GUEST POST: Creating A Book Trailer

Today I have a fantastic guest taking over the Mental Sweatshop. Brinda Berry has been awesome enough to talk about the process of creating a book trailer.

Take it away, Brinda!

Book trailers are the visual teasers that tempt readers to pick up a book. At minimum, the video gives the reader an idea of the genre, general plot, characters and tone. Ideally, you create something memorable and exciting.
Chris recently created a feature ad for me, and I had the pleasure of working with Chris on a trailer for The Rotten Apple. Here are some steps if you’d like to create your own book trailer.
  1. Make a storyboard for yourself with notecards. I prefer less than 20 notecards. You aren’t rewriting the book. You’re going for short and catchy. This video should run one to two minutes in length–no longer. I used twenty notecards for the trailer for The Rotten Apple.
  2. I like to limit the text on a frame. Use your blurb to give your ideas. You are NOT placing your entire blurb in this trailer. Sometimes, even one word will suffice to set the mood. Additionally, you may find the frame only needs to hold an image.
  3. Select the computer software you’ll be using. There are several online versions that are inexpensive: and I’ve also played around with iMovie on my ipad. I currently hold an Animoto PRO subscription. You can purchase this level monthly and it costs $39 for a month at PRO level. When I’m not using it, I drop back to the free version. The free version limits the length to thirty seconds but gives you a chance to try it. Also, your videos stay intact in your account whether your using the free or a paid version. There are more complicated programs which can be used. I sometimes use Techsmith’s Camtasia and Adobe’s Flash software when I have more time to invest in a project. The learning curve is higher on these costly programs. I used both of those programs in creating a trailer for my friend’s book. Here’s the link to the Pop Travel video. Some credit goes to my son, game design expert, who animated the beginning frames in Flash.
  4. Use a service to purchase images for the trailer. I use . My purchased photos are $3.50 each. Sometimes, I take photos and video myself. Another option for a cost-free route is to visit and give appropriate credit for images and music you use. I urge that you read all the information about how to give credit as to protect yourself from legal repercussions.
  5. I currently have a subscription to You can either purchase clips from a service like this or you can easily use a digital camera with a recording feature or a smartphone.
  6. Create the frames, upload photos according to your storyboard, add text, and then match some music to it. I like Animoto because they have a library of authorized music to use, so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement. The timing can be adjusted to the beat of the song you select. Save it. I also download audio files from
  7. Don’t forget to leave the reader with a call-to-action prompt like visiting the author website or purchasing a copy of the book online.
  8. Test the video in preview mode before you export. When you export, you are creating an MP4 file.
  9. Upload to a service like YouTube or Vimeo.
  10. Share with all your friends!

WatcherOfWorlds_ByBrindaBerry-200x300Watcher of Worlds
By Brinda Berry
Amazon /  Kobo  /  All Romance /  B & N   /   Renegade YASenior year should bring fun, friends and happiness. Not portals, treachery, and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Mia Taylor, gatekeeper to an interdimensional portal, wants nothing more than to heal from her romance gone wrong. Illegally falling for her co-worker Regulus had been a huge mistake. But when Regulus goes rogue to hunt down a murderer, Mia must forget her broken heart and use her unique abilities to save him. Traveling across dimensions, she enters a strange and hostile world where a rebel faction holds the key to their escape. Her gift of synesthesia is in high demand, and a secret organization of the otherworldly kind has her in their sights. But sabotage and murder may be the least of her worries. Her ex-boyfriend wants a relationship. Her dad wants her to act normal. Her friends want her to stop moping. Who knew faking happy would be the easiest part of senior year?


Brinda Berry_282x253_landscapeAUTHOR BIO:
Brinda Berry is the author of The Waiting Booth (Whispering Woods #1),Whisper of Memory (Whispering Woods #2), and  Watcher of Worlds (Whispering Woods #3). She also contributed a short story to the anthology, Wild at Heart, Vol II.
Currently working in higher education administration, she spends her days thinking of ways to improve education for college students. Brinda spends her nights devising exciting tales that involve teens who might be saving the world.
Connect with Brinda on the Web:

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