Authors are now encouraged to have book trailers (usually before the book comes out, but I flouted tradition, again). There are companies who will create book trailers for authors, but what does a former software engineer with a dangerous bit of Photoshop (PS) experience think when looking at those prices? I can do that myself! Am I right?
As usual, the effort took longer than I expected. The hardest part was creating original artwork, rather than doctoring up royalty-free photos, which rarely depict my SF/F world accurately. I did 3D modeling with Bryce, exported rendered images to PS, and made use of some great PS plug-ins from Flaming Pear. Both Bryce and PS take a little time to learn, but I got results at the beginner-to-intermediate level.
Once I had artwork, everything got a lot easier. I used iMovie (Apple’s inexpensive video editor–and you’ll find many more video editors out there in the PC world). After importing the stills as JPEGs, I used the Ken Burns effect which pan-and-scans across photos/artwork and provides a sense of motion and progression. For music, I might have scrabbled around on royalty-free sites, except I have a talented husband who can generate music quickly and time it to work with the video 😉
Later in the year, I’ll try to go over the options available to authors. One option is always to do the trailer yourself, depending upon your skills. Using still images with the Ken Burns effect is probably the easiest way to start, provided you can get photos or artwork that’ll work for your book. The most important thing is to understand the rights you have, or have bought, for any artwork/music you use in the video. This includes the rights to the book cover art. In my case, Roc only buys rights to use the artwork as a whole from the artist (meaning we’re not allowed to separate and use piece-parts, such as the model’s face or body or background elements).
Note: this entry imported from Amazon Author Page on 11/3/2010.