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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I've Finally Ventured into Book Trailers

Here's my first trailer, for Gay Greenhorn on the F/V Lost Agnes. In this blog post, I'll discuss where I found materials and the software I used for each step of the process. Eventually, I'll get my act together. (The trailer is totally safe for work. The book is NOT.)

I used mostly Public Domain photos, with a couple under Creative Commons license. The music is from Free PD. When I decided that my video needed seagulls squawking, I searched and found a free for commercial use clip from Freesound. I scrolled through fonts on 1001 Fonts until I found one that was labeled "free for commercial use" that fit the feel of my project.

Once my materials were collected, I worked on putting my slides together. For this book, I went with vague and mysterious. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I have no idea if the CONTENT of my trailers is effective. I'm talking ONLY about the assembly process. (And if you know what makes a good trailer, drop me a line.) Many authors use Canva to put covers and pics together. It's free and easy to use. I've been using Adobe Fireworks since I was in grad school (I think my first version was Macromedia Fireworks 3, but I will probably have to switch to using Photoshop one of these days because they discontinued Fireworks a couple years ago.), so that's my go-to photo editing software. 

For the audio, I used Audacity. I have the Adobe Creative Suite, but since Audacity is free and so easy to use, I always use it. It took me minutes to slap the music and seagull tracks into Audacity, adjust volume and the length of the clip, and export it to drop into my video project. 

To assemble the whole thing, I used Photo Story 3. It's been around since my 11 year old was born, but it's free and easy to use once you get the hang of it. (Much easier than Adobe Premiere, which keeps getting more sophisticated, and I haven't kept up with the changes.) I have some tricks for making it work for me. I'll share them in a tutorial or something when I find the time. 

You should check out author A.M. Manay's blog post about making trailers. She inspired me to make this trailer. And she is a hell of a writer. 

Share your tips in the comments. Please. I'm desperate.


  1. Aw, thanks! And I really like your trailer!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I may get into this one of these days... still getting my courage together!

    1. Courage smourage. Just do it, cookie. (If you don't know how, I'll teach you. Not till summer though. This is my master's in ed tech at work. I'm not sure this was what the Catholic university had in mind when they handed me my diploma.)