Recently I had the opportunity to take an RWA PRO Class on book trailers. Author Jeannie Lin did a fantastic job and I learned a great deal. I’d already put together trailers for my three published books based on what I had seen out there in cyberspace. I thought the point was to give a short synopsis with pics. WRONG!
Some of you asked me what we learned in the class, but I couldn’t begin to repeat all of Jeannie’s valuable info. What I can tell you is the main things that really stood out in my mind. They are as follows:
1. Try to create an emotional impact with the music you use that relates to your story. An obvious example is suspenseful music for a romantic suspense. In my original book trailer for The Royal Pain, I used a western song because the setting is on a dairy farm in central Utah. The song was anything but suspenseful.
2. Don’t try to tell the whole story. The point is to use the music and your photos to convey the IDEA of the book to pique the viewer’s interest and have them research your book further. You don’t even have to lay out the photos in the correct order they happen in the book. Think movie trailers.
3. Keep your video short. People will more likely watch it.
4. Try to time the photos to the music. This caused me the biggest trouble and the most chunk of time, but I think it is really important and worth it.
5. Find royalty-free photos and music to avoid lawsuits. I’m not pushing any one website, but www.123rf.com is having an anniversary special. You can get 10 small-size downloads for five dollars, which is great for a trailer. (Also for your blogs.) I found out that if you go to the buy images tab, you will find free pics you can use as well. There’s some pretty good stuff.
Jeannie used movie clips in her book trailer and it was fantastic. I gave it a try but had difficulty when I uploaded to YouTube. Maybe the next book. We’ll see.
I think I’m getting to that age where you just don’t want to learn new technology. My husband gave me an MP3 player for my birthday, and I said, “Thanks honey, but take it back.” I ended up going on a road trip with my nieces, and they showed me how easy they are to use. Maybe I’m still “with it” or whatever phrase they are saying these days. Good luck with your sales and your trailers.