Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Animoto, book trailers, and me . . .

As part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge to write a blog entry a day through January, I hopped around to read what others in this group were working on. So far, I've found more entrepreneurial stuff. But I was pulled in by Sabrina Espinal's post on Making Your Own Video Is Easy!

Two hours later, I have a 30-second free video blurb for Standing Stones from Animoto. How fun is that? I did learn that 30 seconds does not give you any wiggle room for any in-depth text. Every word counts! Animoto provides the design framework, music, and layout, but I would have liked to use more text in this video AND had the option of controlling font size as well as pacing of the slides.

If I were in computers, I'd call this trailer "air-ware" (promo materials for a product that doesn't yet exist). Standing Stones exists; it's just not quite published . . . yet!

I'd love to have your feedback, but this little video as a book trailer is so beyond inadequate. What I'd need to do is to upgrade with Animoto (think $$$) to gain more flexibility. Most potential readers will want something short but informative, visually appealing. Most writers will want a trailer that entices the reader into the story.

If it took me nearly two hours for the 30 second short above, what skills would I need to produce a trailer as artful as Rhonda Kay's book trailer for Amanda Borenstadt's book, SYGYZY?

You can see Rhonda's trailer at Amanda's blog, A Fortnight of Mustard.

Animoto invites you to try their slideshow creator

Rhonda Kay's site, Do Much, Say Little highlights several of her book trailers using Machinima.

COMMENT? And now I'm wondering, for those of you who have experimented with book trailers, what lessons have you learned?


  1. I haven't made book trailers but my husband, also an author, has. His tips are here:

    He recommends you start with a "What if" statement. Then "Find out how to read Mac's story at [your site]"

    Remove all the other info, including what the story's about. You just want to hook them. That's our advice, anyway!

    He explains "What if" pitches here:

    Oh, if there's room, add a testimonial, but you may want to do that later, or make a new video once your book is done.

    1. Thanks, Beth, for the link to Ezra's videomarketing site. It opens up many interesting ideas to play with . . . I will keep working on a better video. After the writing's done!

  2. Great article and nice video. Glad I inspired you to check out Animoto. Thanks for mentioning me.

  3. I always learn so much from your blog. I rather liked the video but I see your points as well as the above comment regarding "What if." Thanks for helping the rest of us, Beth.