Making a book trailer for In the Context of Love on iMovie was as much fun and almost as daunting as it was to write the book. There were so many directions to go in, so many possible scenarios and scripts… how would I decide on just one? My book trailer went through many versions, and learned some tips along the way.
As it is with writing, you just have to do it.
My first attempt at a video was a mix of stock images from morguefile.com with text. It didn’t seem cohesive, I knew it was too long at a minute and a half, and it had way too many images.
I thought the second version was perfect.Wrong! A trusted friend and filmmaker said the images of the main character, Angelica, varied too much from clip to clip, and the script wasn’t engaging– It needed an unanswered question. My publisher didn’t like the text font, the quotes I had chosen, or the music. My son said the images I used looked like cheesy stock images.
What I really wanted was actual video. Happily I discovered Life of Vid, a collection of downloadable, royalty free film clips. I chose clips that captured the mood of the book, and pared down the images to two that had good clarity and color. My publisher suggested I used a font similar to the text in the book. I also found that, for readability, larger is better than bold.
The right music is important, especially if there’s no voice-over. I relied on my talented son, Christian J. Sienkiewicz, aka Coyote Clean Up for that. (The clip is from a song titled “Bedtime Blizzard,” from his album Frozen Solid (2012) on the 100% Silk label.)
Important points I learned:
- Make it short. Under one minute is best.
- Limit special effects. Think simplicity. Less is often more.
- Write a good script. What’s the driving force of your story? Leave an unanswered question.
- Aim for cohesiveness in style and mood that matches your story.
- Choose images than convey emotion.
- Make sure your text is legible.
What can you do with a book trailer?
Once mine was finished, I uploaded the video onto Vimeo (which has great quality and no ads) and YouTube. I also used it on my website, shared it on Facebook, and uploaded it to Google+, Pinterest, my Amazon author page, Linkedin, and my Goodreads profile. I also found a way to insert it into my email signature. In other words, I put it everywhere! A well done book trailer is something every author should have in their promotional bag of tricks. All you need to do is capture the attention of one reader at a time!
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love: contemporary fiction about love, lust, and family secrets.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2015 Great Midwest Book Festival Honorable Mention
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters