So I decided to try to make my own book trailer. I should have kept my first ever draft, but I saved over it. When I realized that it was worth showing a before/after, I did save one of the older drafts.
The images are from Shutter Stock, which is also where a lot of cover designers get the raw material for their cover art (including me), and the music is from Premium Beat. Since I don't have the talent or resources to do a live action trailer, I knew I had to invest a little into getting professional images, and especially into music. Premium Beat does movie trailer music, as in what people in Hollywood literally buy for their trailers. The site has a cheaper rate for us small time indie folks. What is absolutely critical in any business you start up is to be thrifty, not cheap. The idea is to get good value for money, not avoid spending it altogether. If you can only afford a slideshow trailer, then you pay good money to make it the very best slideshow trailer you can afford, and if you can do live action, invest in making it look professional. Having a bunch of your friends in a park speaking Old English with people throwing frisbees in the background is a complete waste of your money. Having no trailer is better than having a bad one.
Sooo, I had to see if I could make a "not bad" one. Here is the first "final draft" version I created:
As I said, the above trailer was my first "final draft", where I thought, "Okay, that'll work". Only it doesn't. There are many, many flaws in it, but the ones I spotted were:
1) No reference to my website. Oops. Duh. I should have that in there because this trailer is embedded in other sites all over the net, including Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon. It's therefore not enough to mention my website only on YouTube, as not everyone will even see the YouTube page.
2) The text flashes by too fast in parts: Now this is a hard one. My problem is that I'm a speed reader, as in a super speed reader, as in I read Twilight in one day and part of another book too. When the last Harry Potter novel came out, my husband and I were both reading it on a plane. I sat on his right because I was soon one page ahead of him, and within an hour, I was half the book ahead of him. Therefore, I do not have a good concept of how long it takes people to read the text. If they can't read it, that's really ineffective. I'm not sure I was able to fix this one entirely, but I think I made it better.
3) The placement and formatting of the text is weird in places: "Her boyfriend is devoted" has a weird indent in part of it. "the senior class psycho" displays right over a large white portion of the picture for a long time, and worst is the end. I have my sand castle image there, and you'll note the title and my name are positioned to crash right into it. All of this was due to my using Microsoft Movie Maker and it's not intuitively obvious how to position text with that program. I finally figured out that if I had blank lines before or after the text, that would move it up or down the screen.
4) Poor timing of images: I couldn't fix all of this because I don't really know what I'm doing, but where possible I tried to line up more of the image changes to the beats in the music. I think Microsoft Movie Maker offers very limited capability on that score. Some of the images are too slow, like the diary excerpts. You don't actually need to read those, so those can flash by much faster and just give the gist.
5) Too much text in some frames: I really was conscious of how long the whole trailer was because a lot of ones I've seen go on too long. But I figured out in the end that this was a scripting issue more than a trailer editing one. Trailers that go on too long try to cover too much of the plot and get into subplots. Here my experience submitting manuscripts came in very handy. I only talk about the central plot with just a few hand waving hints to subplots in the setup. Given I'd kept the script tight, I could afford to take more time to display less text per frame and keep it on screen long enough for the person to absorb it.
Is the final product perfect? No it is not, but I think it is better, and given it's my first ever book trailer, it's not a complete disaster. See what you think: