Making a book trailer with free resources

To be honest when you are self publishing any book, your budget is going to be at best limited.  I would hazard a guess that your budget may be less than limited.  My own personal budget is just ever so slightly above well… zero really.  And lots of things seem to cost some money.  Making an ebook cover using an online creator was about 5 bux and then there is your time and possibly an editor, a proofer…. oh sometimes it doesn’t make any sense at all, does it!

Still one way in which you can have some fun and not spend a penny is on your book trailer.  I made my trailer this week for zero budget.  And yet it has about 80 images on it plus some footage including timelapse loveliness! So how can you make a book trailer without hiring a professsional?

Two main options really:  you can powerpoint it or you can go Moviemaker (not sure about the Mac equivalent on this but if you are a mac user then you will know, right!).  I decided to go with Movie Maker.  Not sure why really – I think I just like the fact that it is designed to be seen as one clip without pauses, there are plenty of flashy little effects and it feels quite an intuitive user interface for me.  Still whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Then I while away many a happy hour on public domain and creative commons sites downloading footage from the 1930s and images from all over.  All for free and me likey the freebies!  I started the trawl with a google search for ‘public domain video clips’ and then went to here which led me down all sorts of rabbit holes of public domain wonderlands.  Two episodes of I Love Lucy and some Harold Lloyd later, this girls was feeling good and armed and dangerous with some lovely little black and white clips of all sorts of stuff, as well as some awesome timelapse footage.  Yay!

Next I wanted some images so I typed into google “creative commons images free”.  This brings you to lots of available images sites.  Flickr obviously although you have to be in it for the long trawl there.  There are some free images available here which is as good a place to start.  You can also search  for public domain images.

Add some music and some captions and bob’s your uncle.  Ok so mine won’t win any oscars but I tried to incorporate the key elements of an ad which are:

  • Problem
  • Outcome
  • Solution
  •  Benefits of this solution
  • Actionable step

or POSBA which is not memorable at all but does play into the always popular acronym trap.

OK so quick word – don’t be too precious about this.  People are not expecting Hollywood, or even Bollywood.  It is just a way of letting people know about the book by using Youtube rather than relying on your blog, or FB page or very loud voice and incredibly large extended family, in the build up to launch date.  Have fun with it.  Be professional in your approach but, unless you area  professional filmmaker or a very keen hobbyist, be realistic about your results.

I like mine.  I have tweaked it and tweaked it and it’s almost ready to reveal but I will keep you hanging on that one….

Duh doh darrrrr

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