We’ve never met, actually, but we met online and I asked her to tell me how she made her book trailers. First, a bit about her, then her answer.
Geraldine Evans has been writing since her twenties, though only began to get novels published halfway through her thirties. As well as her popular Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series, she has a second crime series, Casey & Catt and has also had published an historical, a romance and articles on a variety of subjects, including, Historical Biography, Writing, Astrology, Palmistry and other New Age subjects. She has also written a dramatization of Dead Before Morning, the first book in her Rafferty series.
She is a Londoner, but now lives in Norfolk England where she moved, with her husband George, in 2000.
Deadly Reunion is her eighteenth novel and fourteenth in the humorous Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series. She is currently working on the next in the series.
Creating a Video Book Trailer by crime author Geraldine Evans
This is not as difficult as you’d think. At least it’s not if you keep it simple. I only started doing these last year. God, I only heard about doing them last year as well. Before that, I didn’t know there were such thing as Video Book Trailers, such was the depth of my ignorance. Yet again, it was Yahoo Group’s MurderMustAdvertise who brought this marketing method to my notice. Hurrah for MMA. Sign up for them immediately!
If you’re thinking about making a Video Book Ttrailer, read on. This is the novice’s experience so don’t expect technical terms or advice on how to put super fancy flourishes to your trailer. This is bog-standard stuff, just text and stills, but although it’s basic, I think it’s effective and tells the story clearly.
I’ll tell you how I went about making my last but one trailer, for my crime novel Dead Before Morning. I think this is one of my best, even if it’s one of the longest, which, I gather, is not regarded as a good thing. So far, including two Video Interviews of me, one of which was for The Lit Chicks Show and one each for Dead Before Morning, Down Among the Dead Men, Death Dance and Deadly Reunion, I’ve six trailers. I’ve even managed to add music on three of them. I’m most pleased with Dead before Morning, even though it’s rather long.
How did I get started making my latest? I used Windows Movie Maker (on your Start Menu). I bought my photos from http://www.fotolia.com, but there are plenty of stock photo sites out there – http://www. iStockPhoto.com is another site I’ve used. With fotolia you designate what rights you wish to purchase and buy credits. Once you’ve selected suitable pictures and paid for them with the credits you purchased, you can download them. Once you’ve done that, you need to open Windows Movie Maker and import the pictures. I would advise importing these into WMM in the order you intend to use them, otherwise you will have to shift and shunt them about. You might as well get them right the first time. I would now save as a Project. You’ve got your pictures. Well done! Time for a cup of coffee.
Now for the words. I’d learned from my earlier efforts and for this one I wrote out a short synopsis of the novel then broke it into bite-sized pieces. Don’t make each of your pieces of text much more than half-a-dozen words or your viewer won’t be able to read them quickly enough and will just end up confused. There is, I seem to recall reading somewhere, a way to increase the viewing time of a particular frame, but I can’t remember what it is. Anyway, I still don’t think you should have great screeds of text. To place the text, make sure you’ve on HOME, then click on Title and name your book and yourself as the author. Next click on your first picture and then click on CAPTIONS and type in the first of your short blocks of text. These will go on top of your pictures so you might have to alter the colour, size, boldness or placing of your text. You do this by highlighting and then select bold, size and colour. You move the words around by clicking on the dotted lines, as usual.
Carry on placing your CAPTIONS until you’ve typed up all of your synopsis. Try not to make this too long as the shortest Video Book Trailers are regarded as the best. Brief and punchy should be your aim.
Anyway, once I’d written out my text I decided where I wanted to put the pictures. Here’s a snapshot of what I di for Dead Before Morning:
TEXT: DEAD BEFORE MORNING
PICTURE: BOOK COVER
TEXT: A Rafferty and Llewellyn Crime Novel
TEXT: by Geraldine Evans
TEXT: DI Joe Rafferty
PICTURE: A hand holding the word ‘JOB’ ( In the UK, a policeman’s profession is known as ‘The Job’.).
TEXT has just been promoted.
PICTURE: Partying People
TEXT: But the morning after the night before
PICTURE: Man with tie undone and lipstick on collar.
TEXT a girl has been found murdered.
