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…

Writing on the road

I’m heading up to Portland later today for the local author showcase at The Oregon City Public Library this Thursday night. I can’t wait to meet the teens there and also get to spend some great time with my friends and fellow authors Lisa Nowak, Stacey Wallace-Benefiel and Cidney Swanson. What’s that you say? But, you don’t live in Portland. Well, that’s kind of true. See, I travel a lot with hubby’s work and we spent a great deal of last year in Portland, living at the Holiday Inn at the PDX airport. And, as luck would have it, I met some amazing authors who adopted me and made me feel right at home.

I haven’t been up to Portland in a while. So I’m suffering from some serious doughnut & ice cream withdrawl. Hubby’s work has kept us home these past few months. And we’ll be back-and-forth again soon. Because of all the traveling we do, I get to work in some pretty unique places. Today I’m writing in what used to be on old beauty salon:

Don’t you love the groovy couch? It’s so George Jetson, isn’t it? Here’s a sign I came across on our road trip north that cracked me up….

LOL! Before we catch the plane for Portland today we are attending a funeral. We have real funeral weather today––dreary, sprinkles, cold. You know how busy life is. Everyone has a million things to do. And then you get a call. An email. Everything stops. There’s this other time. Funeral time.

So I’d like to leave you with something a little less serious than what’s ahead this afternoon. Here’s a picture from yesterday when I was at home trying to fit everything I need for the author showcase and, you know clothes LOL!, into my suitcase:)

On the road to Deltona, FL for The Paranormal Plumes YA Book Tour

The Paranormal Plumes Society
The Paranormal Plumes Young Adult Book Tour hits Deltona 1/30-1/31

I landed in Tampa last Wednesday night and have been hanging with my family here for the past few days. Tomorrow my sister and I head north to Orlando where we’re going to Harry Potter’s Wizarding World. After Orlando we’re meeting up with The Plumes in Deltona for dinner. We’re SO excited!

Today went WAY too fast 🙂 We saw my niece play in her B-ball game, that’s my bro-in-law coaching!

Then we all went for a run! Soooo much fun. After that we pampered ourselves….with a Mani-Pedi!

Happy Birthday SIS!!!!

Then we had a FAB BBQ with all the fam 🙂 But not before I snapped this photo!

Tonight we’re packing our bags and are super excited about losing ourselves in the world of wizards & young adult books 🙂

CONGRATS Jessica McLaughlin winner of the kindle edition of Pyxis by K.C. Neal! So excited to have hosted the Ariel-Arson-Pyxis tour, thanks so much to all the people who entered!


San Francisco Story : Inspiration & Purple Leis

It’s not every day that you pick your daughter up from the airport. And today is even more special because my daughter lives a continent away. She’s coming back home and we are going to get to hang out for ten precious days. One of my fondest memories of San Fransisco is when my daughter graduated from San Francisco State University. It was a magical realism author’s dream come true as Isabelle Allende was one of the speakers at graduation. But Gavin Newsom was also an amazing speaker and he had some great advice for the graduates that I’ll never forget–STAY GREEN. Meaning, keep learning. Don’t stop. What great advice. And what I’ve found, and what my debut young adult novel Winnemucca is about, is that so much of our learning takes place out of the classroom. Just like so much of great writing is about what isn’t said. It’s off the page.

I remember my daughter all decked out in her purple graduation robe and purple lei. Here’s more on graduation day: What I Learned At My Daughter’s Graduation from University: Words of Inspiration I can’t wait to see her again and I can’t wait to have another San Francisco Story.

If you want to learn more about what inspired Winnemucca, my guest post about Latinas & Mariachis is on Alicia McCalla’s amazing blog.

Will we live on a volcano? Maybe.

Part of the fun of being mobile is the adventure. All the new places and people you get to know. Joe and I are about to go mobile again after making a nest after a few years on the road. The road has been good to us. We have journeyed to some really breathtaking spots and lived so many different ways. Today, Joe is checking out places. One was billed The Volcano House. Continue reading Will we live on a volcano? Maybe.