It's not as scary as it sounds and it doesn't have to be harder than you make it. If you're not too fussy and don't need a complicated trailer you might already have everything you need. However, if you want to bring it the pros for your promotional book videos, consider us at 2Bridges.
Newer cell phones are able to capture video clips. Most digital cameras now come with video capability. Your home computer might have a program already installed such as 'Windows Movie Maker' or another home movies program.
Assuming you plan on uploading your creation to a site like YouTube, you'll need to create an account. You should review other promotional book videos to get some idea of what successful ones look like. Those that have a high number of views in a short period of time may not necessarily be the best but they've been more successful in attracting attention. You may not be able to recreate the success of those that have preexisting fame or fortune behind them but you should still get some good ideas.
You should attempt to keep the length of your video to a few minutes and no more than ten. Not only do video hosting sites have time limitations, people using the Internet tend to have little patience for longer productions. A shorter bit will be easier to create which is better when you're still on a learning curve. It will also increase the probability of other users sharing your clip. Don't be overly concerned with copyrighting these early attempts since the whole point is to create promotion. You want the video clip to be seen by as many people as possible.
You'll either need to create a storyline or some kind of plot. A conglomeration of your favorite photos may not make much sense to someone else. Keep in mind what you've learned from other videos. Common threads include some kind of teaser, easy to read lettering and audio that's easy to listen to. Most of all you need to make it interesting.
One constant in the universe is the size compatibility between most cameras (35mm, digital and video cameras) and tripods. Two tripods are ideal for this kind of film making. One is a miniature or table top tripod, which can also be used for shooting lower lying objects. It can also create a perspective of looking upwards to make objects appear larger. The other is an adjustable standard size that allows the head to swivel for tracking movement.
Another decision is whether to use still shots or video. Some programs will allow you to use a combination of video and photographs. Using both can create an attention getting clip but you also want to avoid the accidental creation of visual 'motion sickness.'
If you plan to use music make sure you have permission. You want to promote your book, not be sued for copyright violation. A host site may delete all or part of your video if it discovers someone else owns the audio. The same goes for any material that might belong to someone else, regardless of format. Make sure you include any necessary credits at the end of your promotional video.
When you use a computer program to assemble your video you can drop and drag files, then import the audio. Some programs will allow you to add voiceovers. Otherwise you may have to record an audio file with a peripheral device and upload it to your computer first. You may need to change the length of time your pictures or videos are displayed if your voiceover or music is too long or short for the clip's duration. This also comes in handy if you have to narrate your video with a microphone.
It's a good idea to play around with the various options available. You may be able to change the length of time your pictures remain, whether pictures zoom or fade in or out or add special effects. In some programs these functions are accessed through a customize button. You'll be able to add or change the title and credits and choose things like font and background color.
Don't neglect the titles and credits. While it's easier to use the default fonts and sizes it may be worth taking the time to choose ones that are more in keeping with your video. Preview the text until you find a font that looks good with the clip. You choice of size will need to allow the text to fit within the viewing window. Keep the text to a minimum to allow for a larger font size.
Your title segment should include the clip's title and whatever username you have for the site. The credits segment should include any person or business who gave you permission, your username or website and some venue where your book can be purchased. If someone has taken the time to watch your entire video, don't let them down at the end by giving them no place to go.
Once your video is complete you can save it in a format suitable for uploading. The programs for creating videos on your computer are basically working files. Saving your video in a compatible format for uploading may take quite a bit of time. It depends on the video length and the operating speed of your computer. Give yourself up to two hours for the conversion of a ten minute video clip, especially if your computer is a bit older.
When you upload your video to an Internet sharing site like YouTube, you can rename the file (who wants to watch a video entitled 'movie 001?') Other options are available, such as whether you allow comments, ratings or video responses. You can also choose whether to show your video to the world or limit its access to just a few people. Don't forget to add tags since people use them to search.
Once your video is successfully uploaded some sites create code that you can use to recreate your video on other social networking sites. You can also copy and paste the URL to various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You may want to send the link to people on your email list-as long as you avoid turning it into spam. If you have a website, post a link there as well. That will help people find your video, which will hopefully generate interest in your book.
Finally, if you need professional consultation about how to promote your product, learn more on how video can do just that.