Monday, February 4, 2013

Marcy Rachel's Colorful Indie Blog Tour Day 4

Tour dates and links are at the bottom of the post!

Marcy Rachel talks Book Trailers

Hi everyone!  I am so happy to be writing this guest post for Tich Brewster’s blog!  I want to thank her for being part of my blog tour and for giving me the opportunity to share some of my tips with you all.

In this opportunity we are going to talk about something that I think is important for an author as much as a cover is: book trailers.  Now, keep in mind that I am self-taught and all I am going to do is share some tips to create a good book trailer, to the best of my abilities and knowledge.

First of all, it’s best to start thinking about creating a book trailer after your book is finished (even if it still needs some editing).  The story should be all laid out so you know what you want to show about it.  Just like a movie trailer that we see on TV, you want to capture the reader's attention and make them want to read your book.  Even though book covers can be acted out, animations, etc., I am going to concentrate on a pictures and text book trailer because I think it’s the one that most authors will be able to make on their own (and that they can afford).

Write a Script

It’s easier to put together a book trailer if you have a script, even if your book trailer will consist of only pictures and text.  You could use your book blurb as your script.  Simply write your text, divide it in smaller sections and write what kind of picture can illustrate what the text says, keeping in mind the mood of the story as well.

Selecting Pictures

Now, the next step is to look up pictures for your book trailer.  Make sure that the pictures that you are using can be used for commercial purposes.  You are not selling the pictures, but you are promoting your book, which will generate you sells. Select pictures that are in high quality, you want your pictures to show sharp and clear, not blurry.  Save all the pictures to your computer and put them all on the same folder for easier access.  Even if your script asks for 5 pictures, save as many as you want that you think can go with your book’s story.  Sometimes a picture will not work the way you want, then you can try another one.


Selecting a Music Track

Just as with the pictures, you have to make sure the music you’re going to use for your book trailer is good for commercial use.  Avoid using songs ripped off of CDs or YouTube (from artists) unless you have written consent from the owners of the track that you can use it.  If you are not sure if you can use a track (same goes with pictures) don’t use it.  Better safe than sorry.  If you absolutely love it, try finding out who owns it and ask if it can be used.  The worst that can happen is that they say no, and you have nothing to lose by just asking.  The only downside of this is that you probably have to wait a couple of days for a response (unless you can call them by phone).

Select a soundtrack that suits the mood of your book.  If your story is romantic and sweet, don’t pick a soundtrack that is dark and too dramatic.

Putting Everything Together

To start putting your book trailer together, you need a video editor program. Now, most computers come already with a video editor.  The most recent is Windows Live Movie Maker and if your computer does not have it, you can find it online and download it for free (legally).  There are other paid softwares like Sony Vegas, but most are more complicated.  I think WMM (Windows Movie Maker) is the most simple.

Start playing with the software, adding your text (following the script that you laid out first), adding your pictures, etc.  Check out all the features and effects that you can add to your video.

Don’t make your video more than, I’d say 1:30 minutes, unless you have a kick-ass trailer with acting, effects, etc.  If your video is too long, people will get bored and won’t watch it all.  Most internet users spend less than one minute on the average website.  Therefore, you have to make sure that you really capture their attention and leave them wanting more after they watch your video.

That being said, make sure that your pictures that go into your video are not on screen for more than 5 seconds.  When a video has 5 pictures that are on screen for 10 seconds each it’s a very boring video (same with acted scenes or clips).  The video has to be dynamic and ever changing so you can show something new to the viewer, but don’t make it too crowded either or it will be simply too much and will make no sense.

Finally, you can add a credits section at the end of your video if you want to credit the pictures and music you used.

Final Tips

Take the time to make your video.  Don’t expect to finish it in one hour, especially if you have never done it before.  You need time to look for the perfect images, the perfect music, to write your script, to learn how to use the software, etc.  Look up video tutorials on YouTube or other sources.  Practice as you go. Try everything you can think of. You never know what will look amazing on your video. Make it interesting, remember that you’re selling your book through your book trailer!

Now I want to share with you the book trailer I made for Tich Brewster and her book “Devada”.

I hope you have enjoyed my guest post and have learned something!


The Graphic Designer


In 2011, for NaNoWriMo, Marcy Rachel didn't finish what she was writing. Instead, she decided to make MOCK covers for other authors that were writing to inspire them to finish. After that, people loved what she was doing and they told her that she should sell her covers. Marcy took up on their word and now has her page Marcy Rachel Designs. Every November is a reminder of why she started doing this -- indie authors. Marcy keeps her prices very low by keeping Indies in mind. Not only does she make book covers, but also design other things.


