DIY Your Free Book Trailer: A FreshVoicer Shows You How

Self-publishing a book is not an easy venture.

John Early, author, Tales of the Modern Nomad (2016)

John Early, author, Tales of the Modern Nomad (2016)

I am about to release my first book, Tales of the Modern Nomad – Monks, Mushrooms & Other Misadventures, and it has consumed my time and money with writing, editing, design, printing and every other decision in between. By the time I submitted my final manuscript—years after “starting”—I was ready to kick up my heels and enjoy the fruits of my labor…WRONG! I quickly learned that this is when the real hustle needs to start!

The initial push with marketing and promoting a new book makes all the difference in a saturated publishing industry. But it shouldn’t be seen as intimidating or an insurmountable  task to tackle. I’ve found it’s the most exciting time to be a new author! The campaign to sell your book is not only about what’s between the pages but the entire brand as a whole—and that means you, the author, too!

I’ve found it key to focus on my voice and unique skills that can blend with the concept of my book. When I was told that the crowdfunding campaign for my book should have a video, it was the last on my to-do list as I prepared to take my book to print.

I thought I would need professional cameras, editing and, of course, a budget (which, overall, has nearly doubled from my original high estimate of $15,000 CAD). Instead, I dusted off my limited video editing skills and an old copy of iMovie and made myself a book trailer.

  1.  Video content. I started with footage I filmed canoeing through the Amazon to set the tone and match the content of the book. The video then transitions into moving scans of the book’s interior by using a simple Ken Burns effect tool on screenshots from the final manuscript. I felt it was crucial to show how visual the book is and how diverse the content is.
  2. Text content. I used iMovie’s End Credits feature to scroll the names of the many countries that were written about to add context while I narrated the introduction.
  3. Studio. A quiet room and speaking into my built-in laptop microphone was all the ‘production equipment’ I needed.
  4. Narration. Since the book is both personal and written in the first person present tense, I felt self-narrating the book trailer was key.
  5.  Music. The entire trailer is backed by a song I had previously written and recorded with a friend. The end result is a unique and personalized 1 minute-long insight into my book that couldn’t have been captured in the same way by an expensive professional. More importantly, it cost me nothing except a little of my time and imagination to create!

You need to be an entrepreneur as much as an author when you choose to self-publish. When it comes to the promotion, marketing and business aspects of getting a book into readers’ hands—creativity and imagination is needed outside of the book just as much as it’s needed inside its pages.

Pura vida amigos!
John

Note & More Video Tips from Coach Suzanne: Hey FreshVoicers…John is currently running a book preorder crowdfunding campaign with some added fun incentives for people to help him cover the costs of getting Tales Of the Modern Nomad printed.  Be the first to get your hands on a copy. Find the campaign here!

And, if you have thoughts on a post that would help FreshVoice readers, you can submit it for consideration! We love to promote the work of others and share great ideas!

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