Guest Post from Author Brinda Berry: Lights, Camera, Action!

Being an author today means more than writing. Unless you are in the same league as J.K. Rowling, you’ll be engaged in marketing your work. Readers today love social media and enjoy YouTube and other video platforms.  It’s natural that book trailers would be a popular form of marketing.

Some authors are fortunate enough to have the resources to spend thousands of dollars on a cinema-style book trailer. I love watching trailers and am amazed at the creativity of authors. Many authors are making their own.

Take Maggie Stievater. She’s the author of several bestseller YA books. She did her own trailer for the The Scorpio Races in stop-action animation. This author probably has the resources to hire it done, but she is a creative genius. I’ve seen the book trailers from her other books. They are all amazing. You can find The Scorpio Races on YouTube at

When I saw Stievatoer’s first trailers done this way, I balked. This woman can really draw and paint. Geez! I can barely survive playing Pictionary. Admittedly, her trailers are unique. I went a more traditional route to create my trailer, and I think it tells my story nicely.

So, here are the steps to making a book trailer:

  1. Make a storyboard for yourself with notecards. I prefer less than 20 frames (one notecard representing one frame). This video may run approximately a minute.
  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 your computer software you’ll be using. I used an online service called Animoto. It’s easy to use and has a free version.  Some people use Windows Movie Maker. There are more complicated programs which can be used, but I don’t recommend investing that kind of time in this project.
  4. Use a service to purchase images for your trailer. I used . My purchased photos were $2.99 each. I also snapped some photos myself.
  5. 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.
  6. Test it before you export. That means you are creating an MP4 file instead of an Animoto file.
  7. Upload to a service like YouTube.
  8. Share with all your friends!

I love Amy’s book trailer for Drive Back the Darkness. Please check mine out and see what you think.  My book released in print this month, and I’m celebrating!

Social Media links:




Buy Links for Paperback and Ebook:


B & N

The Book Depository (Paperback only)

The Waiting Booth book trailer:

Thank you VERY much!


17 thoughts on “Guest Post from Author Brinda Berry: Lights, Camera, Action!

  1. Ditto what Catherine said, Brinda. Your trailers are brilliant and set the stage for the reader — make the promise of the story a reader can expect. Don’t get me started on how well you live up to that promise.

    It’s not yet time for a trailer for my novel. But, I may have to pay to have it done when the time comes, because the sequel is already knocking around in my noggin.

    Alternatively, I could make a short drive to neighboring state, Arkansas, to seek “advice” from a certain writer I know. *whistling*

  2. Excellent post and trailer, Brinda. I’m bookmarking it for future reference. Your trailer is a great tease, succinct and provocative.
    My novel will be out in print soon too (I hope). A book trailer would be a great idea to celebrate.

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