I just completed not one, but two, book trailers for The Pluto Diaries: Confessions of a Former Ninth Planet! I'm pleasantly surprised at how good they turned out and I think I can be proud to put them up. I do think they accomplish the main goals of a book trailer: attract the audience (though, admittedly, people must find and decide to view my trailer first - getting people to it is a whole other task), accurately present the tone and content of the book, and convince viewers to pursue the book further. It's a great accomplishment, and I think I will find them useful in many ways, though I cannot say whether they will actually drive sales or not. The trailers can go on my Amazon author and listing pages to help buyers make a decision, on my website to convince buyers to follow the Amazon link to the sales page, and I can link to them in any promoting I do. I will also put them on Youtube, and If I can find book trailer sites to show them off, I will list them there as well.
I hadn't expected to be able to make my own book trailers, and had been considering several options. Should I go to Fiverr and have someone make it for me? This was definitely an affordable option. There was no way I could consider anything much more expensive than the simple packages that are abundant on Fiverr. I knew I had to be cautious because book trailers don't necessarily do a lot for authors, though there's always the chance they could be noticed and that they could lead to sales. And professional ones are hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Better to think in terms of something simple and low-cost, I decided. If the goals for my trailer were modest, then a simple trailer done right had a definite chance of succeeding.
So, I took a good look on Fiverr. But most sellers I looked at used a simple slide show-like presentation. In the beginning, I thought this would be fine (I hadn't seen many book trailers and the thought of having one in any form was pretty exciting). Since I didn't know how to make a slide show already and was swamped with stuff to do for the book, it made sense to just pay someone else to do it. But, as I've discovered, my goals in many areas of this Pluto project expand over time. I began to wonder if there was a way to get more bang for my buck, a way to create something a little more eye-catching than a plain slide-show, while still keeping it simple enough and affordable.
I also wondered if it might actually be easy enough to figure out how to make a slide show on my own. And I knew that even if I went to a Fiverr seller, I'd still have to put in a lot of work to get all the images and music to the person making the trailer for me, in addition to figuring out the exact wording. (Many sellers would do the wording for you using a book blurb you provide, but I am the writer of my book, and I don't feel comfortable leaving the writing of any part of it up to anyone else.) If I wanted something with a little more pizazz that was still affordable, I was going to have to check if there was a way to do it myself. So, I decided I'd put in a few hours to at least see how difficult it could be to make a slide presentation on my own. I was fairly certain it wasn't horrendously difficult, but I was also very busy and didn't have the skill set to be confident I could do it.
In the process of figuring that out, I discovered Powtoon. Powtoon allows you to make short, animated clips, and if your goals line up with the non-paid options, you can even do it for free. It is a slide show presentation that uses still images, but some simple animations can be done with text and images (I was so happy to see I could import my own images, although animations were more limited with this type of image.) There were enough tricks and pizazz available on Powtoon to make the special slide show I was after. The one I created really captured what I wanted people to see about my story. And in the end, the feel of what I created looked more like a professional trailer than a simple slide show. I was so happy with the results I made two trailers, each a different take on the story. There was really no reason not to! I plan to possibly make a third one that is a video montage of some cartoons in the book. We'll see how that goes.
You can view the book trailers I was able to create in Powtoon here: