As an independent publisher, you have the burden of marketing and advertising your book yourself. Should you, or shouldn’t you, create a video book trailer? A book trailer doesn’t need to cost the sun and the moon, and is a great companion to press releases and interviews, especially for your favourite book review blogger.
How to create one? Well, there are a lot of indie producers out there clamouring for your money to produce your video. If you decide to get a quote for services you need to establish the scope of the project:
1. Budget – how much you will pay for the completion of your trailer.
2. Materials – Do you want moving video, or a still slide show? Are you willing to pay for royalty free stock photos and video footage, or do you want all unique content? Will you be providing these images, or do you expect the producer to search for or create this content?
****WARNING – make sure you have permissions from original artists for all materials used. This can include video, photos, slides, .pdf, jpegs, music, sound effects. Look for Royalty Free materials.
3. Time Frame – when do you want a completed version. Set Milestone dates for a look at the compiled materials, the rough cut, the final cut and the completed version.
4. The Script – You know your book better than anyone else. Take your synopsis, and edit it to a core concept – one sentence. This is what you will use for your book trailer. Do not try to recreate your entire story, or even your synopsis. This will be far too long. Dean Koontz creates trailers that are only :15 seconds long. Hollywood movie trailers are usually about 2 minutes. Aim your book trailer length to be about 1 minute.
5. Examples – Don’t be afraid to provide links to examples of what you want your trailer to emulate. This is a great way to ensure that you get the product that you asked for. Do not concern yourself on being a copycat, for your script and your images will be completely unique to your project.
6. Final Version Formats – How do you want to receive your video? .wmv, .mov, H.264 (EWWwwweeee Jargon!) Ignore this. All you need to decide is what sites you are going to store your video on, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc. The Producer will be able to get the technical specifications from those sites to create the highest quality upload possible. Do not sign off on the project until your video is uploaded and playing back flawlessly.
If you are comfortable creating your own trailer, there are many consumer editing programs such as iMovie. If you want to create a nice still-slide presentation you might want to use a program like iPhoto with a Ken Burns Effect.
Here are some royalty free stock footage and music sites to get you started: shutter stock, istockphoto, dreamstime, pond5, Killer Tracks. You will usually pay a one time fee for their use, and this cost will vary from site to site.
If you decide to hire someone GET A CONTRACT that specifically states how much you are paying, and what they are producing for you. If they are unwilling to sign a contract walk away, as they may try to come back for further funds for extras.
Book Trailers are a fantastic promotional tool, one that I encourage you to take advantage of.