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How to Make a Book Trailer in Minutes

Megan O'Neill

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A book trailer is a great promotional tool for authors looking to get the word out about their books. Animoto makes it easy to use video to promote your book on social media, your website, your Amazon author page and beyond.

how-to-make-a-book-trailer

In this guide, we’ll show you how to make a book trailer like the one below in a few minutes. We’ll use photos and video clips you have on hand, or can easily shoot yourself. So grab your book and let’s dive in!

How to Make a Book Trailer

Ready to get started? We’ll show you how to make a book trailer like the example above, from Awkward Family Photos, which you can learn more about here. We’ll start with planning, including gathering assets, and then show you how to create your video using Animoto.

Coming up with the story for your book trailer

If you’re creating a book trailer for a book you’ve written, you already know how to tell a great story. So before you get started making your video, take some time to jot down notes about the story for your book trailer.

You’ll want to explain what your book is about in a compelling way. Don’t give away too much—share just enough to entice viewers. Then, let them know where they can purchase, order, or download your full book.

Author and life coach Mary Schiller shared some tips with us in a blog post on 4 elements of an awesome Animoto book trailer. Here are a few to keep in mind when coming up with your story:

  • Have a beginning, middle, and end. Mary says, "Just like a movie trailer, a book trailer needs a story." Set the stage and introduce characters, introduce a twist, and then let people know where they can buy your book.
  • Be concise. Keep your book trailer short to grab and hold viewers’ attention. We recommend keeping your trailer under a minute. If you’re writing a script, cut out everything except what’s most important to tell your story.
  • Match the tone of your book. The tone of your book trailer should reflect that of your book. Take a what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach. People shouldn’t feel a disconnect between your book and the materials you’re using to promote it.

Gathering assets for your book trailer

Once you know what story you’d like to tell, it’s time to gather photos and video clips to tell your story. Our Awkward Family Photos example uses images from the book, plus a video clip of the book itself.

You can easily take this approach by scanning pages from your book or using your phone or camera to shoot video clips. To learn how to set up a shot like the one below, check out our blog post on how to DIY an overhead shot with what you have.

book-trailer-assets

If you don’t have any photos or video clips to use, or your book doesn’t have pictures, that’s ok. You can create a book trailer using stock images and video clips too. Animoto offers a stock library of over 1 million photos and video clips from Getty Images.

Find the "Stock" tab under Media when creating your video and search for terms related to you book and the story you want to tell in your trailer. Check out tips for getting the most out of our stock library.

book-trailer-imagery

Creating Your Book Trailer

Step 1: Log into Animoto and start a new project

First you’ll need to log into your Animoto account. If you don’t have one yet, click here to get started for free.

Once you’re in, you’ll notice that you can choose a template or start from scratch. For our book trailer, we’ll be starting from scratch. Click on Start from Scratch in the top right to get started.

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Next, you’ll be prompted to select a style. A style indicates how the text and transitions will animate in your book trailer. Hover over the different styles to see what they look like and choose the one you like best. If you aren’t sure, no worries. You can always change the style later.

styles

You’ll also choose the aspect ratio for your video at this point. We currently offer square and landscape. If you’re creating a book trailer for the social media feed, we recommend going square. If you’ll be posting your video on YouTube or embedding it on your website, we recommend landscape.

If you want to promote your book in Instagram Stories, check out our iOS app. The Animoto: Social Video Editor app is designed to help you create videos to stand out on Instagram Stories.

Step 2: Upload your assets or search for stock

Next, upload all of the photos and video clips you gathered to tell your story. Or, search for stock imagery related to your book. All of this can be done in the Media section of the toolbar. You can upload files under the “Project” tab or search for stock under the "Stock" tab.

upload-assets-book-trailer

Step 3: Drag and drop photos in order

Drag and drop your photos and video clips from the Media tray directly into your project in the order you’d like them to appear in your video.

drag-n-drop

Step 4: Add text to tell your story

While you’re in Edit mode, click on the "T" text icon to add text to your video. You can add a title and subtitle to each block, set the font, and choose your own colors.

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Step 5: Choose music

Once you’ve finished telling your story, the last step is to select your music. Choose a track that matches the mood of your book. The Animoto music library has a variety of mood filters, which can be useful for finding the right song for your video.

Once your music is selected, click Preview to see how it looks. If you’re happy with it, click Publish and you’re ready to share!

And there you have it! Ready to make your book trailer? Click the button below to get started. Happy video making!