Book Trailer Tips

Book trailers have become the newest technique for advertising novels.  Some of you already have them, but many others don’t. For those holding out due to lack of knowledge on how to make one, this post is here to help you understand how easy it could be.  I had no idea how it was done either until recently.  Not needing one myself, it hasn’t been a priority to learn, but I spoke with Shirley Hicks (also known as Mountainmama) on how she has done hers.  She proved to be a great source of information so I could put this blog together.  Believe it or not, it isn’t as bad as it seems. Here are the basic highlights of what you should know:

1) Programs– You can get Windows Live Movie Maker for free and use it in conjunction with Powerpoint (which most people have). Those with Mac computers can use iMovie. There are some other fancy programs but those will cost so you might try the free ones first. I have seen people have a lot of success with the free ones so you should need anything more.  Regardless, you must have a program to put everything together!

2) Pictures– This is where you may have to spend a little money (though not much). It depends on if you use your own photos or take advantage of other sources.  There are many sites you can use to get just the right pics for your video, but some will cost more money than others.  It depends on your budget. Here are a few good examples:

  • is a good place to go because you can subscribe for $15 for one week and download all the pics you want during that time.
  • Military websites offer pics for free, if you have a story with that theme, but you do have to credit them at the end of your video.
  • has some of the greatest photos I have seen if you really want them realistic and for all types of situations.  The drawback is it costs more.  The best deal I saw on there is $15 for 15 small photos.  That could be sufficient for a short trailer though.  $89 will let you load five each day for a month for a total of 150 pics.
  • is also good as well.  They have a nice variety to choose from.  Most of the ones you have seen on this blog come from that site.  You have the option of using them for free (with attributing the creator) or paying $3 each for small sizes and not having to attribute anyone.
  • has short clips of all kinds you can download and pay $10 each for low resolution.  They also have a great selection of photos to choose from but appear to be more pricey than other sites.
  • has the best selection of photos I’ve seen, but costs about $2-5 a pic to download and use.  They do have a free section, though, that has some really great pics to use.

3) Music– You have to have music with your book trailer.  A good place to meet this need is, as you can buy rights to songs from $2 and up.  It has a large selection available.  Another option is which will let you use the songs there for free so long as you credit the site.  The drawback is there are only about fifty songs available on it.  Search around, though, and you will find many other sites that can cater to your needs.

For those of you who really don’t want to do a video yourself, and are willing to pay, there are people who will do it for a fee.  Sharon Reddy, who you may have seen commenting on here, has a son who creates basic videos for $75.  He uses fewer pics, but has excellent graphics.  Check out her video over on the Book Trailers page to see for yourself if you’re interested.   There are others that offer their services as well, if you want to research it.  Only you can decide what is best for you!

Anyone else that has a book trailer is also welcome to offer their own input here on what to do.  Thanks again to Shirley for helping me put this blog post together.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

~ by Suzie on September 16, 2011.

21 Responses to “Book Trailer Tips”

  1. Thanks for the info, Susan! I had no idea how one would put together a book trailer. I don’t think it’s quite my style, at least not at this point, but I’m glad I now know more about it.

  2. Thanks for the credit, Susan. You did a wonderful job explaining. Anyone who knows me, knows what a techno-idiot I am, so If I can make one, anyone can!

    • MM, I thought of referencing your technological impairments, but refrained figuring you could speak for yourself! Glad my explanation falls in line with what you told me. It definitely helped 🙂

  3. Susan, FYI Sharon’s son is working on a trailer for me. I saw the rough draft today, and I can tell you it’s virtually movie quality and will rock your world! Watch this space!


  4. Another good site for pictures is they have several pictures for free. You can also subscribe for a week or buy individual pictures for as low as 1.25. I have a link to their site at the bottom of my website I believe that my link takes you directly to the free photos section but I haven’t tried it in a while. They have thousands of pictures. You wouldn’t believe the keywords I entered and they had a picture for it. I hope this helps.
    Charity Parkerson

  5. All four of my Portals books are featured in trailers – and all four were done by a talented lady named Su Halfwerk. If you’d like to check out her work, you can find my books on YouTube … Shadow Path, Stormcaller, Deathtalker and Sister Hoods. I think I also have at least Shadow Path posted here as well.

    • You do have Shadow Path’s trailer here. Defintely a good one. If you have contact info for Su Halfwerk and she wouldn’t mind it being posted, feel free to leave it in a comment here.

  6. Wow! Thanks for this info! I’ll need a book trailer in the near future and these links are a great place for me to get started.

  7. I’ll check with Su, Susan … But I think she’d be delighted.

  8. Nice information! I have some resource sites that might be helpful.

    Can Stock Photo:

    Flickr is also a great place to grab pictures (make sure they’re Creative Commons-Licensed) and searching for public domain music can also help for free movies. Anything classical from Beethoven, Mozart, etc, should be public domain.

  9. […] to an awesome blog post by The Misstress of the Dark Path I was armed with an idea, some stock footage, and some music and what you see below is the […]

  10. […] 6) Book trailer if you have one (for those that don’t and want one see this post) […]

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