Friday, July 22, 2011

Scott Prussing, Author of Breathless

Create Your Own Book Trailer – Easily!

People love book trailers. Having an intriguing trailer is one of the best promotional tools you can have for your book. But hiring someone to create a professional trailer is expensive. Luckily, you can create your own professional looking trailer fairly easily by following a few simple steps. Believe me, I know. I had absolutely no experience with slideshows or overlaying text onto images or any of that stuff before I began making my trailer, and I think it came out pretty darn good. And I enjoyed doing it!


Step 1-- Collect some art.

Before you can start putting a trailer together, you need some nice looking art. The obvious place to begin is with your book’s cover image (and any creative versions of it you might have), but you’ll need more than that. Look everywhere you can think of for images that match the tone of your book (my book Breathless is a paranormal romance, so I collected spooky pictures of the moon and clouds, dark forests, magical looking trees, fire, caves, sunsets, etc.). Start by looking through your own pictures. Ask your friends if they have any images you could use. Do a Google search for “public domain images” to find sites filled with pictures you can use without cost and without violating any copyrights. You won’t actually use more than a small percentage of the images you gather, but it helps the creative process to have a nice collection to choose from.


Step 2 – Find a website for free, do-it-yourself videos and slideshows.
I used OneTrueMedia.com. Start by creating an account for yourself, and then upload any pictures you think you might use. The instructions at OTM are pretty easy to follow. Start with the basics. How long do you want each image to remain on the screen? Do you want it to zoom in or out, or pan side to side or up and down? Using these will add “movement” to your trailer, making it much more interesting. OTM makes it easy to preview what each will look like. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can play with the many “special effects” offered here. This site also has lots of free background music you can choose from.


Step 3 – Add text to your trailer.

I recommend you create a basic video to work with BEFORE you start adding text to the images, but that’s just my preference. There are two ways to go with text: you can add text directly onto your images, or you can put your text on blank slides that you will intersperse with the images. I like putting the words onto images, but that’s a personal choice.
I used picnik.com to add my text. It’s pretty simple to use. You don’t even have to create an account. Upload the first picture you want to add text to. Click the “Create” tab, then the “Text” tab. Choose a font from the menu and type your text in the box. (Hint: adding the text to the image a little at a time in small phrases, rather than complete sentences, will allow you to better control the placement of your text. You’ll see what I mean when you begin doing this.) Click “Add” and the text will appear on your image along with a control panel for text size, color and positioning.
Once you have the text the way you want it, save the image to your computer and then upload it to OneTrueMedia. Place it in its proper spot (usually replacing the identical image with no text, but you might want to keep both, to have the image show first by itself, and then having the text appear on it).


Step 4 – Final editing.
When you have created all your text slides and imported them to OneTrueMedia, you can start experimenting with different effects for your trailer to see what looks best. Take your time and try lots of things—heck, it’s free! And fun. Don’t get too carried away with your trailer, though. The ideal length for a book trailer is somewhere between a minute and a minute and a half. Shorter is better, but remember, any images with text need to remain long enough for slow readers to read them.


Step 5 – Exporting your trailer.

OneTrueMedia makes it easy to export your finished trailer. You can email it to friends, send it to your Facebook page, and/or send it to YouTube. You can even order a DVD, but that costs money. One tip: before you send your trailer anywhere, make sure you hit the “update version” tab, so you will be sending the latest version (this one caught me a few times!).

Just follow the basic steps above and you will have created a fun, professional looking trailer you can use to promote your book. Both OneTrueMedia and Picnik.com offer lots of other effects and tools that I haven’t even looked at, but you can feel free to experiment with them. Happy creating!




Book Blurb
 


Breathless is a modern fantasy romance in the mode of Twilight and Vampire Diaries, but it’s filled with enough new twists to excite even the most devoted fans.
Weston College freshman Leesa Nyland has been fascinated by vampires since she was three years old. That’s when her mom started acting weird, refusing to go outside during the day and insisting the sunlight hurt her skin because she’d been bitten by a one-fanged vampire.
But fascinated doesn’t mean Leesa believes. Any more than she believes in blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. But when her beloved older brother suddenly disappears, she is forced to confront all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot—so why won’t he kiss her?
As Leesa draws closer to finding her brother, she faces some gut-wrenching decisions. Should she risk her mom’s life trying to “cure” her? Should she continue seeing Rave, after he reveals his dangerous secret? And most terrifying of all, should she make the ultimate sacrifice—give up her humanity—in order to save her brother?

Here’s what some reviewers have been saying about Breathless:

“I could hardly put it down.” ReadersFavorite.com
“A truly captivating read.” VampireRomanceBooks.com
“A book you will fall in love with and want to read over and over again.” Bite This! Vampire Book Blog
“Breathes new life into the vampire genre.” BookFetish.org
“When I finished, I wanted more. I can’t wait for the sequel.” Paranormal Book Club



Author Bio

A native of New Jersey, Scott Prussing received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in psychology from Yale. He was smart enough to move to beautiful San Diego after graduate school, where he lives four blocks from the beach. In addition to writing, Scott enjoys hiking, riding his bicycle near the beach, and golf. He is one of the few remaining people in the United States without a cell phone.






Links:
Learn more about Breathless and purchase signed hardcover copy at www.scottprussing.com



For eBook Breathless at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004U6WM7E




7 comments:

Redd said...

Wow and woah..

Cool stuff Leanne. Love the 101 on book trailers. :)

Breathless has a pretty damn good cover too! :)

Shanon Grey said...

Thanks. I was actually wondering about that yesterday. It does look easy and the trailer of Breathless is great. I enjoyed both.

Leanne109 said...

This blog post was written by Scott Prussing, feel free to leave him questions :D

Kym said...

Really helpful info ! I use a program that came with my computer..

Leanne, really nice blog post..I need to check out Scotts books :)

Scott, thanks for sharing how to do a book trailer, I have done photo collages for graduations etc. I will now try a book trailer !


Kym

Toni said...

Great post Scott. Full of great information.

Thanks for sharing!

Minnette Meador said...

Great post! Thanks so much for sharing... :o)

Deena said...

I love this post, Leanne! I use One True Media, but hadn't thought about layering the text onto the graphic. I love your trailer, Scott! Thanks for sharing so clearly how to navigate through OTM. :)

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