“Since my teenage years, I always liked to look at paintings and sculptures. I loved visiting museums. When I went to college, I enrolled as Chemistry major due to lack of knowledge about degrees and programs offered. I failed Chemistry and moved to Business Administration, where I finished my degree as an Administrative Assistant. While in college, I found out that I could’ve pursue a degree in arts but it was already too late. When I was doing my internship, I discovered a TV show that I loved. I met other fans and learned about fan fiction and graphic design. This was my first encounter with graphic design and video editing and I loved it. I started doing it and taught myself some Photoshop and Movie Maker and I’ve been doing it ever since. Supporting the amazing indie community, whether it be a book cover design, a banner, a logo or even a bookmark is my constant ambition. They are the reason that I now I have my “indie business”, Marcy Rachel Designs.

So this is me, Marcy Rachel, providing just a little insight into how I was inspired and why I design.”
Marcy Rachel Designs obtains most of her resources from stock photo web sites.  She first looks on websites that have been researched and that have images that are completely free.  Unfortunately, most of these websites do not offer good quality pictures worthy of being in a book cover or any design.  This is when she turns to paid images, though royalty free, trying always to find a website where the cost of the graphics is low compared to others.  The cost of these images depends on which, and how many images she ultimately uses in the creation of your cover and/or design.  The cost of the images is paid by the client and it's not included in the labor of creating the cover.  You will always have the option of choosing a less expensive (or more expensive) image. Marcy must have your approval on all the images before finalizing the cover.
E-Book covers start at $50! For a full list of services and prices, please visit her website!
Most cover designers only allow a few revisions.  Marcy Rachel Designs has been allowing unlimited revisions, but this takes a lot of time and it's not fair to other people she am working with simultaneously; it slows down her turn-around time for everyone.  SO, now she is offering 10 free revisions.  Additional revisions will incur in a $5.00 fee per revision.
She will be sending you drafts of the cover as you guys go along and make changes; feel free to suggest any changes you think might make the design better and she will try them!!
Most authors send a synopsis of their book and/or the first two chapters so that Marcy can get an idea of the concept to portray.  Sometimes an author will send her the whole book and allow her to scan it for exciting scenes to get her imagination going. That’s totally up to you! Some pitch in some ideas they already have so she can work with those as well.
*A note about content: Marcy does not read pornographic material in preparation for designing a cover.  (Romance novels are ok, even if it has sex scenes, but not actual pornography.) She can use images that depict artistic nudity, but none that portray hate or cruelty towards animals or people.
Marcy Rachel works as quickly as possible, often working nights and weekends to complete a commission.  If you have a deadline coming up and need a cover as soon as possible, let Marcy help you out!
Marcy Rachel Designs will supply you with two cover files for the web; one for Amazon Kindle's with the new size requirement (2500px on the long side) and a smaller size to use as thumbnail.  If you need a custom size, please let her know before work begins. She will include this file size on your package at NO cost.  When the design is final, Marcy Rachel Designs owns the rights of the final design and will use it to promote her work.  If you want full ownership of the rights, it will require an additional fee.

 Here is a cover Marcy Rachel designed for Melissa Turner Lee and Pauline Creeden!

Here is the cover that Marcy designed for Melissa Turner Lee!
If you have any questions or comments for Marcy, don’t hesitate to contact her at any of the links below or e-mail her at
Twitter: @MarcyRDesigns
The Schedule
February 1
Tyffani Clark
February 2
Caitlin Hensley
February 3
Melissa Lynn Simmons
February 4
Tich Brewster
February 5
Candy Smith
February 6
Ann Snizek
February 7
February 8
Sarah Princess Graham
February 9
Mera Sampson
February 10
Teresa Gabelman
February 11
Jacqueline Driggers
February 12
Anna Dase
February 13
Cassie Chavez
February 14
Ashley Ryan Snyder
February 15
Pauline Jim Creeden
February 16
Sadrina Cassiopeia
February 17
Christina Condy
February 18
Christina Baker Irelan
February 19
February 20
February 21
Sara McCluskey
February 22
Jennifer Martinez
February 23
Brianna Lee Reviews
February 24
Andrea Coventry
February 25
Beth Calloway Edwards
February 26
A Page Away
February 27
Becky Johnson
February 28


Marcy Rachel said...

Thanks for hosting the fourth day of my tour! I had fun writing this post and I hope people learned something! <3

Loves All Things Books said...

Thank you for writing the guest post! I am so glad to be a part of your tour!

Teresa Gabelman said...

Great post. Loved it and very informative!!! Thanks guys!!!

Loves All Things Books said...

Thank you for visiting Teresa Gabelman!

tigresswhite2003 said...

Yay Marcy! YOu rock! I love your covers! I never realized so much work goes into book trailers, even the ones with just pics! Thanks for sharing that!