Book Trailer DIY tips

Tuesday’s Child, PJ, coming to you from abroad.

Here we are again. At least, here you are again. I’m actually on a cruise ship heading into port in Barcelona. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to be with you via internet, so I’m posting ahead of time. Before I left for this vacation, I was working on creating a book trailer for my upcoming September release, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES.

As J mentioned last week, book trailers are the latest and greatest way to promote your books. J talked about her experience with hiring the task out. Being that I am also indie-publishing and trying to keep costs down, I figured I would do it myself. Initially, I asked for help from my step son who is a TV producer, but between his schedule and mine, and my neurotic need to have my project ‘just so’, I decided to save him the head ache. I mean, how hard could it be? Right?

So I watched a million trailers, took power point lessons from my techno-genius hubby, and dove in. If I was being paid for this project, I couldn’t have afforded me. Now, I know there is a learning curve the first time out with any new skill, but I literally spent hours (probably more than 30) and between licensing fees for stock photos and music, my book trailer cost me…wait for it…approximately $350.

That may seem like a lot of money…well…it is. But I’ve researched several sites that produce book trailers and the costs run the gammut. You have companies like Apex Reviews who offer book trailers for as low as $59 and as high as $199. Their trailers are professional and they even offer distribution and book reviews. This is an excellent value for the money and I would definitely consider using them in the future. Author Traci Hall used them and has a fabulous trailer for her new release, DIARY OF A BAD BOY. The trailer is eye catching, short, and straight to the point. No frills, but effective.

On the other end of the spectrum, Simone Elkeles just released her uber trailer for her latest book CHAIN REACTION, the third book in her PERFECT CHEMISTRY series. I imagine her budget was quite a bit higher than my meager $350. But since most of us don’t have it in our budget to hire a cast and crew–which must have been a blast (and boy, did she find some great young hotties)–we need to do what is comfortable for us and most importantly, create a budget that won’t break the bank.

For me as a new author, I consider a book trailer an important investment. In my opinion, my marketing dollars are best spent getting the book out to the widest audience, and it’s pretty clear from the You Tube craze, that millions of people (young adults especially) are watching. Getting to my target audience is the keystone to my marketing plan. I will also admit that maintaining creative control of my product was one of the main factors in my choice to indie-publish, so creating my own trailer was a labor of love. However, I’ll admit that me and Power point have developed a love/hate relationship and I will look into filming and editing my next trailer. My goal is to have it look as professional as possible for my buck and to be different enough to catch the attention of readers/viewers. After all, this trailer made me read ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Vampire Hunter.

I heard some excellent advice about book trailers at the RWA National conference in NYC this summer. Sophie Gunn said, “A bad book trailer is worse than no book trailer.” She also suggested that trailers are beginning to all look alike. She recommended that if we were going to have one, that we make it unique, eye catching, and dynamic. Great advice. I hope I was successful. If not, I still have time to make changes before it goes out to You Tube (ahh, the flexibility of DIY). Let me know what you think. I’ll let you be the judge.


5 thoughts on “Book Trailer DIY tips”

  1. The trailer looks great to me, PJ! As for the Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter trailer, I’ll just say that I never finished the book (rare for me — I nearly always finish books once I start them, whether I like them or not). This trailer made me want to . . . see the movie instead! Maybe I’ll give the book another try.

  2. They’re definitely part of the promotional package! I agree with Sophie Gunn…make sure it’s good; don’t give away too much of the story; make it stand out somehow. Thea Devine had a great one recently. Very much captured the tone and made me want to read that book! Which I did anyway…but it hastened the purchasing process.

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