Part 3 of The Craic project: Book Trailers.
The part where Maureen becomes a movie producer....
Book trailers are the visual commercial for your book.
They have their detractors...why bother to film a commercial for the book, people will just want the movie.
They can cost mega mega dollars... if you want a good one you have to hire a proper movie producer and actors etc etc.
They have to be art forms eg Maggie Stiefvaters book trailers (all created by Maggie) and how many of us can do that?
In my talks with school librarians they tell me that if a book has a book trailer it instantly makes it marketable to kids. Librarians use the book trailer on the library website... and kids being visual beings...well you know the rest.
Start by having a look at other book trailers to see what others have done and to get some ideas. Some book trailers are all static images, some have short snippets of video...some are animated...Some are the pictures from the book itself with audio sound bites.
A book trailer does not and should not condense the whole book to 2 minutes of visuals.
It does not need to be acted out...or filmed in a big budget way.
Entice people... Entice...Think of how you get an editor interested in your project.
Look at your back cover blurb and loglines...this is a handy start to storyboarding your book trailer. Define the images you need to convey the message you want, atmosphere, main characters, compelling plot point. But don’t tell the whole story you want to entice the reader....Repeat after me... entice... entice.
For my storyboard, I turned three pages on their side drew up a grid pattern and worked through the images and the text I wanted. I started with a little bit about character motivation...and the opening conflict point...then I added images which represented different factors...the rock stars... the security and I finished on an image that was a running gag through the story. So hopefully the book trailer would still be relevant after the reader had finished the story.
Then I imagined the finished project as if I had lots of money and I was in a darkened theatre.
I realised that I liked the image of words appearing on a screen as that fit with the whole fake online identity of one of my characters. My teen then pointed out that our computer could record text as it is written in power point. So all I had to do was type reasonably fast with no mistakes. (yeah right!)
Now you have your list of must haves and your story board sheets, it’s time to check out photo stock libraries.
This is where it costs. Can you find a cheaper image that conveys the same message? Is it a must have image?
After you have selected your images. Download them to your movie making software and play around to get the whole thing looking just right. Check the length of time you want each frame to stay on screen and how you transition from frame to frame. My movie making software took my text recordings as short videos. Don’t forget to have images of your book in the trailer, as well as where you can find out how to buy it. After all that’s why you are doing this...
Music is an important part of the book trailer. It conveys atmosphere and tension and brings a whole professional edge to the project. Finding the right music is important.
Warning! Listening to royalty free music sites is a tremendous time suck! (but oh so enjoyable... I thought about writing books to soundtracks...dubfunkreggaesoul book anyone?)
I was looking for some hard driving rock (because of the rock band motif...) but with a soft beginning...
I checked out the wonderful Kevin MacLeods Incompetech site but found the music that fit the project the best at 300 Monks. They aren’t a donation site but $27 for the perfect track isn’t too much to pay I thought.
I arranged the images and text videos and dropped the music track on to it. Then I checked the highpoints in the music track were matching the right images. (This is fairly easy to do with Apple iMovie, however I had a teen sitting next to me fixing up any mistakes I made. Tip: Have a handy teen around if you aren't familiar with the software.)
I sorted out a credits end shot, tweaked a little, uploaded it on to YouTube and voila! It was done.
If you click on the Craic book site at the top of the sidebar you can go straight to the Craic website and view the trailer ... or skip on down to the bottom of the link roundup and have a look there...
Ah the Link Round Up...the reason I spend so much time on social media...hehehe.
This week has been the jump on Franzen week for making us all feel bad about having an ebook. Monkeysee puts the gripes into perspective.
Compelling Characters...Do you have one? Or are you kidding yourself? Check out this post from the writepractice to see if you need to up the ante.
And what kind of hero are they? There are three to choose from now.
Character names...how do you choose the right one. Here is a great post on naming characters or yourself if you need to.
Now that you have the name and the character arc... Are you falling into a stereotype? Fantasyfiction has a great article on Alpha’s, Beta’s and Losers and wonders if the upsurge in Beta’s is because of the upsurge in woman editors...(Do women want Alpha males anymore?)
Last week I gave you a link to Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s Sell Sheet. Brian has part two up. What to do with one after you have made it...This is good solid information. (Thanks Brian)
Kristen talks about R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and the word Free as part of your marketing bag of tricks.
The writerlens has 5 ways to market indie books.
This is expanded on in a huge way by Author Media with 89 ways to market your book.
Yup it’s all about the marketing!
So check out this book trailer for this great book! You can even go to the website and read the first chapter...(2.99 on Amazon and Smashwords.)