A few years ago book videos were the big new thing and it seemed like every author was making them or having them made. The craze seems to have died down a bit, but book videos are still definitely on the scene. They can be as fancy as the ones made by Circle Seven Productions http://www.cosproductions.com/, some even with live actors, or as simple as a few second vid of a book blurb set to music.
I’ve done numerous surveys of my readership to see what people think of book trailers and have come to the conclusion that they’re not really a cost effective method of book promotion. I’ve definitely sold a few books thanks to the videos I make, but probably not enough to justify the cost. I still make them anyway because I love them, and life is too short not to do things I love. They’re really more of a hobby than anything else for me, but if one of my vids should tempt a reader into buying one of my books—well, then, score.
The book videos I do for my books cost an average of $100. That cost is stock music, stock video footage and stock photography. Notice the term ‘stock’. I buy licenses for everything in my book vids and never, ever infringe anyone’s copyright. You can’t just pluck your fav song off your iTunes list, you need a royalty free piece.
Music – It’s the most important element in my opinion. Very rarely do I easily find the right bit of stock music easily. The search for the right music is the most time consuming part of book video production because music invokes emotion, and that emotion you’re invoking in the viewer needs to fit the feel of the novel. I used high-energy goth type music for my Elemental Witches series. For my Dark Magick series, the music I search out is dark and mystical. Once I find the right music, it’s (pretty much) downhill from there. My favorite place to buy stock music is www.stockmusic.net
Storyboard with Stock photography/stock video – I generally do this step at the same time. I plan out the text for every “scene” and find an image that works best to tell the story. When I’m texting out the book video I distill the novel down to its very basic parts, pretty much just down to the main conflict(s). That’s not an easy thing to do (as any author who has ever written a synopsis or a book blurb will tell you).
I love to use little bits of stock video to add movement and give the vid a more polished feel. My fav find was the section in my Wicked Enchantment video that depicts my villain, Gideon Amberdoyal. I could never have found a more perfect bit to depict him. In my Cruel Enchantment video I used an approaching thunderstorm with sound effects to symbolize the coming conflict between my hero and heroine. My favorite place to buy stock photos/video is www.istockphoto.com
After that I decide which image to use to open the vid and put everything together using Windows Movie Maker. I hear there are more complex programs to use, but Movie Maker is simple, has always worked well for me, and it came free on my computer, so bonus.
Here are a few examples of books videos I’ve made recently.