How to make a book trailer

The Birth Of a Book Trailer

I knew I needed a book trailer to help promote my debut YA novel Winnemucca. First of all, I love movies. Heck, I live in Los Angeles. And, I worked in the entertainment industry. I knew the power of the trailer. Plus, how much fun would making my own trailer be?

But still, I didn’t know how to make one. Hmmm. I’d incorporated videos in my designs for years at E! Entertainment Television and at The Los Angeles Times. But they were provided to me by amazing teams of award winning videographers. And the photos I worked with were shot by Pulitzer Prize winning photographers. Who did I think I was trying to do this all on my own?

Well, that’s the best part. We aren’t on our own! Writers are some of the most generous people. And so I kept my eye open for trailers that I loved. Enter the wonderful writer Rebecca Rasmussen [@birdsisters] author of The Bird Sisterspublished by Crown/Random House. I was surprised to find out she made her own trailer. Rebecca was very generous with her support and advise. Thanks Rebecca!

So after a load of conversations I managed to conjure up a recipe for book trailers:

  • iMovie application.
  • A killer soundtrack.
  • stock videos.
  • stock photography.

and WaaaaLaaa! You have your book trailer.

A Recipe For Book Trailers

iMovie is a very easy application to work with. It’s drag and drop so no worries there. And it comes with every Mac.

A killer soundtrack is so important. I don’t mind book trailers where the author reads their work. There is something very pure about that. But, like I said, I love movies. Music that evokes your story is compelling and can draw a viewer into the trailer in a unique way. I used Most of the audio clips are very reasonable priced. [I splurged on this and purchased sound for $60 because I loved it and am a music junkie.]

Stock Videos. I’ve seen a lot of trailers that try to tell the story with static images and scrolling or rolling text. It’s a great effect. But, the medium is meant for video. And, if you don’t have any that you’ve shot yourself, stock video sites are great ways to add some punch to your trailer. Sites I like include Both have great selections and great ways to save multiple videos for your consideration so if you are busy, like who isn’t, you can come back later and make your final cut. Again, most videos are very reasonably priced, but watch it, some aren’t. And don’t worry if your video has a soundtrack with it. iMovie let’s you separate the audio channel out and you can use whatever audio you want with any video. My average purchase for a video was $15.

Stock Photography. I use the same sites I recommended above to find images for book covers and for book trailers. Again, stock photography is reasonably priced. But be sure you check prices.

As always, have a budget in mind and stick to it, mine was under $90. It’s really important to get the word out about your book, but what’s more important is how much fun you have doing it!

The Book Trailer

Winnemucca is a young-adult small-town fairy tale about a teenage girl awakening to her own intuition on an enchanted road trip. One lie will change Ginny’s life forever. The truth will will set her free.

Over To You

Did I miss anything? Do you have any tips or tricks from making your own book trailers? If you have anything to add to this article, or even just want to share your own book trailers, then please add it to the comments below…

Monday Muse : The beach, Transfer Student, Moon Killers & only in LA….

Joe outside the cottage
Joe outside our cottage
Our place in Malibu reminded us of Echo Park
The cottage in Malibu reminded us of our first house in Echo Park

Continue reading Monday Muse : The beach, Transfer Student, Moon Killers & only in LA….

Tasty Thursday: Los Angeles, food & romance

For those of you who don’t know, champagne is my favorite drink. And this seems brilliant! I’ve never tried making champagne ice cubes, but I will have to very soon 🙂

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and what screams Love like a wonderful, romantic meal? I hope you all get a chance to sit down with the one you love this Valentine’s Day. Spoil yourself. Splurge a little. Do something out of the box.

I’m on my way to Los Angeles. It’s where I lived as a newlywed. There are so many friends I’m excited to see & lots of food to eat too 🙂 Here’s a couple places on my list : El Chavo’s (best margaritas on the planet & awesome posters of Dolly Parton too!) & the Tiki Ti (yes, I’d like one electric lemonade please). If you’re in LA these are a MUST! I’m going to be writing with a bunch of friends this week. Hoping to make lots of progress on Moon Killers, book 3 in the Shadow Series. An excerpt from Moon Killers is going to be featured at Indie Author Month this Monday with a cover reveal later this month! Click here to get all the details! On a side note, I’m very excited to be a best-selling author this week. Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale hit #1 in three different Amazon categories this week. #squeeeeee. Time to pop the champagne 🙂

Got any Valentine’s Day/romantic dinner recipes? I’d love to know what they are?

