For the release of My Zombie Dog, I wanted a cool book trailer, so I figured - how hard can it be? It wasn't too hard at all, now you can make one too!
I made my book trailer in Keynote and my daughter (now 14 - happy birthday Emily!) made hers in Powerpoint, so I'll show the steps to both programs along the way when they differ.
|Your storyboard might look like this.|
- Plan your trailer. There's lots of styles, you can use still images (that's what we did), you could just use text, or you can try reading an excerpt or having a fan post a review. We'll look at using still images for now. So make some notes or do up a storyboard on some paper. Think about imagery, symbols you might include (e.g. gun for crime novel, or just drops of blood) this is easier than finding several pictures of people, also consider the colour scheme to suite your genre (purple for fantasy, black for crime, green or silver for sic-fi, these are not rules but just think what might suite your book).
- Search for images. I use Shutterstock because they are so easy and have a great range of pictures. You might want to try free pictures (make sure you have a right to use them) or take your own. You can often find free images on Flickr. Don't jump in and pay for pictures until you are ready to finalise your book trailer, use the watermarked ones first. This will save you dollars if you change your mind.
- Set up your presentation file. You can use Powerpoint or Keynote. There are probably other programs you can use too (some people like to use movie making programs). For each image or message, you'll need to insert a slide. Don't go too busy with the borders or themes. I stick to plain black or white as my background. Make sure you save each step of the way so you don't lose your work.
- Layout your text and pictures. Make changes until you are happy with the design. Your end result will hopefully be one minute or less, so you don't need too many slides. Inserting pictures is easy, but a tip is to make sure you save the picture to your computer before inserting it into your presentation. Cut and paste from websites does not aways work well. You should have a picture of your book, or your book cover as well. This is the most important image and needs to be up the most often, or at least for the longest time.
- Check other trailers for inspiration, just search 'book trailers' on YouTube - there are gazillions.
- Add audio. Soundless clips on YouTube get boring quick. You can get royalty free music from several sites, I use Incompetech. Download the soundtrack you like and it will appear in your iTunes or main music files. Now, with Keynote your presentation will last as long as the music plays. You can edit the music file, but because I'm lazy, I just picked a music file about one minute long. The music comes in themes, so pick something that suites the genre of your novel. To insert the file in Keynote you just click the media button at the top left and the inspector button next to it. In the inspector box, click audio, then in the media box, pick your song and just drag it to the empty box in inspector. If that sounds as confusing as I think it does, go here to see an image. For Powerpoint, click Insert - audio - audio browser, that opens your media box, choose your music from the list and click and drag it to your first slide. This will open a toolbar for music across the top of your slide, under Audio Options - Start, choose Play Across Slides. Powerpoint tends to leave a picture of a speaker on your slide, so to hide it send it to the back of a picture.
- Time your slide show. This is easiest in Keynote, when you export the file, choose Quicktime and here you can choose Playback Uses: Fixed Timing, you will be asked how long you want each slide. For images only, about 3 seconds is plenty, for text though, you might want 5-6 seconds. Unfortunately every slide will play the same length, so if I want some to play longer, I simply duplicate them and have the identical slide play twice, so if you set for 3 seconds, those will appear to play for 6 seconds. In Powerpoint you choose Slide Show - Record Slide Show, and you simply click to change the slides as you see fit while it records these times. You can redo until you like the result.
- Save as movie file. As I said, in Keynote this is export and choose Quicktime, in Powerpoint you Save as - movie. Make sure you save it where you can find it again.
- Go to YouTube and choose Upload, simply upload your file, this can take quite a while, don't panic, let it do its thing! Here is the book trailer Emily made for MY ZOMBIE DOG (Emily did also use Photoshop to edit the photos where you see the chomp, and to create the zombie dog):
If you've found this helpful then please share!