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Eighteen Months To Live
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message 1: by Rachele (new)

Rachele Baker (rachelebakerdvm) Has anyone prepared a video book trailer? I need recommendations for best software, best source of no royalty music tracks, best place to post the trailer, etc.?

message 2: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Edwardson | 61 comments Rachele-

Yes, I did my own. And I even wrote about it, what software I used, etc. on my website:

And here is the trailer I ended up with:

Fair warning: I do have some background in video editing so the tools I used might not be for you.

All the best to you in your efforts, though, and be sure to post back with whatever you come up with!

- DJ

message 3: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 321 comments Hi Rachele,

Here is information I've given to another author's book trailer questions.

I want to let you know that even though it's time consuming, making a trailer is fun, and part of the creativity process. I've made my own trailers, and so I'll try to answer your questions, the best I can.

1) I mainly used my own pictures, but here are a few sites I found in the past -, and Here's a music site I used -

2) I used what I have on my computer, which is Photoshop and Movie Maker. I think fancy is nice, but the main focus of a trailer is to give the viewer an idea of what the books about by choosing specific phrases. The words, pictures and music should all go together with the theme/genre. That's just my opinion, though. I've watched several trailers that were fancy, but by the end, I still didn't know what the book was about.

3) My best tip is to make sure you put in phrases that will hook a reader and let them know what the book is about. Another big thing I noticed that not all trailers have is their book cover and website. I think the book cover is extremely important.

I hope some of this helps. Good Luck!

Denise Baer

message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Allen | 6 comments I've actually done different things. I paid a guy on fiverr to make one for me. I've used recordings of readings that I've done on the radio and then added photos to make it into a video with Windows Movie Maker.

The next thing I'm going to do is have my next book signing recorded and then take the best snippets from that with a short reading. You can make them as formal and professional as you want. But, I like to go with a little rough around the edges like what some producers are going for these days.

As far as music background, I normally go with:

They have different length clips and various genres. I don't think you can miss with them.

message 5: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Holloway | 393 comments D.J. wrote: "Rachele-

Yes, I did my own. And I even wrote about it, what software I used, etc. on my website:

And here is the trailer I ended up with: Thanks so much for this information, D. J. I printed it out and am going to try it. I have been paying for my trailers.


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 217 comments I've done a couple of book trailers.

Assuming you're using Microsoft Windows, you will have Windows Movie Maker already installed.

If it isn't, you can download it for free here -

It's simple to use, but has plenty of options and stuff to get you creating something nifty.

With regards to royalty free music, your best bet is to search Google for 'creative commons music'. Bear in mind it's not always free to use, but a lot of it is, but you have to credit the musician somewhere in the video. Doing it at the end is fine.

Here is a list of websites you can use -

message 7: by Esther (new)

Esther Roses | 3 comments working on it and thanks for the info

message 8: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (writemekathryn) | 3 comments Hi, Rachele

Try Animoto. It's quite easy to use. They have some selections of photos and music to go with it. The first 30 seconds is free.

This is what I did with my first book trailer.

You can post it on Youtube and link it to your various sites using the share function, e.g. your website, goodreads, twitter using the share function on Youtube.

Good luck!

message 9: by Tony (last edited Mar 13, 2013 04:53PM) (new)

Tony Reynolds (reynoldssports) | 3 comments Yes I created my own too. I also used Fiverr.Com to get some quality talent. Here it is on YouTube:

You can get quality music royalty free and After Effect (AE) templates free too. I will post a link tomorrow with the information.

message 10: by John (new)

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 135 comments I created my own, but I used animation. I'm only mentioning it because I think if you are willing to spend the time, you can do it yourself.

message 11: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Edwardson | 61 comments Peggy wrote: "Thanks so much for this information, D. J. I printed it out and am going to try it. I have been paying for my trailers."

By the way, if you have a Mac and don't want to take the time to learn Final Cut Pro, you can also use iMovie though it won't give you as much control.

And if you don't have a Mac, Adobe Premier is supposed to be similar to Final Cut Pro X. There is a 30 day free trial for that as well, but I've heard the learning curve is a bit steep.

