Making A Book Trailer and Riddle Competition
Hi, I'm writer-in-residence for the month of July.
What’s a book trailer?
A book trailer is a teaser, a peephole into the world of your story, a way to entice a reader to buy your book.
My Book Trailer
My young adult novel, Little Paradise is a story set in 1940’s Melbourne and Shanghai during the Second World War.
It’s a coming of age story, an adventure, a romance, a story of war and how it divides people and nations.
The first thing you need if you want to make a trailer is a script. I had a rough idea of the length, how many images I was going to use and the mood I wanted to convey.
As in films, music is important. It sets the mood, the feel of what the book has in store for the reader. But you can’t just use any piece of music. I’m sure, like most young people, you’ve download music illegally over the internet. But if you’re making a book trailer and want to put up on Youtube or on a public website, you have to find royalty free music. Otherwise you could be sued big dollars.
If you’re making a trailer for your own use or for a school project then there wouldn’t be any problem.
There are several royalty free music sites. For a small fee I purchased the music from stockmusic.net I listened to hundreds of demos before I found the right one. It’s a tiring and slow process but well worth the hours. There is a piece sitting among the many thousands that is just right.
Like music, images are also protected by copyright. I looked at Getty Images and Dreamstime Getty is expensive especially if you want a vintage shot. For example, an image of 1948 Shanghai would have cost me $306 for just one year of use.
Instead I found a photo of Shanghai on Dreamstime. It’s not historic, but still gives the feel of old Shanghai with the boat and the city in the background.
The image of Melbourne 1943 came for free from the State Library of Victoria They have a wonderful collection of digitalised photos that are no longer under copyright. And so do all the libraries in the capital cities of the state you’re living in.
Sourcing your own images
Taking your own shots is best because you can take them just how you want them to be. And best of all, they’re free.
As Little Paradise is based on my mother’s story I was able to use a beautiful photo of her taken when she was 18 years old. It was shot by a well known fashion photographer called Athol Smith.
And the photo of the soldier is my father. He was 22 and had been sent as an intelligence officer to Australia by the Chinese government. In China he trained as a spy. Luckily he was sent to Australia instead of behind enemy lines like his class mates, most of who were killed.
Making the movie
Now that I had all the elements, my son Ren used imovie (the movie making software that comes with an Apple Mac to put it all together. He’s made numerous surfing and snowboarding videos before so he does it easily. That doesn’t mean it was quick though. It still took days to get right.
Although I’m forever hoping that a Hollywood producer will email me one day offering me a mega movie deal for one of my novels, a book trailer is probably the closest I’ll ever come to seeing my name on the big screen.
And I did get to see it on the big screen when I spoke about my work at the State Library of Victoria. What a thrill that was.
Here’s the book trailer for Little Paradise
A Ghost in My Suitcase is another book trailer Ren and I made together.
The first 2 people to guess this riddle will
WIN A SIGNED COPY OF LITTLE PARADISE
I shout without a mouth
Blaring north and south
My noise is there for hire
Strung along a wire
The winners will be announced at the end of the month in my final blog entry.
My next blog post ~ A True Ghost Story - Part 1