How I Made the Loose Ends Book Trailer Video

Click on cover for book trailer.

Finally! I’d finished Loose Ends and begun shifting from production to marketing. I ordered my bling (poster, postcards, mugs) and started what I consider to be the most enjoyable marketing piece I put together—the book trailer.

Think of movie previews. A book trailer is similar. It’s a challenge to write because it takes a lot of skill and effort to go from full novel down to sound bites. Through it all, I had to convey the essence of the novel. How did I do it? I followed these steps listed below.

  1. Storyline. I thought long and hard about the main plot and asked myself questions like this: What are some major themes of the novel? Who is involved? How much do I want to give away? Trust me when I say this took some thought. For this venture, I put pen to paper, something I highly recommend over working on a computer because it spurs creativity.
  2. Sound bites. Once I had these ideas in place, I broke them down into sound bites because the program I use to put together the videos has a limited number of characters per slide.
  3. Images needed. I needed pictures, at minimum those of the three main characters: Alex, Jabir, and Hashim. I also wanted to give the readers a sense of place, so I added one from Beirut and one from Tortola. On my outline, I marked where those pictures would appear in the book trailer.
  4. Image retrieval. I avoided using images from Google Images because I didn’t want to get entangled with copyright issues. I went to, a royalty-free site, to get as many free pics as I could. Turned out I got only one for Tortola. I then went to to get the rest of the pictures. Many graphic designers use this site, and the images can be bought individually at a reasonable cost. That’s where I found Alex, Jabir, Hashim, and a picture of the very distinctive Beirut skyline.
  5. Video template. Finally, I was ready. I opened up my Animoto program ( and began the really fun part—putting everything together. I found my template that I thought caught the essence of the cover and the overarching theme. It took a few minutes to do that because I’m picky in that respect.
  6. Video creation. I added my text and photos and played around with it some. At the end, I made sure to add the cover of my book and my website address, plus the release date.
  7. Music addition. I needed one last thing—music. Once more to avoid copyright issues, I used a track I found in Animoto. When I watched everything put together, it fit very well.
  8. Production. I was ready to go. Animoto produced the video, and I uploaded it to my YouTube channel. Perfect. Another quick way to let everyone know that Loose Ends is out there. I encourage you to watch it. Enjoy!

Question: Have you ever seen a book trailer video for a book? What are your thoughts on them?

I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255:
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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