Why creating a book trailer doesn’t need to be difficult

We’ve all seen movie trailers and now we are starting to see the rise of the book trailer too. Just go onto YouTube and search for book trailer, you’ll end up with over 2 million search results. I don’t know about you but the thought of creating book trailers just feels a bit daunting to me, I hate being videod at the best of times and can’t bear listening to recordings of myself either. I have avoided them like the plague. However, eventually I decided that I needed to give in and have a go at creating my own. The book I chose to do one for is LinkedIn Made Easy: Business social networking simplified. It’s got a brand new third edition out this year and the time seemed right.

A few years ago (2009) to be exact, I gave a presentation to a local networking group called The Power of Group is Infinite. As I often do, I created a set of PowerPoint slides to accompany the presentation together with a version for my favourite sharing site, Slideshare. At the very end of the one I had added a picture of the second edition of LinkedIn Made Easy with a link to a site that no longer worked.

The easiest thing for me to do was revisit this set of slides and the presentation, so I hauled them off my back-up drive and set to work. I updated the background and some of the figures I used. I had also found a Royalty Free soundtrack when I originally created it and although I was pretty sure I’d done all the necessary legal stuff (re copyright etc …) I couldn’t prove it. It took a little time to find the track online again and sure enough, I was fine I could use it. I saved the presentation in two formats, firstly as a normal PowerPoint presentation and then as PNG files, which meant that each slide became a single image residing in a single folder.

Once I’d got the slides sorted out it was time to fire up Camtasia Studio which is the video editing software I use. Importing the presentation images was a matter of clicking import, finding the right set of slides and then adding them to the Camtasia timeline in the right order. As each slide is numbered this is a very simple task.

I then imported my music track and could see how long I needed to make the whole presentation so that the music and slides fitted together seamlessly. By extending some slides (because they had more to read) and reducing others (because they had less to read) I was able to come up with a perfect match of vision and sound.

Camtasia allows you to save the file specifically for the web in the correct format for uploading to websites, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo or any of a whole host of other sharing options.

My final task was to update the Slideshare Power of Group is Infinite presentation with the new version of the PowerPoint presentation and then delete the original video I’d created in 2009 and upload the new one to YouTube. You can see the final video below:

Let’s say you are a bit more ambitious though, what else could you achieve. Earlier this year I had to create a video for my KickStarter project and they recommend you speak to the camera; I baulked at the idea and eventually came up with the idea of doing a voice-over instead. However, I do have one little video clip (taken on my mobile phone) at the beginning to show that I a real person. The biggest difference with this one was that I created a slideshow in PowerPoint with the correct transitions (movements between slides) before importing it into Camtasia. I could definitely improve this video and that’s where I’ll carry on practising and trying things out.

Both of these are relatively simple to set up and create using a combination of PowerPoint and Camtasia. What have you used to create book trailers? Are there any book trailers you particularly like? If so, please do share them with me as I’d love to get some more ideas.

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