Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Trailers 101... Easy and Fun

A while back, Myrlin Hermes was a guest blogger on Nathan Bransford's great blog for writers. In his post, he shared the process of creating a book trailer using Windows Movie Maker, which you can download for free! It's very intuitive. I didn't even need to read the "How to" section, although it's there if you have any difficulty getting started.

I gave it a try. I have to tell you that I had more fun than a kid at an amusement park. It's very easy to use. One other item of value was the link to a website called Incompetech, which provides free downloads of royalty-free music tracks. And there's a ton of them to pick from! You can spend a half day listening to find just the right soundtrack for your trailer. What about art and graphics? Those are free as well. Here's a great site with thousands of photos, clip art, just about anything you need to put together a great, professional book trailer: Photos and Art. So, if you have a PC, download the Windows Movie Maker program and start exploring the possibilities.

If you have a Mac, don't despair (why would you ever?) because there's a program built right into your Mac that's just as good as the PC counterpart. It's called iMovie, and I've been playing with it, too. The example above was created with iMovie. I like it just as well, although both programs are slightly different in the way you move through them.

I also found a few other sites where you can get great stuff—for FREE! If you'd like some old black and white movie clips that are in the public domain, visit Public Domain Flicks. Another site with great video loops of different types can be found at Stock Footage For Free and Vimeo. Give it a try. It's all free and you just might discover something you really enjoy doing.

Now, you have no excuse. Give it a try if you're so inclined. You may be amazed at what you're capable of creating! I'm wondering if a high quality video trailer might someday replace the old (so-hard-to-write) query letter that we just talked about. What do you think? Leave a comment. Maybe we can start a trend.


  1. I wouldn't count on it starting a trend, at least to replace the query. It's still selling your book to the agent/publisher, I don't think it would necessarily be an easier method. It's a very new avenue of promotion though, and I'm hoping it'll pick up as a form of advertising - I've seen a couple that actually made me want to buy the book!

  2. I done AMVs before (video from computer/video games to music) but never an actual book trailer. It could be fun, but I don't think it could be used as a query letter. On the other hand, it can help a first time author spread the news about their new release among blogs and the like.

  3. What will they come up with next? I'll have to have a go at this. I hope it's not too hard.

  4. A trailer replacing the query letter? Ooooh that would be so cool. Haha. I'd be into that...

  5. Great info! You might have just talked me into having a try :-)

  6. It's a lot easier than it might seem. There's a bit of a learning curve, but not that steep actually. Try it, and then show us what you did.

  7. What great information, Cornell! I'm not sure about the trailer replacing the query letter, but I do believe the trailer is an excellent way to draw potential readers/purchasers to your book and a powerful showpiece for marketing through blogs, websites, links. A good trailer can be a captivating enticement. The collection of links and suggestions you've got here makes it easy. Great article! Thank you!


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