How I made a Book Trailer for Beneath the Skin

How I Made a Book Trailer for Beneath the Skin!

Book trailers are the hot new thing in book marketing. With my background in making videos, I just had to try my hand at creating one for Beneath the Skin. It was terrific fun!

How I Made the Book Trailer

This is the first time I have used Windows Live Movie Maker. I have only used iMovie before. In general, the process was very much the same, but the choices for transitions and text features were different so I had fun trying out different combinations. But that all came much later.

To begin the process of making the book trailer for Beneath the Skin, I started out by watching hundreds of book trailers on YouTube. All I did was search on the term Book Trailer. That uncovered a wealth of examples.

The first thing I discovered was that there are tons of book trailers being created by students in schools. What a great take on the book report! Here is a great trailer for Roald Dahl’s The Witches made with PhotoStory 3.

The second thing is that the majority of trailers being made are for Young Adult books and are being produced by the major publishing houses who have created “channels” that will appeal to their readers. An example of this is HarperTeen. These often include interviews with the authors.

The third type are book trailers created by the authors themselves. Since I was making my own, I concentrated on the last, particularly those featuring Romantic Suspense novels like my own. I really loved the wonderful trailers done by bestselling author Casi McLean. You can check out her trailers here on her channel.

I wrote down the common features and what I liked and didn’t like about each one. Next I clicked second by second through several and recorded how long each image was on the screen and what was in each image. Based on that I came up with the following list:

Breakdown of a Romantic Suspense Book Trailer

  1. Most of the book trailers I examined were about 1 to 2 minutes long.
  2. Each one started with a title frame that usually included the author’s name, the book title and perhaps a teaser word or phrase.
  3. Most included a mix of action video and stills. Some also had color photos mixed with black & whites.
  4. The text was brief but hit all the major points: The romantic couple. The problem. What was stopping them, and what would happen if they didn’t solve the problem. At the end, there was usually a clip of where to buy the book and maybe the author’s website.
  5. All of them had music that flowed with the pictures.

Tips for Designing a Book Trailer

The following are a general set of directions for designing a book trailer. They do not cover the actual how-to-technology for movie editing software such as Movie Maker or iMovie. You can find numerous how-to videos on YouTube for these. Rather, these are design tips you may find helpful.

  1. Start with the music. Select a piece of music that matches the theme of your book. Because of copyright issues, I searched through free music offerings and was able to find several sites that had free-downloads. Bensound.com is one such source. Purple-Planet.com and Freeplay.com are others.
  2. Get pics and vids. Next collect a group of photos and video clips you think you might use and put them in a folder on your computer. One good source of copyright free pic and vids is Unsplash.com.
  3. Choose your movie editor. Now open your movie editor and upload the visual “clip” you want for your opening. Choose something that immediately sets the mood of your book.
  4. Title it. Insert your intro caption into the visual. Your name or website name plus “presents” and then your title makes it look professional.
  5. Treat it. Select your text treatment (How you want your text to move or change) and your transition treatment (How you want one clip to change to the next). Note: These are called different things in the different programs.
  6. Unify. To create unity use the same transition and text design (font, color, size, & treatment) through out the whole trailer. Keep the colors close in hue and value too, except when you want to shock. For example, a mystery book trailer might be done in all black and white, except for a splash of red at the very end when the “killer” consequence is named.
  7. Use music as your guide. Now here’s the trick to making it all work. Put in the music track. This will help you place and time the remaining pic/vids and captions so they flow with the rise and fall of the music.
  8. Build your show. Now using the movie software put in each pic/vid, the transition (visual effect), and text effect one by one. Note: 3-4 seconds is the longest any image should play. Longer and it gets boring. Shorter 1 and 2 second clips can be used to make things more exciting.
  9.  Check timing. Adjust the timing of each, and put in your ending “Where to Buy” clip. When you upload on to YouTube you will be able to select a URL the viewer can click on right at the end of the video to take them to your buy page.
  10. End softly. Insert a black clip and fade the music out at the end. Voila! You’re done.

Here’s my very first book trailer. I’d love your comments!

Beneath the Skin Coming June 17th

Calling all readers!

I have just heard. The worldwide release date for my romantic suspense Beneath the Skin is June 17th, 2016. On that date, Beneath the Skin will be available for purchase through Wild Rose Press as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major book distributors. It will be offered as an e-book and as a paperback. Pre-orders will be available two weeks before the release date.  I will let you know specifically when.

I have lots of exciting book release events planned.

Beneath the Skin Book Trailer: Coming soon to the little screen – Ari and Melissa

Temporary Tattoos for You: A former art student of mine, now an accomplished tattoo artist, will be designing a Beneath the Skin temporary tattoo to be produced by Tattly of Brooklyn. I will be giving these out at book signings.

Facebook Trivia Party: What do you know about tattooing, graffiti, and life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn? This is your chance to share and learn, win prizes and become eligible for future giveaways!

Graffiti Mural Day: Explore the fascinating world of street art. Learn the difference between a tag, a fill, and a one-liner. Design your own tag and add it to our mural. Time and place to be announced.

Meanwhile, here is another excerpt from Beneath the Skin:

“Ari shifted slightly, capturing her roving hand. His long, powerful fingers wrapped around hers. Melissa did not doubt they were capable of breaking bones, but they were also capable of the lightest of touches. She turned her head and looked at him. Ari’s eyes were open, a faint smile curving his lips. A well-satisfied man. A good time to root out his secrets, learn who he really was before she totally lost her heart.”

Let me know what you think…I love your comments!

Love

Zara

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Beneath the Skin Book Cover Just Released

The book cover for Beneath the Skin is here!

Beneath the Skin Bookcover showing East River, bridges, two lovers

Back Cover Blurb

Ex-Olympic wrestler and reclusive billionaire artist Aristides Stavros has one mission—to rescue his sister, a popular tattoo artist from the old enemy who has kidnapped her. But at every turn, he is confronted by anthropologist Melissa Dermot. Is she just an innocent girl in over her head, or is she working for the international crime boss holding his sister?

Only one thing is certain–when Ari holds the beautiful Asian-American in his arms, questions of guilt and innocence fade against an undeniable fiery attraction. But can their wild passionate love survive the tangled web of long-buried secrets, intentional deceit, and murderous revenge that lie just beneath the surface?

Intrigued?

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Zara West loves all things dark, scary, and heart-stopping as long as they lead to true love. Zara spends winters in New York City where the streets hum with life, summers at the shore where the sea can be cruel, and the rest of the year anywhere inspiration for tales of suspense, mystery, and romance are plentiful.

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Beneath the Skin

Can love exist without trust?

I am so excited. My novel, Beneath the Skin, a romantic suspense, will be published by Wild Rose Press sometime next year. I have started this blog to track the progress of the book as it goes through the editing process.

Here is the storyline:

Beneath the Skin is the story of long hidden secrets, broken trust, and hope and love reborn.

Set in the hipster culture of contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the novel spans all levels of New York society from p the crews of graffiti artists who emblazon every wall and the tattoo artists who emblazon everyone’s skin to the rarefied lives of world-renowned artists, multi-millionaires, and international crime lords.

A Williamsburg, Brooklyn tattoo artist is missing, and Melissa Dermott blames herself and her desire to help abused women. But what Melissa, an NYU graduate anthropology student studying tattooing, doesn’t know, is that searching for her friend Bella will dredge up deeply buried secrets, putting her heart and life at risk. Because two men are also looking for Bella, and Melissa must choose which one to love and which one to flee.

If you’d like to experience the process of publishing a novel with me, sign up for my newsletter and to follow my blog posts.

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