Hope you come up with something great!

message 12: by Liliana (new)

Liliana Shelbrook (lilianashelbrook) Hi Rachele, I used iMovie, Garage Band for the soundtrack and found royalty free photos on If you'd like to take a look at the final result, here it is:

message 13: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 34 comments Hi Rachel,
I do video editing but I think less experienced video makers might find my links useful too. They're on my blog in the posts on Making Book Trailers

I'd like to link to well-made book trailers on my blog, Awful ones were easier to find, so if you see book trailers that are well-done, I'd love the link (


message 14: by Becca (new)

Becca Nyx | 22 comments I'm a new author; is this a common thing to do? Make a video? What do you say/do in the video?

message 15: by Mariya (new)

Mariya Krusheva | 3 comments Hi Becca. It is not common, however most of the book authors create one. I thing it can give you more popularity of the book considering you have a youtube channel you can uplodet there too.
In the book trailers you have usually the text that goes usually on the back of the book on the bok cover, complemented with images and music. It is no longer than 5 min. It is a lot like movie trailers.

message 16: by John (new)

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 135 comments I'm curious how to get it circulated, once you have it up on youtube?

message 17: by Mariya (new)

Mariya Krusheva | 3 comments Hi John. After you uploade it to you tube chanel you have a link that you can share on preat much anything. Web sites, face book, attache it to e mails etc. It is simple.

message 18: by John (new)

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 135 comments thanks! I'll try that.

message 19: by Rachele (new)

Rachele Baker (rachelebakerdvm) Thank you everyone for such great input!

DJ, I watched your book trailer and I think it is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

Denise, thank you for sharing such great info and useful websites.

Michael, thank you for your insights. How did the guy on fiverr do in preparing your video book trailer. Would you recommend them?

Michael, thank you for the info on creative commons music. Very helpful.


message 20: by David (new)

David Richards (dgr2) | 36 comments I have also used Animoto to create a few book trailers. Animoto is really easy to work with and you can try it a number of times and decide which one works best. I haven't tried the others though, so each to their own.

This one is for my Friendly Ambassador series of four books.

This one is for my
In the Shadow of Mountains series which features two books.

And this final one is for The Tale of the Comet.

I haven't put any of them on youtube, or here for that matter, although they do appear on my Amazon author page. I don't really promote them as the value of book video trailers is limited compared to all the funny/music videos currently on youtube that they have to compete with. You would probably be better off doing one of those dancing elf videos with them holding your book cover.

message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael Allen | 6 comments Actually, they did a great job. The first one was pre-formatted and all I had to do was give him ten lines and an image. So, I knew what it would turn out looking like.

The second one I used from fiverr was a puppet and he did his own commentary. Turned out pretty good.

Some people have no business advertising their work on fiverr and some people are really good at what they do. But I look at it like this, it costs five dollars. Some people complain like they expect the best work ever. I say, you get what you pay for. But, if you are willing to take a good look at what someone is capable of doing, you can find the right person.

Rachele wrote: "Thank you everyone for such great input!

DJ, I watched your book trailer and I think it is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

Denise, thank you for sharing such great info and useful websites.


message 22: by A.K. (new)

A.K. (akbutler) You've probably got more than enough info here but I'll add to the pile, what the heck. ;)

My video trailer:

I used Adobe After Effects (I'd never used it before; I had the software from a package I'd purchased three years ago for my job, but you can get a 30 day free trial) and iMovie.

I got stock images from $50 for 5 image downloads, if you google "shutterstock coupons" you can usually find a 20% off deal so I ended up paying I think $39 for 5 pictures.

I used for the music, took forever to find something good but it was only $14 when I did.

So, less than $60 total, not a bad take, and I still have some picture downloads left (I actually use stock images a lot so I just keep a credit rotation with that site).

