Advertising your book is crucial for increasing your sales, especially if you’re an indie author and do all your own promotion. Providing your readers and potential readers with great visuals and an enticing blurb will definitely drive traffic to your website, Amazon author page, or wherever you sell your books. But in a sea of similar advertisements, how do you and your book stand out from the crowd and really catch people’s attention? Consider creating your own book trailer!
The best thing is you don’t need to hire someone to do the work for you, and you can make it for completely free if you already have Microsoft PowerPoint. Yes, you read that right! PowerPoint isn’t just for making business presentations, it can also be used to create incredible videos. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for creating your own book trailer to share on social media and your author website.
This tutorial is based on PowerPoint version 2019, so if you are using an older version of PowerPoint, there may be some differences.
- Open PowerPoint and select a blank presentation.
- The default slide has a title and subtitle. I wanted to include just some text and a photo, so I went to Home – Layout – Title Only to change the slide layout.
- Type in your text.
- To add an image, click on Insert – Pictures and choose a photo saved on your computer. Stretch the photo to the desired size. I made my photos cover the entire slide.
- After your image is the size you want, click on Format – Send Backward so your text will appear in front of the photo.
- Repeat until you have the all the photos and text that you want to include in your trailer.
- Change the font, size, color, and location of your text on the slide as you wish. Make sure that the text contrasts with the background and you choose a font that is easy to read.
- Include at least one slide at the end of your trailer that lets readers know where they can purchase your book.
- To add some interest to your slides, you can have the video start with just a picture on the slide and then have the text appear a few seconds later, which is what I did for my sample. To do this, highlight the text and go to Animations. There is a list of options that you can choose from. I chose for my text to “Fade In.”
- Repeat for the remaining slides if you wish.
- Check your progress by clicking on Slide Show – From Beginning. This will play your book trailer from beginning to end with the slide effects you’ve chosen.
- Keep track of the time it takes your presentation to run through. You don’t want your trailer to be too long and have your potential readers lose interest
- Tweak or change anything to your liking as needed.
- To add music or other audio to your book trailer, go to Insert – Audio. In the dropdown menu, you can choose Audio from my PC or Record Audio.
- If you’d like to record your own audio at this point, make sure your microphone is on and your sound is up.
- If you would like to include a song or someone else speaking, click on Audio from my PC and choose the file you have saved on your computer.
- If you are using a song you found online, make sure that you have the rights to use it for commercial purposes. Vidooly has a great list of royalty free music to choose from HERE.
- For my book trailer, I searched Youtube’s free, royalty-free Audio Library. I saved the song I liked to my computer and then inserted it into my presentation.
- You can tweak the audio clip once you insert it into the presentation and you click on the gray volume button that appears on the first slide.
- Under Audio Tools, click on Playback. Here you can choose Trim Audio to start and end the audio at whatever point you wished. For my example, I started the song at the eight second mark.
- Click on Start and choose Automatically and check off Play During Show.
- Also check off Hide During Show and Rewind After Playing if you wish.
Converting Presentation to Video
- To save your PowerPoint presentation to a video format, go to File – Export – Create a Video
- You can change how many seconds are spent on each slide if you’d like.
- Click Create Video and save it to your computer. You can then upload the video file to your social media or website.