How I Created an Epic Book Trailer for Just Under $50

For my latest book entitled Heroes War, I decided to create a book trailer that was sure to thrill my fans.

GIF Heroes War

The video above is a one in a half minute+ book trailer for my upcoming book. I went on VideoHive.net and hunted for the best effects I could that would set my video apart from others. I did a fair amount of research and not a whole lot of information is given about how things work so I will go into a few details. First, whatever After Effects Project you buy is simply that, a project that is used on Adobe After Effects. If you do not know how to use After Effects or have not purchased it, do not worry. I did not realize this until after I already had my heart set on a $29 video. The link to what I purchased can be found here: https://videohive.net/item/fantasy-tale/19993325

The images seen in the video for Fantasy Tale are not given to you with purchase, only the effects are. This I learned the hard way because a lot of the images in that link I could have used as characters for my trailer, but the artwork is separate. This was a question I looked all over to try and find and finally ended up purchasing the project just to find out. After the purchase is made, you must have Adobe After Effects in order to turn the project into your own custom video. Luckily, After Effects gives you a free seven day free trial, so make sure you have everything ready to go and a fairly good plan on what your video is going to be about. Once you start up After Effects you can watch a few tutorials or just play with it until you figure out what does what. You can preview what your video will look like at any time, which was quite helpful.

At first I was going to use images from my two book covers in the video, cropping them and making them fit into the film, but I realized I don’t actually own the artwork for my covers, my cover designer does. I could have bought the extended license to edit them but that would’ve cost me $75 per book, and I was on a small budget. So instead I worked with what I could and mostly just edited the text in the video as well as added an image of the map I personally created. Once everything was in place and how I wanted, it was time to choose the music for the video, which came separately from the effects.

AudioJungle.net which is ran by the same company as VideoHive had some great cheap music. Although the effects project I bought suggested some music that went well with it, the music didn’t exactly fit my projects needs. I wanted something powerful and suspenseful that captured the awesomeness of my book, so I searched AudioJungle for just that. After searching for quite awhile, I finally found it. One good thing about AudioJungle is that you can download samples, so I downloaded my top three and put each one into my video in order to preview them. Each were about $15, so they were cheap. In the end this was the final one I chose to buy and to use: https://audiojungle.net/item/intense-metal-hybrid-trailer/7511770

After the music was chosen for my project, it was finally time to put the final touches on and then create the video. In Adobe After Effects you have two options on how to compile your project into a video, both of which take a lot of time and strain your computer/laptops CPU. The first I highly recommend you don’t do, but I will explain it anyway. After Effects itself can render the project into a video, which depending on the length of the video can take up to a few hours. A few hours where your computer or laptop will be giving everything its got to converting this into a video file. Adding the composition to the rendering queue hitting start will is not the way to go. Why I say this is because after you’ve spent a few hours babysitting your device and making sure it doesn’t overheat, the end product is a video that is basically useless. Because it renders it completely lossless (unless otherwise specified), a one in a half minute video such as this becomes a fifteen gigabyte movie file. Yes, that’s right, 15 gigabytes! Apparently these types of files are used in high-end films and then compiled to play in the big screen, but not something you would want to upload to social media and share with your friends. So after realizing my mistake, I deleted the enormous file I worked on and decided to go with the second route, which is using Adobe Media Encoder to render my video.

Adobe Media Encoder is completely free to use and easy to download. I added my After Effects composition to the rendering Queue and starting the process in Media Encoder. It took shortly less time to render the video and convert it to a movie file, because it is made to do just that. After about an hour and a half, my video was finally converted into a file which I could just hit play and sit back and watch. The file size was drastically different, this one coming in at around 130 megabytes, one hundred times smaller than the other video. I was finally happy and my project was complete, so the final step was just posting it to my social media platforms and showing it off to my friends.

I know this story is a bit long, but I wanted it to be told. Anyone who likes the video and wants to know how I did it or would like to create one of their own should be able to thanks to this article.

You can pre-order the eBook version of Heroes War for just $2.99, and it will be out September 2nd, 2018.

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