Well, I think you get the idea. It carries on like that, text and picture, text and picture till I get to the end. You want a brief snapshot of the book, that’s all, the shorter the better. Choose your words and pictures carefully. Your aim should be to try to make an impact and give the gist of the book. For my latest one for Deadly Reunion, I’ve managed to get it down to twelve pictures including my book cover twice and about a minute and a half in time. Of course it helps that now I put the words on top of the pictures instead of in front of them…
Once I was happy that I’d got my text and pictures in the right order, I decided on my transitions. These can be the transition of your still picture flying away, as in the old movies, or any of the other choices. Experiment a bit. I didn’t select and place my transitions before I was sure I had finished shifting and shunting my text and pictures around as for one of my videos I did alternating transitions and they kept getting out of sync and I had to go through and alter them all. I’d already chosen my text colour and background colour. To select your transitions, go to animations, click on the one of your pix lined up on the right where you want the particular transition and then click on the transition. On my earlier movies it was a click and drag operation, but this is one of the changes I had to get used to when I got a new laptop with updated Movie Maker.
Next you want to get your music. I liked listening to lots of different pieces of music in an attempt to find a piece that was appropriate to my book trailer. Eventually, I found one I was happy with. You then need to go online find a music site and pay for the license to use the track. I use StockMusicSite.com. Once you’ve paid for and downloaded your music, you should find it in My Music. To get it onto the trailer, you need to click on Home in Movie Make, click on your first picture (so the music starts at the beginning of the film) and then select Add Music.
Remember to make sure you choose your music and pictures from a bona fide site where you pay for the appropriate usage. Other artists also like to get paid when their work is used, so don’t be tempted to go for the non-bona fide site. Apart from any other considerations, you might get caught!
Now you want to add the CREDITS. So click on HOME then CREDITS. Then type Movie by (your name). Then, on another line, Pictures from fotolia (or wherever). Then, music: Humoresque by Dvorak (or what and whomever).
Okay, you’ve got your words, you’ve got your pictures, you’ve got your music and you’ve let the credits roll. You’ve got a Movie, baby. Click on SAVE PROJECT AS. Once saved, click on PUBLISH MOVIE and select whichever choice you prefer to upload to. Most people go for YouTube as its so well-known. Naturally, you’ll have already signed up as a member for whatever site you’ve chosen for your video upload. You don’t even have to stick at one upload. You can put it on youtube, vimeo and whatever other ones you can think of as well as on your website and blog and facebook and twitter and crimespace and… Well I think you get the idea..
Once you get adept, you might even be able to put in moving pictures. If you do, you will tell me how to do it, won’t you?
Marian, I thought I’d include the trailer I made for Dead before Morning, so your readers who are interested, can see both and see how I’ve (hopefully!) improved.
And for Deadly Reunion:
LINK TO MY PAGE WITH THE BLOG TOUR DATES:
A Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel by Geraldine Evans
Publication: 24 February 2011 (UK) 1 June 2011 (US)
Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty is barely back from his honeymoon before he has two unpleasant surprises. Not only has he another murder investigation – a poisoning, courtesy of a school reunion, he also has four new lodgers, courtesy of his Ma, Kitty Rafferty. Ma is organising her own reunion and since getting on the internet, the number of Rafferty and Kelly family attendees has grown, like Topsy. In his murder investigation, Rafferty has to go back in time to learn of all the likely motives of the victim’s fellow reunees. But it is only when he is reconciled to his unwanted lodgers, that Rafferty finds the answers to his most important questions.
ebooks on amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/4re8apo
ebooks on amazon.co.uk: http://tinyurl.com/6du98kq
Geraldine Evans’s website: http://www.geraldineevans.com
Geraldine Evans’s blog: http://www.geraldineevanscom.blogspot.com
The draw of all the comments throughout the Tour will take place at the end of the Tour (end-Feb). There will only be three winners, each of whom wins one signed copy of Deadly Reunion, my latest hardback (fourteenth in my Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series), one copy of each of two ebooks that are the first and second novels in my Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series, that is, one of Dead Before Morning and one of Down Among the Dead Men. They will also receive a subscription to my blog (which they can let lapse when it runs out).
Thank you for visiting today, Geraldine! Your trailers look great, and so do your books. Have fun with your blog tour!
WRITING PROMPT: Reunite a character with one or more others and see what happens.
p.s. I’m at Fatal Foodies today. Come on over and visit!