Welcome to my blog tour for Waiting for Patrick. I’m offering giveaways of one signed copy, one electronic copy, and a choice of one title from my backlist. Comment below and at any of my other blog stops (posted below) or on either book trailer (Address below) to be entered to win. One comment, one entry. Waiting for Patrick will be available at a discounted price throughout the tour (September 1 through 15). Winners of the raffle will be announced on September 16th.
How to Make a Book Trailer
For today’s blog tour stop, Lex Valentine was wonderful enough to describe how she makes book trailers. She has made two for me now. The first one for Ray of Sunlight (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ctr82RV_j0&t=9s ) and now one for Waiting for Patrick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCOua40uCJM ).
How to Make a Book Trailer
by Lex Valentine of Winterheart Design
Book trailers can be an excellent way to promote your book. They are essentially a commercial which, if done right, can get a viewer interested in reading the book. Getting the word out about your book and having readers purchase it is what both you and your publisher want, so a book trailer can definitely help.
It’s not difficult to create a book trailer. Most people know how to use Microsoft Movie Maker, which is free. There are other products out there for the creation of videos including Nero, one of the softwares I use, but they are often cost money. Many people start with Movie Maker because of the price and graduate to one of the pay softwares as they learn more about the process and want to use more sophisticated tools and effects.
I’ve always thought that the best book trailers are not those with a lot of bells and whistles. The best ones I’ve seen are the ones that are aesthetically pleasing while grabbing the attention of the viewer with regard to the book being advertised. That being said, I’ve seen a lot of trailers I don’t find aesthetically pleasing. This is subjective of course. What I find harsh and unappealing may not be the same for other viewers, especially viewers who are not involved in the creation of visual media. As a graphic artist, I like to think my “eye” is different from that of people who don’t create visually. But you have to remember that this is still only my opinion.
To create a book trailer you need the following things:
- Video creation software
- Images that have been purchased from a stock house or from a free site such as Pixabay or those that have a Creative Commons License that allows it’s use in a video
- Information about the book, blurb and synopsis
- Information about the characters and setting
- Video loops – this isn’t strictly needed. You can use static images to put text on, but you can also use video loops which are animated
- Fonts that are easy to read and not too fancy or light, installed on your computer so they are accessible by the video software
- Music – either a song that is allowed by YouTube’s licensing with the record companies or a royalty free song available through a Creative Commons or other license.
Some of the items on this list will need more explanation, namely images, video loops, music and fonts. All four of these can be found for free and for pay. What you have to be aware of is that to be safe from copyright infringement, you should pay for what you use. With fonts, there are literally thousands for free on the internet for download. It’s best to get your fonts from a reputable site like DaFont.com. You can also purchase pay fonts from places like Adobe.com.
Images are very easy to find on the internet, but doing a right click – download could cost you thousands of dollars if you’re accused of copyright infringement. You’re courting danger there. Copyright infringement for use of images you didn’t pay for can be very, very expensive. Buy your images from a stock house like Deposit Photos or Canstock Photos. You can also find images for free at Pixabay.
Pixabay posts a Creative Commons license with every image. Make sure any image you use has a license whether it’s a Creative Commons or a purchased license. Don’t ever skimp on this. If you aren’t sure whether it has a Creative Commons license DON’T USE IT. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t take this precaution, if you choose to use images taken from the internet, you can find yourself sued and could lose everything. It’s not a risk you want to run.
The same holds true for music. Sure, you have thousands of MP3s on your computer, but can you use those in a video? Ummm, maybe. See, YouTube has agreements with record labels for use of their music in exchange for advertising placement on the video that uses it. The agreements and labels change all the time so it’s tough to figure out which songs can be used. You can add the song and upload to YouTube. If the song is not allowed, they will strip it from the video. They also have songs available to swap to your video.
The only caveat for using popular copyrighted music on YouTube is that’s the only place it’s legal to use the video. You can’t upload the video to your website and run it from there. You can’t upload it to Facebook or Amazon. You can only upload it to YouTube and post the link.
If you’re worried about the issue with popular music, it’s easy to find free music out there. I tend to head for Incompetech run by Kevin MacLeod. He has many files available for use for free. Lots of genres, mostly instrumental, but really good stuff.
So now you have your images, your video loops and music. Now what?
Open your video creation software and import all those pieces you just chose. If you’re in Movie Maker, the process is simple. Order the images and video loops as you’d like them to appear. You can put text on the images and video loops. Make sure you give credit for your music at the end. You can also state where you got the images. Some publishers may require that you add a copyright for the cover or the book itself.
You will need to time every loop, every image. There are tools in Movie Maker to make each loop longer or shorter, time low long an image is on, animations for text and for the images, tools for how each slide enters and exits. There’s also tools for fading out your music at the end and for the size, type and color of font. Just make sure you aren’t going crazy and using too may transitions and colors and font changes. Videos with too many of these look pretty bad to a viewer. Try to be consistent and pick one font type, one font color, one type of transition and use them throughout.
Since a video is usually only a minute long (give or take a few seconds) there isn’t much time to tell readers where to find the book and the author. I always make sure that the public can see clearly where to buy the book and where to find the author on the internet so I often give those slides a couple more seconds.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to a trailer than just putting some text on some images and dropping an MP3 into the software. You have to think about your target audience and how you want to show off your book. Don’t tell too much, don’t tell too little. Don’t give away big surprises in the story, but still try to engage the viewer. Whew! It’s not an easy thing to figure out how best to create a book trailer, but with some thought and practice, you can do it!
Architect Elliot Graham has bought and restored dozens of historic homes to their original splendor. As in his personal life, he loves them and leaves them, selling them off without looking back. But there’s something about the old plantation house he finds in South Carolina—a connection he can’t explain. He feels as though he recognizes the house, as if within its crumbling walls he might find something he doesn’t even realize he’s lost.
Ben Myers had promised his lover and soul mate, Patrick, that he would wait for his return. Ben has kept his word ever since Patrick left him to wait at the plantation house—during the Civil War. For the first time in many long years, Ben is no longer alone, and he reaches out to Elliot in dreams. Elliot tries to convince Ben that Patrick isn’t coming back, but Ben’s devotion is about to change not only his lonely existence, but Elliot’s life as well.
About the Author
Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.
Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who support her writing and sometimes act as proof readers. Both of her daughters are also aspiring writers and hopefully it’ll just be a matter of time before they have their own author’s biography.
Brynn was a teacher by profession for thirty years. She worked in special education with children with emotional disabilities. She has recently changed careers and is now working as a mental health counselor to this same population and their families. When she is not working or writing, she loves to draw and paint. She also gets outside as often as she can, reads anything that doesn’t move out of the way, and is always looking for her next story.
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