What does Transfer Student, Batman & Back To The Future have in common?

The setting for the transfer! The Griffith Observatory lies in Griffith Park in the heart of Los Angeles. Griffith Park is the one of the most filmed locations in LA. In 2010 there was filming 340 days of the year. We’ve had birthday parties there and love the merry-go-round too. I thought it might be fun today to show a few clips and share some links of the movies shot here.


I’ll announce today’s ebook winner by noon PST! Only 5 days until Transfer Student! SQUUEEE!

Continue reading What does Transfer Student, Batman & Back To The Future have in common?

Transfer Student Blog Tour & EBOOK/SWAG GVWY: Want some fries with that?

Let's grab a burger just like Rhoe & Tiffany do in the book...well, not EXACTLY like they do. You really don't want to drive like an alien who's JUST learning.
I'll have some animal fries! YUM!

Continue reading Transfer Student Blog Tour & EBOOK/SWAG GVWY: Want some fries with that?

[Nearly Wordless Wednesday] Transfer Student: Meet Ashley…& New Swag

Congrats to @Beesha1 winner of a TRANSFER STUDENT EBOOK! Good luck to today’s tweeters! Here’s this week’s swag:) Details of how to enter the giveaways below!

THIS WEEK’S SWAG: PIG IN SPACE PIGGY BANK, Griffith Observatory travel mug, a HOLLYWOOD MAP OF THE STARS, signed bookmarks, Griffith Park Observatory pen & postcards, Space Shuttle Anniversary commemorative coin, a CHOCOLATE MOON PIE, and more! To win this week’s swag & enter to win today’s ebook check out today’s stop on the blog tour:

The wonderful, amazing Courtney Cole, author of THE BLOODSTONE SAGA!

In today’s excerpt Ashley takes a trip to The Griffith Observatory on The Field Trip from Hell and her whole life changes. Here’s a picture of the obelisk in front of the Griffith Observatory. 

The dude clutching the telescope on the obelisk is Galileo, he plays an important part in the story 🙂

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Congrats to @TeeKyleJacobson! She’s won an ebook of TRANSFER STUDENT! All ebook winners will receive their copies [kindle or Nook] on St. Patty’s Day, 3 days before the official release:) Squueee! Good luck to today’s tweeters.

MY NEUROTIC BOOK AFFAIR is hosting today’s excerpt! 

To win an ebook of TRANSFER STUDENT, TWEET [and leave a comment here or at MY NEUROTIC BOOK AFFAIR  with the link]: Can’t wait to read Transfer Student by @Laurawriting Check out the Blog Tour & Giveaway! #teenreads #scifi #romance #ya

Winner announced here tomorrow!

Today we continue our tour of:

We’ll walk down Rodeo Drive. Don’t rush, we have lots of time. Here’s what you’d see if you were Ashley walking down the street one Sunday for a little shopping:


A hot Bugatti

So what would it take for girl like Ashley, to obsess over an alien from planet Retha, to say “He’s everything I never wanted and everything I can’t live without.” Enter the EBOOK giveaway to find out:)


All comments are entered to win this week’s swag:

Transfer Student Blog Tour & Giveaway Starts Tomorrow! Squeee!

Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles, CA 

Two Worlds––Two Teens––One Wish

Geek Rhoe and Surfer Ashley would never be friends.
Even if they lived on the same planet.
But, they’ll become so much more.
They’ll transfer.

This is the setting where the transfer occurs on Earth. It’s where Ashley makes her first wish upon her first star at the exact same time Rhoe makes the same wish, a universe away. Continue reading Transfer Student Blog Tour & Giveaway Starts Tomorrow! Squeee!

Why I Love LA : The Transfer Student Edition

This made me crack up…[language alert!]

I love LA. I lived there for twenty four years, we raised our kids there and have soooo many incredible memories there. Tomorrow hubby and I head down for a quick trip and I’m SO excited. No, we aren’t going to the Oscars! Wouldn’t that be cool though? I’ll get to see some good friends and I’ll get to visit some of the settings of TRANSFER STUDENT again. The book is set in Los Angeles and also on the planet RETHA. Yes, it’s an acronym for EARTH. You’ll see why. There’s lots of acronyms in the story. Most will only unscramble in ways that are meaningful to me and my family, but some of you might find a few. Continue reading Why I Love LA : The Transfer Student Edition