Guest Post and Giveaway Waking up Dead


I’m hosting a guest post today for the “Waking up Dead” tour, a paranormal mystery novel. The author, Margo Bond Collins, talks about how to set up your own book trailer. I loved reading the post, and hope you enjoy it as well.

Oh, and there’s a giveaway. Scroll down if you’d like to participate.

How to Make Your Own Book Trailer

Indie authors know that it’s often important to minimize costs surrounding advertising. And while it’s possible to spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a book trailer, with a little time and effort, it’s possible for an author to produce his or her own book trailer.

1. Write your script.  Knowing what words you are going to be using over the images can make a world of difference once you start looking for appropriate images. Think in terms of text that is about the same length and style as the back cover of a novel.

2. Break the script into small chunks. You won’t want to over-load your screen with text. But make sure that the chunks make enough sense by themselves to be left alone on the screen for a few moments.

3. Once you have your script ready, take a look at it and decide on the tone of the piece.  Romantic? Eerie? Terrifying? Regal? Comic? Check your script to make sure it can be adapted to that tone.

4. Begin gathering images to use. I cannot stress this next bit strongly enough: make sure the images you use are not only free to use, but also (unless you want to clutter up your trailer with attributions) do not require you to acknowledge their source. I suggest gathering 3-4 images per phrase (and maybe a couple extra); you might not use all of them, but I always prefer to have a strong image base and not have to search for new images in the middle of the program. is my favorite, but there are others.

5. Once you have your wording and your images, find music that will help set the tone. Again, find music that is not only royalty-free, but also licensed for free commercial use. I like, but there are other sites, as well.

6. Put it all together. Many computers come with Movie Maker already installed. To use it, you should put the pictures in order,  copy the script blocks onto individual images, and add music. Finally, you can choose a movie effect—“Pan and Zoom” to create the illusion of motion, for example, or “Cinematic” for a filmic look.

7. Start cutting. If you’re anything like me, you will have gathered up tons of images and will have long stretches without any words –or will leave the words on the screen too long. Be ruthless in your editing!

Additional things I have learned along the way:

·         Don’t try to do a long trailer; people have short attention spans! It’s best to keep it under 2 minutes; even better to keep it under 90 seconds.

·         Don’t be afraid to cut out images you thought you wanted—don’t let the image stay on the screen for too long, or you might lose your viewers.

·         Be sure to include a title slide and an ending slide with the information about the book, including where to buy it.

·         Make sure your movie doesn’t cut off too abruptly; let it fade to black

·         And finally: have fun! Be creative! The more you practice, the better your trailers will be.

I’m including my first attempt at a book trailer below. It’s not perfect; there are things about it I would change now, but I think it makes a great example because of its flaws. Overall, though, it conveyed what I wanted it to convey, and doing it taught me a lot about how to create an inexpensive book trailer video!

Waking up Dead

Waking Up Dead2Title: Waking Up Dead

Author: Margo Bond Collins

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?

Author Bio

MargoBondCollinsMargo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.


Twitter: @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page:
Facebook Author Page:
Facebook Novel Page:

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves:

Book Trailer 100%


Win eBook copies of “Waking up Dead”. Click the link below to participate!

Rafflecopter form for “Waking up Dead” giveaway.


1 Comment

Filed under Guest Posts

One response to “Guest Post and Giveaway Waking up Dead

  1. Pingback: Tour Stop: Waking Up Dead by Margo Bond Collins | Why I Can't stop Reading

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