Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#WWoW!: Creating Your Own Video Trailers Without Breaking The Bank #royaltyfree #stockphotos

It's Wednesday once again and you know what that means. Time for Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. Each week the four of us post some tips, insights, or  share our experiences with writing, editing, publishing and promoting. You may have already experienced these things yourself, or find something new. Either way, we would love to get your comments on our posts and perhaps you will join us each week posting some of your own experiences. It's authors helping authors at its finest. We've opened up Fridays for guest authors so if you're interested, let us know!

The following is an updated post of one I did in October 2012. I had just started making my own video trailers and now have a few more under my belt. I have to say I've learned a lot along the way and I hope the information below is helpful to you.

This week I thought I would share my experiences making video trailers for my books. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I first looked into the idea. I asked a lot of questions of one author in particular, Rose Anderson. I loved the video she did for her book Dreamscape

First question I had was "who did the video for you?" I was surprised to find out she did it herself and she said it wasn't hard. Now, if you're like me, you're not all that tech savvy and when someone says it's not hard, for me it would be a disaster. 

I was on a very tight budget. Well, I had no extra funds for a budget so I needed to figure out how to do this for myself and CHEAP! LOL  

First of all, I looked for a program that would be rather user friendly and let me set up my own movie/video using the images I had in mind.  I didn't need to look far. I already had one on my computer. Windows Movie Maker. There's currently a newer version Windows Live Movie Maker which you can download for free if you use Vista or Windows 7. What I like about this program is it will automatically format the end product to be able to upload to YouTube, Facebook or for emails. No need to get another program to convert the file. Movie Maker did it all for me with just a click of a button.

A more recent site I've become very fond of is With this site, you can create fabulous video trailers. If you wish to use the free version, your clips will be very short—thirty seconds to be exact but it can be a great benefit for teasers.  

If you wish to make longer trailers, I suggest you invest the $30 for the PLUS plan. With this, you can make ten minute trailers—more than enough time for an eye catching piece. There is another package for businesses if you wish to go that route, but I stuck to the $30/year plan.

No matter which program you choose to use, it's time to put together the images and music to bring your creation to life. You can't just use any image or music you wish. There are some issues with copyright that will most likely come up so it's best to use royalty free images and music. There are many sites out there to help you with both of these.  Some sites will allow you to use their images and music FOR FREE if you give them credit for it (attribution) and in some way link back to their site. Others will allow you to use the materials without giving any credit to the artists/creators as long as you PAY a FEE.  

With my shoestring budget, I used and Photobucket for most of my images. I made sure with each one I was able to use the images in my video and followed the directions on the site to give the proper attribution.  For music, I really wanted to use the tunes I listened to while writing, but I didn't want to get into some fight with a record company so I found a site with great instrumentals. 

Incompetech is the brainchild of Kevin MacLeod. Not only does he have many pieces you can download for free, he will also do original scores for projects. His website has all the specifics and even shows you how to give the proper attribution for YouTube. Mr. MacLeod takes all the guesswork out of it. All you have to do is insert the title of the piece you are using. A no brainer...I loved it!

Animoto has a large selection of music you can use or you can upload your own from Incompetech. Once again, think long and hard about using copyrighted music for your videos. You may get away with it for a bit on Youtube, but if the record company objects, you could be faced with more than just a slap on the wrist.

Here's the video trailer I did for my poetry book Follow Me: Poetry from the Heart and Soul. The music is from the Incompetech site and the images I purchased in a package. Art Explosion contained over 500,000 images I could use for any project. The scenic images were perfect for this trailer.  

There are so many other ways to get images. There's Dreamstime, Shutterstock, iStockphoto, and Fotolia just to name a few. For fairly reasonable rates, you can purchase packages that include a number of images to use as you see fit. This is how many of us found the images for our self-published book covers. 

For even more music choices, you can purchase royalty free compositions on iTunes. Some video trailers also use popular music by well known artists. YouTube automatically lists the title of the song and where to purchase it when the video is uploaded. (I asked a few of my friends how they put the information below their videos and they told me it was YouTube). I'm still a bit leery using my favorite Pink song for one of my trailers. One day I may cross that bridge, but until then, I'll stick to the royalty free stuff! 

Here's the last video trailer I made using Windows Movie Maker.

Here's the first Animoto video trailer I made for us here at Writer's Words of Wisdom.

Are you ready to make your own video trailer? Go on. Give it a try. What have you got to lose? 

Until next week

Learn More About Tammy

Tammy Dennings Maggy is a multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.

Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.

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