Yesterday I had fun experimenting with animoto.com to create my first book trailer. What do you think?
You can read more about the novel, Manga Touch, here. Thinking of trying animoto.com yourself? I found it easy and fun to use. You can upload photos of your own or select from photos animoto provides. The same goes for music. Creating a short 30 second movie is free. You can try out a longer one for $3, or make as many longer ones as you like for $30/year. I wanted to include quite a few images, so I went for the $3 test run.
It took fellow author, Lois Peterson, about 1/2 an hour to create her first book trailer with animoto (check out Lois’ book trailer for The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw here). She recommends collecting all the photos you want to use in a separate file and preparing your script ahead of time to speed this up. I did all this, but it still took me several hours to finalize my video (okay, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I kept redoing it).
One draw-back to using animoto.com is you don’t have any control over the effects. You basically insert your photos and music and press “finalize.” Once the movie has been processed, you can edit it, but if you like the way the movie turned out and just want to change one photo or a few words of text, you can’t do this without the whole thing being reprocessed (the special effects and timing of images with the music will be slightly different each time you redo it). I also had trouble uploading the video directly to my blog (but this may have been a problem with WordPress, not animoto). It uploaded to Youtube easily, and I routed it here from there. I haven’t tried any other movie-making programs or sites, so I can’t compare animoto to them, but animoto was easy enough to get me started, and creating a “mini movie” was a fun new (for me) way to summarize a book. Who knows? I may just have to make a book trailer for every one of my books…