If I want my cat to sit up and pay attention, I pull out the little red dot laser. Up and down and all around the little red dot scurries across the carpet, scales walls, and stops smack dab in front of kitty’s nose. He can’t take his eyes off all the movement and is thoroughly engaged.

A video or slide-show book trailer does the same thing for a social media audience. Moving pictures in a video. Photographs dissolving one into another in a slide-show. Your prospective readers will stop and stare, absorbing the information about your fabulous book, one changing image at a time.

Here’s my initial attempt at making one from 2013 to announce my first picture book:

Well. I think I might be able to manage a quality uptick with all I’ve learned in the last four years. At the time, I used the Video Creator tool available on YouTube. It included free music selections to add to the uploaded slides and options for how the slides would dissolve one into another, plus how many seconds between each slide. Super easy.

Unfortunately, as of September 20, 2017,

this tool is no longer available via YouTube.

What’s an indie-publisher in search of a video book trailer to do?

I’ll address that later in this post. Creating the actual video itself, like a physical printed book, can be done with a number of easily accessible tools online or third- party options.

The real key to an effective book trailer is in the scripting of it. Organizing the material in your trailer is what takes the time. You must plan and craft each frame with your best promotional copy and imagery to properly represent your book and your brand:

Step 1: Start your script with the “hook” to grab your audience’s attention. Draw them in with tempting promises of what your book will deliver. If it’s fiction, what is the most compelling invitation to read your story? If it is non-fiction, what is the problem or “pain-point” of your reader that you will address. Illustrate the problem and then demonstrate how your book will provide a solution.

Step 2: When scripting, follow the format of a short book proposal, which has all the vital and most compelling information regarding your book’s story or purpose, details about you as the author, and availability—where to purchase the book.  Keep your copy as concise as possible. Your video should be no more than 3.5 minutes, if that. Invest quality thought and energy in your slide-show script planning for an effective outcome.

Step 3: Create a digital file for your slide-show images and collect all the raw photos you plan to use. Within this file, create another folder where you will collect all the finished images, numbered in the order that they will be run in the final show.

Step 4: Script what you want to see on each slide using a story-board method. Limit the text on each slide. It only shows for a few seconds and your audience needs plenty of time to grasp the words, meaning, and impact of the imagery.

Step 5: Use PicMonkey (click for tutorial) to create each image according to your script, and save them in the final slides folder numbered in order.

Step 6: Now, here comes the stickler part—you need a software tool to actually make your slide-show or video. Since the YouTube tool is no longer available, I will be reviewing a tool that appears to have all the bells and whistles at a super price. Yes—there is a minimal fee, but from the looks of it, it will be worth it. Filmora Wondershare has a host of editing, special effects, music, and more, designed for novices and non-editors like me. The upload, drag and drop, and user-friendly icon that lead you through the process make this tool look like a winner and your videos shine professionally. I will be checking it out in more detail and will post a follow-up report. For now, I suggest you do what I always do when I need to learn something new: I WATCH ONLINE TUTORIALS! Check out the Filmora video tutorials on this introductory page to see how easy it is to use, and then click here to download and purchase at anywhere from $40 a year to $60 for lifetime access and regular updates.

If you can manage a website and write a blog,

you can use the Filmora-Wondershare video editing tool!

Step 7: Upload your finished book trailer to YouTube or Vimeo and share it across all your social media platforms, working it into your larger marketing strategy.

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Work through each step. Schedule the time to do your trial and error learning how to use Filmora editing tools, and you will get to the end result. Trial and Error are your friends. Watching Online Tutorials to the purpose are your BFFs!

Look for more “how to” articles in the

Indie-Pub Tool Tips 101 Series

from Pageant Wagon Publishing!

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