Check it out below:
It’s taken a fair few months to put it all together. I’ve been through several versions, and am pretty happy to finally have settled on this one. Making a trailer for your novel can be extremely challenging. Where do you even begin? How do you turn a written medium into a visual one?
My initial plan was to do a live-action presentation, since making a trailer for a book that hasn’t been made into a movie presents a number of difficulties. Namely, that nothing you want to film from the book actually exists in real life. This is doubly-difficult for a sci-fi, fantasy world where nothing in the book exists anywhere at all.
I spent some time pondering it, and eventually came up with some ideas I thought would translate well to the screen. If I acted out a small scene from the book, and sort of made a visual metaphor for the world the book took place in, I thought I could recreate the feeling of the story. So I purchased some set pieces and props, and got to work with a team of photographers and video editors from my work. I work at a TV station, so I think I have a bit of a leg up on others trying to put something like this together all on their own. I’m fortunate enough to have those resources so I don’t have to do this by myself, and I definitely took advantage of that.
However, it also meant the project was moving forward with the approval of the station owner, who it turned out didn’t share my enthusiasm for the grand world of Errolor, and didn’t see the necessity of employing an entire team of people to make a promo for my book. So that idea was quickly scrapped, and it was back to the drawing board.
I threw out the live-action element, and instead focused on using existing footage of places from around the world that resembled my vision of Errolor. Lots of forests and jungles and ruins, a la Cambodia and Peru. But that ended up being cumbersome and didn’t really convey the sense of grandeur I was going for, and was definitely held back by a ridiculous voice track I recorded in as deep a voice as I could muster. I tried to channel my inner Liam Neeson or Sir Ian McKellen—a noble goal, but it ended up sounding more like the guy who might call you up in the middle of the night to ask what you’re wearing.
So I dialed back the voice, bought some new stock footage of planets and sweeping space vistas, re-wrote the track, and got it re-edited lickety-split. At this point, the whole process had taken about 9 months, and I was seriously eager to get it done and send it out into the world. So after revising my book for the umpteenth time and re-releasing it as a third edition on Amazon, I finally allowed the trailer to go live. It’s now airing on national TV in the US, and I’m incredibly excited to see how it all turns out.
Making a book trailer has been a priority for a long time. It’s kind of an essential step for modern book publishing, and although you can get away without one, having a polished trailer is something that can really help to beef up your publishing resume. And, of course, whenever there’s a chance to plug a video into a website for promotional purposes, such as Amazon allows you to do on your author page (see mine for example). Self-published authors have a lot of tools in their proverbial belts these days, and although your book is a written medium, getting the word out about it shouldn’t be.