Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Making a Book Trailer

Recently I attended a conference called LTUE, short for Life the Universe and Everything. It was great. One of the classes I went to was on making book trailers. Here's what I picked up:

Why hire someone to make a book trailer when you can make your own. Windows Movie Maker and i-Movie on the Mac are two brilliant applications you can use to do your own movie. You can even make a book trailer with power point. Well they said you could. Come on, I dare you.

You can hunt for photos like a mad man . . . or you can find oodles of stock photos for free. Go to places like and to find free photos. Sometimes even 'royalty free' photos come with a price, but it is usually reasonable, and hey do you have the time to go out and take a photo like that. These guys are professionals.

The Benefit of a good book trailer is that people can see a visual medium on line. Make your trailer the best it can be. It's a reflection of how good your book is.

Music is powerful. Use music that will pull people in and make them want to keep watching. You can find royalty free music. Do a blog search with 'royalty free music' as the subject. As with photos, some of this free music may be the kind you have to pay a fee for. was suggested as a good source.

Remember that a book trailer is for commercial use. You have to obey copyright law. You can't use music or photos without permission, but sometimes you can get permission if you ask nicely.

Prepare for our book trailer by writing good copy. Use your elevator pitch, then find the music and images to go with it.

Don't watch a book trailer to make a movie trailer. They are not the same beast. Emphasize the title of your book and the cover. You want people to recognize it when they see it. Make sure you show the authors name and contact information. They can't purchase if they can't find it.

Blog tours with a book trailer do better than those without. Find book bloggers and send them your trailer. Get them enthused about promoting your book. Put your trailer in places people will see it. Post it on You Tube, face book and twitter. A place they suggested that I'd never heard of posting was It claims to post 'What's new online'. You can even put your book trailer in theaters, but it will be expensive.

Make your trailer unique. In the "I Am Not A Serial Killer" trailer, the scene was shot using the voice of the principle character in the story. For the "Partial" trailer, they used a 'found footage' idea. Archives and files were reviewed leading you into the story. Basically, figure out what you want to sell and how you want to sell it.

A book trailer should be thirty seconds to one minute, two minutes max. Make sure it fits the music and the story you are telling. The average edit is two to three seconds. Make your storyboard very brief. Watch that your text doesn't go by too fast.

If you just don't want to go there, you can sometimes find theatre kids at universities who might be willing to do a book trailer for a price. There is also a company called that makes video using pictures and images you supply.

A book trailer is a great way to introduce readers to your book. It may help readers find you, but it won''t necessarily help you find a publisher.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sam and Sadie join Stories for Children Magazine

I am so excited. One of the things I have always wanted to do is make and publish paper dolls. I was delighted when Stories for Children Magazine accepted my proposal to do a series of paper dolls for them. Say hello to Sam and Sadie. I could have colored them, but I left them blank, because I think choosing the color of what they are wearing is half the fun.

Over the next several months, Sam and Sadie will be going on an Easter egg hunt, having fun at the beach, visiting the farm, trick or treating, having fun at Christmas time and sharing Valentines.

The dolls are just the right size to fit in a Michaels Crafts gift card tin. This idea came from the blog One Pearl Button . It also has a great tutorial on making magnetic paper dolls.

To play with Sam and Sadie, visit Stories for Children Magazine in their next issue coming this spring. Then keep coming back each month for more adventures and more outfits.