can in my dreams! Great blog item, thank you for the confidence boost.

Sandra Koehler said...

It's easier if you just use your voice to narrate over your pictures and post it on YouTube...Sandy/Alison

Anonymous said...

Alison, thanks for the ideas on book trailers. I haven't made one yet, but would love to. Just have no idea where to start and don't have the funds right now to pay to have one made. I have a Flip I've used for video for non fiction, but posted it only on Facebook and my blog. Thanks again. Great ideas.

Sandra Koehler said...

Glad I could help. Really not as hard as you might think.