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Anyone made a book trailer?

edited September 2015 in Writing
I'd like to have a go using the sort of images I've got on pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/anasalote/oy-yew/
Would a powerpointy type thing look crap?


  • Where will it be shown?
  • I can't see the point - in that a book is so totally different to a film, it's a different medium. Books have to be substantially changed to fit a film format, and a trailer film needs to be slick, fast, cliffhangery, full of exciting music, and edited incredibly well, in fact it's a skill in itself that is not even managed by some experienced editors, let alone someone who isn't an editor.

    Te music alone would be tricky as it would have to be original as using something already composed would be prohibitive and anyway it would have to be the right length for your trailer.

    A real trailer would cost an enormous amount and thus be pointless as a route to get more money.

    A powerpoint - well, they are easy to make, but the most you can really do to make them exciting is use different ways of changing slides. Most people's attention cannot be/is not held by a powerpoint.

    What would you use it for?
  • Plus, you'd have to have copyright clearance for all pictures.
  • My husband did me a Youtube film as a joke.

    As Liz says, to do anything any good would be expensive, unless you can do it all yourself and use only uncopyrighted images and sound.

    Unless it's fantastic and goes viral, I doubt it would sell many more books as people will probably only see it if you point them to it and if you can do that, you can try to sell the book in other ways.
  • Here it is -

    There's this as well -

    I stress these were just done for fun and are not examples of how to go about creating a trailer.
  • Have a look at Rosemary Gemmell's book trailers.

  • Ana, if you are willing to pay for images, Depositphotos is a great place to get them. Their copyright rules are not as difficult as some sites. For music, look up Kevin McLeod at InCompetech. He has free downloads as long as you credit his work at the end of your clip.

    I did a very short clip as an experiment using Animoto a couple of years ago, but it's had very few hits, so I don't think it was really worth it.
  • I've got a friend who paid real actors to bring her extremely well-written (published traditionally) book to life. But she is no Director. The resulting film looked 'studenty' and did not reflect the book's excellence at all - I tin this is what I'm trying to say, you have to be sure your level of competence in what is a completely different medium is as sound as your competence as a writer - and I don't think this is possible.

    Your book is excellent. It is a BOOK. Do booky things to advertise it!
  • (The drawings are very attractive and gothic - what about getting together with the artist and producing a series of cards for people to buy and send?)
  • Good advice as always.
    Liz - I keep hearing that we live in a visual age and didn't want to miss a trick, but I acknowledge my total lack of competence so I'm happy to stick to booky things.
    PM - fun is a great reason for doing anything. Good to see those clips again; they make me smile.
    Nena - that looks good to me. Shame about the hit rate.
    Carol - thanks I'll have a look.
  • Oh, and Nena, you've got some stunning boards.
  • I think the problem is that a book trailer, even a good one, is only likely to be seen by people who are already interested in the book, or in you as a writer. The chances of one "going viral" must be vanishingly small. So it means you have something else to promote, in order to get people to look at it. Whether that's worth diverting time and effort away from actually promoting the book is a judgement call only you can make.

    Jonathan Pinnock did some silly but entertaining promo videos for his comedy book Mrs Darcy Versus the Aliens, but even they only got a couple of thousand hits. I think with a funny book it doesn't really matter if the video isn't professional as long as the trailer makes people laugh.
  • Thanks, Ana. I have to admit I really love Pinterest. It's wonderful to be able to collect so many wonderful pictures together into one spot.
  • Yes, Pinterest is great. I'm currently compiling private boards for each of my long projects, so when they are published (in whatever form) then I'll make them public.
  • I'm not sure about Pinterest. I can't understand the copyright issues. I've had poems shared on it - clearly marked as copyright. 'Linking back' to the original material in no way allows you to use copyright material. Why should someone else benefit (loads of praise for the 'collector' for MY poem!), with no discernable benefit to me?
  • Liz, it's the fact that the link is there so it can be seen where it has come from. And many sites now have the pin badge to share their pages/photos.

    You can contact Pinterest for removal. See this link with the link to the copyright complaint form also.

  • It seems to be considered fine by most people for copyright material to be used as long as the creator is mentioned and they remove it if that person complains.

    I don't think that's fine at all.
  • Quite. It's not my job to chase round the internet finding my stuff and asking for it to be removed. i think Pinterest needs looking at.
  • Doesn't Pinterest get around the copyright issue by the pictures on there not actually being copies? Effectively they're just previews of what you'd see if you followed the link back to the source, so the actual artwork is viewed from its source location, i.e. it isn't duplicated. Is that how it works? I'm not a Pinterester, so I might not fully understand, but I thought that was the general idea.

    Even so, it does seem to be exploiting a gray area that only applies to the internet. Even if it doesn't break any laws it still contributes to the general erosion of copyright, and encourage the mentality that people can just grab anything they like online without bothering to think about the person that spent hours (days, weeks, etc) creating it.

  • Even so, it does seem to be exploiting a gray area that only applies to the internet. Even if it doesn't break any laws it still contributes to the general erosion of copyright, and encourage the mentality that people can just grab anything they like online without bothering to think about the person that spent hours (days, weeks, etc) creating it.
    This is an interesting point.
    I regularly use the internet for research and I use that research in my own work - I use what I learn through research - I don't plagiarise.
    Don't we all use research - whether via the internet, books, or interviewing 'experts'?
    So, could internet research constitute theft of copyright?
  • No copyright in ideas, Claudia, only reproducing the actual work (words or pictures eg) can be a breach. Reading, digesting, being inspired by, incorporating themes - all OK.
  • Yes, ideas are fine.

    Linking to work the creator has posted online is fine too in theory. Maybe that is how pinterest works - like Dan I've not used it so I don't know.

    Clicking 'share' on facebook and retweeting pictures etc is fine too. It's when they're used in something else WITHOUT PERMISSION, even just a new tweet or facebook post, that there's a breach of copyright. Saying where you got it from makes no difference to this.
  • Ana - i was just reading a comment on our new poetry film, a Hindu performer reading poems about Diwali, and thought - actually just getting someone to read your first chapter straight to camera would be a brilliant book trailer. A REAL trailer... and might just work because it's so simple and engaging and you really would want to know what happens next.
  • Would you put it on your website, Ana?
  • Liz pipped me to the posr! A simple video of you reading an extract will be fine. Book trailers do seem to be the done thing these days. If you don't want to be in the video, show a selection of illustrations instead.
  • Simples. I'm warming to that idea, Liz n Lou.
  • edited November 2015
    Just spotted this thread and remembered I'd seen a great book trailer for one of Peter May's novels, so I had to do a search and found it! I imagine he threw a lot of money at it though, as it's very professional.

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