Sunday, October 28, 2018

How I made my book trailer for less than $15

A real video maker will probably collapse into horrified giggles at both the product and the method but if you can’t afford to hire a pro and like my trailer for Dark Hunter, here’s how I did it.

First, the video

Basically, you’re going to create a bunch of slides and then add fancy animations to them. When you have your slideshow, you’ll use your PC to save it into movie format. Then, you add music on top of that.

You need:
·         A PC and internet connection
·         PowerPoint and Photo (both programmes come with Windows)
·         Your book covers
·         A collection of images to use - royalty free from Deposit Photos or Pixabay
·         A piece of music

#1 Plan
The first step is to plan how many slides you’re going to make and what information will be on each. If you have teasers, you can think of it as flipping through them to make a flip-book.

Avoid my screw-ups!
I started with way too much information. Keep the number of slides low and the text on them lean.

IMPORTANT: You’ll need about 5 to 7 seconds per slide and people won’t watch more than 90 seconds.  So when you do your layout, guesstimate how long the finished product might be.

Then trim, trim, trim.

#2 Make your slide show but only do the backgrounds for each slide
Pick a blank slide and add in all the images to make your basic slide. 

Avoid my screw-ups!
I made my first slide, added the text, fiddled with clever stuff and then moved on. BIG MISTAKE. Make all the backdrops for your slides (I had 12) and save the lot. Adding text and clever stuff comes after.

Think of what stays the same for each slide and use that to build a basic proto type. Then use copies of that to make ‘new’ slides.

My backgrounds all have my book cover and the words Free on Kindle Unlimited. What is different for every slide is the background image.Like this:

So, I made the first slide and saved it as slide 1. I then copied that, changed the background, saved it as slide 2, and so on. 

#3 Save your basic slideshow and make a copy
When you have all your basic slides ready, stop and save them. Make a copy and work on that. Then, when you mess up, you can ditch what you have and not lose your basic outline.

#4 Add basic text to every slide
Just get the words onto the slides. Read it through, make sure it’s not too long or complicated. Then save.

Avoid my screw-ups!
I had text on the bottom of some slides and at the top of others.  When I watched my first slideshow, I practically gave myself an eyeball hernia.

Make sure every slide has the same size text in the same place. That way, when you animate everything, your readers’ eyes will be trained in the same space each time.

#5 Add sexy transitions
Go to your first slide. Click just before the first letter of the first line of text. Then select Animation and click Show Animation pane.  Like this:

Go through each line of instruction and work through the menu to figure out whether you want it to appear as a block, by the word, by the letter, how fast it should all happen, whether you want to add glow, pulse etc.

Avoid my screw-ups!
The possibilities are huge. I went at it with 12 slides and almost killed myself with endless edits and learning. I suggest you take three slides and fiddle with those until they’re perfect and you know your way around the menus. When you’ve got it down, go big.

#6 Drive yourself into insanity by watching the slideshow over and over and over
Pick up every little mistake from a comma that’s the wrong colour to a transition that’s too slow.

#7 Save your slideshow and make a copy
Hide the finished product in a folder and make a copy. Then, when you mess up, you won’t lose everything.

Now, save the whole thing as an MP4.  Then, open that MP4 in Photo.

#8 Watch your soundless film
Does it look okay? Good, now to add music.

You need to buy a piece of music so that you don’t get into trouble about rights. Here are three places to buy music:,, and

(Are you a musician who wants to sell music? Leave me a comment and I’ll add you to this list)

Avoid my screw-ups!
Search for music by time. You need a bit of music that last a second or two longer than your complete video.

#9 Let Photo add the music to your video
It will do magic things like make sure it fits and it will cut it off when it needs to be cut. God knows how, but I think we need to find the people who made this magic and hug them.

#10 Get at least six people to give you feedback
Having watched my video fifty thousand times, I couldn’t see it anymore. The first round of feedback had me redo the whole thing and the quality went up by ten thousand percent. 

HUGE THANK YOU to Lili and Gail who held my hand every step of the way and to Stephanie, Robin and Cheri who volunteered to give more feedback.

Then I took the new thing past everyone again, and some new eyes and that feedback helped me root out a background image that had two enormous nipples and picked out a full stop that had vanished during editing.

What you see now, is the result of about two days work. Was it worth it in terms of return on investment? I will let you know.

Dark Hunter by AJ Adams



The Los Zetas Cartel series 

The Prydain series

Other AJ Adams novels
The Los Zetas Book Bundle

"A beautifully twisted love story"
Damn, I just finished this book. It was unlike any other romance I've ever read. I mean after that first chapter I thought no way is this a romance novel? Read Charles M. Smith II's review of The Bonus here.

"In no way a typical love story..." 

From the opening page I was hooked, this is in no way a typical love story it was dark and dangerous and held me completely captivated! Read Tracey's review of The Bonus here

"One of the best dark romance ever!!!!"
There is a twisted romantic relationship, a great story line, but the main characters are so intelligent that they are always trying to outcome each other, it's so entertaining and simply delicious, the girl is so strong and so feisty a really refreshing change in the common formula of a dark romance. Read MATY's review of The Degas Girl here. 

It's always great to find an erotica book where the sex takes a backseat to the plot. Read VLL's review of The Degas Girl here. 

"5.0 out of 5 stars Wowza, Wowza, Wowza!!!"
This book was SO FECKIN’ GOOD!!!! Wowza, wowza, wowza! Read Bookaholic Mama's review of Deliverance here.

"I think this is a 5-star fantasy read. Fantasy is not really my preferred genre so I only chose this book because I knew from experience that I love what A.J. Adams writes." Read Helen's review of Beast here.


  1. I could not resist commenting. Well written!

  2. Good post. I am dealing with many of these issues as well..