Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making a Book Trailer

Book trailers are everywhere. Some feature actors, just like a movie trailer, others pictures and special effects. You can make your own for free, or pay for someone to make it for you. The options are limitless.

This weekend, I decided to try my hand at making my own book trailer, and in the process, I learned a lot about public domain and creative commons photos (and music).

I knew that I couldn't just go and take any old picture I wanted from the internet and use it in my project. So, I researched how to make my trailer, using pictures/film clips that weren't in violation of the usage contracts. Be sure you read the fine print carefully. Some sites that are linked to are not for commercial use (and what is a book trailer if it isn't a commercial?).

Not wanting to run into any problems by using images I don't have a right to use, I did some digging. This is where I learned about public domain images. These are images that you can use for any purpose, and modify as needed. How do you find them? You can do a Google image search for them by putting :public domain after your search word (ie: love:public domain). This narrows it down some, but you still need to check the fine print. Not all the images that come up in this search are public domain, and some public domain images require you to attribute the work to the author. Just keep in mind that it is your responsibility to verify that the images you use are public domain and follow the requirements for attributes. The same for music that you use.

Here are two sites that I found quite useful:  There are searchable images here as well as FAQ's about Public Domain images and how to use and attribute them correctly. There is a lot of music here, searchable by genre, mood, or tempo. The ones I looked at were free to use with attribution, but donations were also welcomed. 

I had a script I put together, found my music and my images, and then I put them all together with Windows Movie Maker. It was fun playing with the different transitions and setting the lengths of the images and the way the text moved on the screen. Don't be afraid to play with them until you get it just right. (And don't do what I did and save over your project when trying to save it as a new one! In the end, it was for the best, but it was frustrating.)  

The longest part? Searching for the images to use and picking the music. In the end, here's what I ended up with. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and if you have a book trailer you've made, share the link below.


  1. You did a good job with your trailer. I did enjoy it. It's very romantic and I like your choice of music. For mine I travelled from Australia to Switzerland -the setting of my historical novel - and took photos on location, including some videos. I couldn't put it together myself so got my adult sone to do it for me. I love it. Thanks for the offer to put up the link.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking of learning to do a trailer, but I have avoided it because it seems too daunting. I'll have to keep those links to public domain photos and music.

  3. Your trailer turned out very nicely! You've given me the courage to try to do one myself, something I'd always feared to do. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?


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