Good luck! Let us know how it goes! :)

message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy Queau | 68 comments I also wanted to add, that in regards to music... there are many artists out there that would love the exposure you can give them.
I emailed the record company that manages a band to ask for a synch license (which is what you need if you're going to use a copyrighted song). Synch licenses are sometimes tough to obtain and can get spendy if the artist wants royalties.
I was lucky enough to choose a band that gave me their blessing to use their music to promote my book - with no contract.
So, if you already have the perfect song in your head to complete your work, shooting a quick email over to the artists or their manager can't hurt!

message 24: by Lance (new)

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments Have any of you ever gotten any sales from your trailers?

I've thought about doing this once or twice. However, I've never found anyone who claims his/her trailer brought in any more than a handful of sales, which seems small compensation for all the effort.

message 25: by A.K. (new)

A.K. (akbutler) I don't think you can legitimately track these sorts of things. Studies show that, unless a person has a prior relationship with you, it takes hearing about something between 7 and 10 times before that person becomes interested in it or starts to notice. So if someone sees your book cover once, it's meh. Twice, meh. Three times, meh. Ten times...hey, didn't I see that before? It's all about increasing the type and quantity of exposure. If someone sees your book (a) talked about in a post on Facebook, and then (b) sees the cover added on Goodreads, and then (c) watches the trailer...see where I'm going? It's not about how many sales you will get DIRECTLY from the trailer, it's about how often and with what variety people are exposed to you and your work. :)

message 26: by Amy (new)

Amy Queau | 68 comments For social networking sites like facebook and tumblr, I have found that many people have started "following" my page after they've viewed the trailer. Whether or not I gained actual sales from them, I am unsure. What I know is that it is a great way to get attention, along with #ing keywords, if your audience is one that frequents those sites.

message 27: by Rachele (new)

Rachele Baker (rachelebakerdvm) Thanks for all this great info everyone.

Amy, I was wondering about how to get permission to use a specific song so I am glad you addressed that. How do you get the contact information for a band, a singer, or their manager?

message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy Queau | 68 comments There are a few different websites you can go to, ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, These sites should show you whether or not a specific song has been copyrighted. For every song in their data base, someone owns the copyright. From there, you can track down contact information. In my case, it was the lead singer who owned the copyright.
I then contacted his new record label and asked for a synch license.
Synch licenses are tricky, because the band/artist can technically ask for any royalty amount they want. However, if it is a lesser known band/artist, they might just appreciate the fact that you can give them more exposure to a different audience.
I hope that answered your question! Feel free to message me with any additional questions!

message 29: by Angel (new)

Angel Lepire | 62 comments I have absolutely nothing to contribute, but I find that if I comment on a thread it makes it easier for me to find again later. ;-) Great info everyone! Thanks for the music help, Amy!

message 30: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Muckley | 23 comments Yes. I have prepared two. Happier with the first for The Loss of Deference. Check my profile page to see them both. I used Windows Movie Maker, and a music eduting software Audacity, with loops from It was a lot of work, and I'm not sure that I'll do it again for the next release because I'm not sure how much of an impact that it had.

message 31: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Smith | 37 comments We actually have three, but we're only using two at the moment. The original trailers were done by Bo Kirgis who is also one of the people who helped us initially with "Which One Am I?" and has a chapter dedicated to him. The music is by an old friend of mine, Tom McCormack, who have me written permission to use this song from his 1980s CD, "Missing."

The second and longer video has music by Kelly Zirbes from her CD, "Plain Simple Me." Kelly is our touring partner and the version on the video was recorded live. Her husband's company does sound design for major motion pictures and also put this video together so the use of her own song was Kelly's idea and so gives implied consent.

The third video -- the one I'm not ready to share -- is also by Bo, but he constructed it to my specifications which, truth be told, didn't jell into anything near as compelling as the one he did on his own. Soundtrack to that one is "What is a Saint?" by Michelle Mangione from her CD of the same name. Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane co-wrote the song and we secured written consent to use it in the video.

Kim at 24/7 in France | 93 comments I composed a book trailer video for both my books (did them myself using movie maker software) - it was a true learning curve but fun and worth the time and effort! You can view them on

message 33: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 05, 2013 08:05AM) (new)

message 34: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Kim (nadiakim33) | 11 comments Hi yes I did one see link below.

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