Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Make a Book Trailer by Rebecca H. Jamison

I'm so excited to have Rebecca Jamison, author of Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale, as a guest post today. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do. I can't wait to try it out.
Take it away Rebecca--

How to Make a Simple Video Book Trailer

When I signed a contract to publish my book, I didn’t think I’d have to do much, other than attend a few signings. Since that time, I’ve done a lot of things I never thought I’d have to do as an author. One of those was to create a video book trailer and post it on This is a link to the trailer I created:

Here’s how I eased my way through the process:

I searched for book trailers on YouTube and watched for what I liked.

Collect Pictures
I started collecting pictures in a folder on my computer. I asked friends and relatives to send me pictures of places I mention in my book. I also looked online for royalty-free photos. You can do a google search for “free royalty free photos.” Here are the two websites I used:

The first website lets you use photos for free if you place the photographer’s name on the photo when you use it. (You can do this by placing a small title at the bottom of each photo.) The second website requires you to pay a small fee for using their photos. (I only spent $1.99.)

Import Pictures to Windows Movie Maker
I imported my pictures to Windows Movie Maker. If you have Windows on your computer, chances are you also have Windows Movie Maker. (If you have a Mac, iMovies works similarly.) Once you get your pictures imported, you can drag and drop them into the Movie Maker timeline.

Here’s a tutorial about using Movie Maker to create a book trailer:

Experiment with Windows Movie Maker
After I put my pictures into the Movie Maker timeline, I clicked on each picture and added a title for each one. Each title was part of a sentence that explained, in as few words as possible, what the book was about. Once I had the titles roughed out, I tried out different fonts, colors, and effects.

This process was a lot of fun for me. I played around with the length of time my pictures stayed on screen. I rearranged my pictures, imported more pictures, experimented with overlapping pictures, and revised my titles. I added a picture of my book cover to the beginning and a few endorsement quotes to the end, along with my website address.

Find Music
Next, it was time to find a soundtrack. One online source suggested using the Windows sample music as a soundtrack, so that’s what I did. I dragged and dropped a song to the bottom of the timeline. I had to listen to the music many times to figure out where to clip it for the best effect.

After posting my video to YouTube, I found out that using the Windows sample music wasn’t a great idea since its owner now has the right to place advertising on my YouTube video. So far, this hasn’t been a problem, but I’d recommend a different strategy. A lot of authors get their music from Kevin MacLeod’s website:

You can also try getting permission from musicians to use their songs or do a google search for “royalty-free music.”

Publish the Video
When I was finished editing, I selected “publish my video” on Movie Maker. It’s important to keep track of the address where you save your published video, and make sure there’s plenty of space there.

Upload to

Finally, I went to At the top of the home page, I clicked on “upload” and followed the directions. Within twenty minutes, my video was online. I wrote down the address for my video and later posted it to Facebook and my blog.

Rebecca H. Jamison Biography
Rebecca Jamison met her husband on a blind date. His first words to her were, "Do you want to get together and play spin the bottle?"(He was trying to avoid another bad blind date, but she went out with him anyway.) Rebecca grew up in Vienna, Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, earning a BA and MA in English. In between college and grad school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Rebecca and her husband have six children. She enjoys running, dancing, making jewelry, reading, and watching chick flicks. You can learn more about her at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your family-friendly comments!