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Book trailers are a fun way to help market your book, whether you’re self-published, or with a traditional publisher. Sharing a video on social media is different than sharing text posts or pictures–and it even helps you branch out onto YouTube if you’re not already on there.
But book trailers can be expensive. From a simple Google search, prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
I’m going to share how you can make your own book trailer for free. It’s not going to cost anything except your time.
I made the following video for free using the tips outlined in this post:
What program do you make a book trailer in? For free?
I’m going to talk about two programs here, one is free, the other isn’t (but you might already have it on your computer).
The free one is called Libre Impress. It’s part of the LibreOffice suite of programs that rival Microsoft Office. And the whole suite of programs is free. I’m not affiliated with them or anything, I’m just a big fan of their free software.
Impress is very similar to PowerPoint, which you’ve probably heard of.
And PowerPoint is the other program. You might even already have it on your computer.
You will need some knowledge of how PowerPoint works, or be willing to Google on the finer points of making a slideshow. I personally don’t have much experience with PowerPoint, but am pretty good with Microsoft Office apps in general and was able to figure it out.
Where do you get free video or images for a book trailer?
My number one resource for stock photos and stock video is Pixabay. Is it really free? Can you use stock videos and photos for commercial use? Here’s what it says on their FAQ:
You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist.
Browse through and download photos or stock video you think will work for your trailer.
Where do you get free music for a book trailer?
I stumbled across the Free Music Archive when I made my trailer for The Starless Girl (which has amazing music by the way). The only downside to the FMA is that their search function isn’t great. The best way to find music is to look through the genre section.
Is it really free? Here’s what their FAQ says:
All music you’ll find here is free, meaning that it is available for you to download at no cost. What else you’re allowed to do with the music varies depending on the license that’s associated with each track.
So while you’re looking for songs, you’ll need to pay attention to what each song says about its license. The music I used for my trailer as mentioned above required that I attribute the artist wherever I used the music–so at the end of the trailer I listed the music attribution, and I also put it in the description on YouTube. Some tracks require you to email the composer first.
There’s also plenty of other places you can find free music, like Free Stock Music, just pay attention to the licensing and attribution rules there, too.
So, how do you make a book trailer?
You’ll want a few more things before you get started: an image of your book cover is best, and a general idea or plan–You might even want to write down the “script” beforehand, so you know what the trailer will say.
Here’s a few tips on building your book trailer with PowerPoint or similar:
– You can drag and drop your music right onto your first slide. Click on the icon once it’s there, then go to Playback in the top menu. Select “Start: Automatically”, “Hide During Show” and “Play in Background”
– Use the Rehearse Timings function to make your transitions move at the exact pace you want. This function lets you play the slideshow/video, while you tell it when to make the transition to the next slide, or the transition to the next piece of text or photo. PowerPoint will mark the length of time, and when you go to complete your video, it will have saved the times for you.
– When you’re done, you can export it as a video which you can then upload to your website, YouTube, or social media. Go to the menu, click Export, and select Create Video.