#22: Book trailers & Google alerts

Let’s talk about book trailers.

These are 1-2 minute presentations – uploaded onto your website and your YouTube channel – that describe your book in the same way a movie trailer describes a movie. They are teasers, meant to make people want to read your book.

The problem is – you don’t have moving footage of your characters, settings, scenes, etc. Out of necessity, then, these trailers are made from still photos using a program such as PowerPoint, and then converted to video. You can do this yourself, or hire a company to do it for you.

Book trailer companies charge fees beginning around $300 for their services. These costs include creation and distribution, but to be honest, they would have to drive a ton of book sales to make the cost worthwhile.

You are looking at 500 additional traditionally published paperback sales to cover the basic trailer package price. Because the effectiveness of book trailers is unknown and unprovable, you will have to decide this one on your own.

Of course, you can make your own trailer for the cost of, say, $12-$20 in purchased photos plus approximately $50 for a conversion program: a cost which will be apportioned over all the trailers you create.

If you – or someone you know – are at all tech savvy and artistic, by all means create your own! PowerPoint is the simplest way to begin. Once you have your slide show completed, you can convert it to a video through any one of several programs available online. Leawo will allow you to download theirs for free and try it out (when you purchase it, their logo disappears). Go to:

and click on the PowerPoint to Video program. But remember:

All photos used must be legal, which means they meet one of these criteria:

1. You took them yourself.

2. You purchased the right to use them from a stock photo site such as Fotolia.

3. You took them from a free site such as Flickr and credited the source.

All music must be legal as well, which means they meet one of these criteria:

1. You composed it yourself.

2. You purchased the right to use them from a stock music site such as:

3. The music is over 99 years old and is in the public domain.

Once you have created a video you are satisfied with, upload it on your website and YouTube channel. Link it to your blog and announce it on Twitter. Inform the world that it’s there!

Now – Have you “Google alerted” yourself? Did you know you can?

Google offers a free service that notifies you via email when some person or thing which you have placed an “alert” on appears on the web. Here’s how:

1. Sign in or create a Google account.

2. Click on My Account in the upper right corner.

3. Alerts are under My Products on the left. Click that and fill in the blanks!

4. You can alert any person, place or thing that you want, and as many as you want.

Right now I only have my AUTHOR name, but later I’ll add book titles, my publisher’s name, character names, cities where my stories take place and anything else related that I can think of.

When you receive a notice, click on the site where your AUTHOR name was mentioned, post the link on your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter. Forward it to everyone you know!

And if it’s a message board or blog, enter comments! Thank them for the mention! Pitch your book! Be upbeat, friendly and positive. Point them to your website which will lead them to your blog, Facebook and Twitter. Work it.

Again I say – if you are not yet comfortable with technology, get there now. If you shrug it off, you are shrugging off your future success. In today’s market-society-publishing technology isn’t optional, it’s critical.

I’m 56 years old. I learned it because I wasn’t afraid of it; there is no reason to be. Stop thinking about technology as a big bad bugaboo that is beyond your comprehension and open your eyes. It’s easy when you toss aside your fear. Put your paper and pencil down, read the screen, and choose what you want to do next.

You. Can. Do. It.

I did: http://www.youtube.com/user/ktualla

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6 Responses to “#22: Book trailers & Google alerts”


  1. 1 ScareyAZ 02/15/2010 at 10:49 AM

    Kris,

    Thank you so much for sharing information about book trailers. I saw yours and thought it most brilliant. With everyone so techno oriented and reliant these days, no doubt this is the way to grab their attention. All my best!

    • 2 kristualla 02/15/2010 at 11:25 AM

      Thank you! As I play with it more, I hope to be able to incorporate more “effects” – but the keys are: keep it moving and talk about your SPECIFIC plot. Some I see are way too generic: “A reluctant loner, who has to save the world…” Been there/done that. Why is YOUR loner DIFFERENT?

      Kris 🙂

  2. 3 Ronda Sarner Anderson 02/15/2010 at 11:20 AM

    Hi Kris,

    As always, I found your post to be highly informative and enjoyable. I’m trying to get over my fear of technology. This post and the one on facebook and Twitter will get me moving in the right direction.

    The best video that I’ve seen on how to make videos is at http://www.thevideoboss.com/traffic-boss. Andy Jenkins breaks it down in real simple steps. (And he’s pretty entertaining along the way).

    Thanks,

    Ronda

  3. 4 kristualla 02/15/2010 at 11:27 AM

    Thanks for the link – I’ll check him out!
    Kris 🙂

  4. 5 David Jones 02/15/2010 at 11:44 AM

    Once a teacher, always a teacher. Thanks so much for the information you have shared over the past weeks. Like a squirrel, I’ve cached them away for future use.

  5. 6 kristualla 02/15/2010 at 6:02 PM

    Ha! So true.
    Kris 🙂


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