How to Create Book Trailers and Videos

© 2012 Linda Evans Shepherd

When I saw how Francis Chan turned his book Crazy Love into a multi-media event with a companion website filled with video, I knew I had to do the same for my latest book.

Not only was it fun to create a two-minute video for each chapter, it added value to the experience of my book. Now my readers and discussion groups can invite a tiny video-version of me to expand upon my teachings.

Here are some book video pointers:

  1. Equipment: I use a $200 Cannon video camera and a tripod to create my videos. You don’t have to use expensive equipment to produce quality videos.
  2. Setting: I create lovely sets in my own yard with steps, trees, and flowers as backdrops. When looking for settings, try to avoid flat walls. Look instead for locations that open at least ten feet of space behind you. Also, be careful to avoid optical illusions such as the appearance of a branch sticking out of your ear.
  3. Editing Software: PCs usually come with video editing software like Window’s Movie Maker. I also recommend Power Director. If not familiar with your editing software, search You Tube for tutorials.
  4. Video Length: Research shows most people will only watch 4-6 minutes of a “talking-head” video. Since people are even more inclined to watch shorter videos, you can cut that time in half and double your effectiveness.
  5. Music: Add music to your video. I’ve purchased whole CD libraries of royalty-free music on Ebay.
  6. Photos and Clips: To spice up your video, splice your own photos and video clips into your project or buy photos and clips from inexpensive royalty-free sites.
  7. QR Codes – If you create videos for your book, ask your publisher about adding QR codes to the manuscript. A QR or Quick Response code is a specific matrix barcode. Just aim the nearest smart phone at a QR code to automatically go to a website or watch a video.

Happy movie making!

For video trailer samples, visit:
When You Can’t Find God
When You Don’t Know What to Pray

For a sample of a chapter video, visit:
When You Can’t Find God: Chapter Videos

For examples of using photos and clips, visit:
The Potluck Club

For more information and tips on creating videos, visit:
Web TV Class

Ed. note: Linda has also graciously shared sites where writers can find products to use in creating quality book trailers and videos. Some products are free, and some are not. Write Life Workshops does not endorse any particular product, service, or company.

To purchase Power Director editing softwareCyberlink
To purchase royalty-free music and sound effectsMusic Bakery
To purchase royalty-free photos, video clips, and music:iStockPhoto
To create QR codesQuirify
Linda Evans Shepherd has published thirty books including When You Don’t Know What to Pray and How to Talk to God about Anything. She is the founder ofAdvanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

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