Writing Advice

Resources to Make a Book Trailer For Free

So you want to make a book trailer, but you don’t have the budget of a Hollywood production. Here’s what you can do to make your book trailer for free:

  1. Get a group of friends together, a camera and film it

This is how Elizabeth made her first book trailer a few years back. She was lucky to have some really good friends, she made a storyboard of what she wanted to include in the trailer, asked her friends if they wanted to star in it and if they wanted to film it and they said yes. So they went to the park one day during the summer holidays, shot everything and then it was just put all the different videos together in Microsoft Live Movie Maker. With the help of Sabrina Malana, they composed the music and voila:

Lostling Book Trailer

Of course this method limits what you can do in the trailer without any specialist equipment or software for special effects, and maybe you want something more in your trailer – especially if you are writing a fantasy or sci-fi story. It’s hard to come by aliens who want to star in book trailers these days.

2. Use royalty free clips

This blog has a list of 19 websites where you can download ‘Stock Video Intros and Footage’.

Our favourites from the list would be IgniteMotion.com – they have some beautiful and really cool video backgrounds and Flix Press for their titles and intros. However, bear in mind that some of these require you to sign up. Other websites that you can try include:

3. Use royalty free pictures

Elizabeth’s favourite website for royalty-free pictures is Pixabay. There are a whole host of other websites that you could try too:

You could also use Deviantart Stock photos – but you will need to create a deviantart account, and check what the creator of the image requires you to do in order to use their image – sometimes this means accreditation, and posting a link into the comments section so they can check out what you have made.

4. Use royalty free music

This post has a list of 10 Royal Free Music Sites that you can check out to see if the music suits your video. Here are some other links:

To edit audio, the easiest software to use is Audacity – this has a wide range of features and isn’t too difficult to use.

Note: Do pay attention to the terms of the licence, and what usage rights there are. Some require accreditation, and a link to their website for using their work, others don’t – so make sure you know what is expected of you if you want to use a particular image, piece of music or video.

4. YouTube

There are some YouTubers that create and upload royalty free, creative commons videos such as AlexFreeStockVideo and FootageIsland. The videos can be downloaded free of charge, for your own use.

For more information about creating a book trailer, we’d suggest checking out Joanna Penn’s brilliant blog post.

5. Find a good video editor

For creating our book trailer we used Windows Movie Maker. While it’s a very simple program and doesn’t have a lot of extra features, it’s incredibly easy to use and doesn’t require much of a learning curve. However there are a lot of options for video editing software, some of the higher end software like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut are used by professionals but can be expensive option. There are many free video editing software available and among them is DaVinci Resolve, where the full version that you have to pay for is used by Hollywood professionals. The free version of DaVinci Resolve is not as limited as most free options are, and so it worth a try.

Do you have any other tips to add? Tell us in the comments below.

-Elizabeth and Nadia


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