This is a copy-paste of my answer to a friend’s question. Create Space will do a fabulous job to make your trailer for you, IF you have $2200 to pay them. Still, even if you let somebody else to create your trailer for you, somebody who had not stayed up with you and cried with you while you bled completing your book, you may want to have a say in the making of it, and here are a few things to consider.
Fellow writers, tell me, what is a trailer? I have a chance for my Mermaid book to be spotlighted on Ngaire Victoria Elder’s blog and one of the things she asked for was a trailer if I had one. How does one go about making one?
Sydney’s Song Margaret, I do reviews & interviews videos which use the same principles. My two cents:
• To create a video, use Microsoft’s Windows Live Movie Maker, or Apple’s iMovie. Or google other movie-maker programs. They are easy to use (google step-by-step instruction), and making a video can be fun.
• A trailer will show your author brand. Brand is how you want others to perceive you. Branding is communication: telling a specific target that you have what they want. Your aim is sales.
• You start making a trailer by deciding the content ~ for a book trailer it’s either an “appetizer” or a two-minute pitch.
• Write down the text for every slide. Remember your brand. At the end, supply the book-purchase link.
• Remembering your brand, for every slide you choose either:
– a relevant illustration/picture to go with the text; or
– a blank canvas to emphasize your text (decide a theme colour); or
– your headshot on a blank canvas for author’s quote/statement.
The key: LESS is BEST. A successful image-adviser gave me these tips: use minimum colors; minimum words; minimum font types.
• The optimum video length is between 60 to 90 seconds. (My videos are normally 2 minutes. But most people only watch for 90 seconds.)
• Choosing music is the most crucial step, as music really brands you and your work in its category and its quality (you can see from Mrs D example above that she’s chosen a winning music). Google royalty-free music. Some royalty-free music are free, some you have to pay. My trailer http://bit.ly/11IbpTH uses a paid royalty-free music; but most of the authors in my interview/review videos in http://www.youtube.com/user/IaUaro use FREE royalty-free music and they work fine (most of the time the music choice really suits the author’s personality).
• And oh, when you publish your YouTube, make sure to embed keyword-rich description for the SEO purpose.
Good luck and have fun!