First of all this is definitely not a ‘how to make a YouTube Book trailer’. I think in this I proved a complete amateur, but I did have a lot of fun, learnt lots and hopefully you’ll think the end result is not too bad!
Every amateur needs a good mentor and I was lucky enough to have a good source of advice in my second son, someone capable of rather more professional results than me. Of course, every good mentor would benefit from a proficient student who actually pays attention…
Question one: What software do you use to make your videos?
So, my first stumbling block came when I realised I couldn’t remember the answer to that question. “No problem,” I think. “It’s on the computer somewhere.”
Can I find it? Of course not. I do, however, come across Movie Maker. So I get stuck in.
Movie Maker is fortunately fairly easy to use. It has some interesting effects for each new screen and the text. While Clever Son is capable of editing video footage and linking it seamlessly together, that one is a bit beyond me. So I’ve stuck with a series of stills. Pixabay is a good source of images for every situation and combined with some pictures of my own and some title screens I soon had a good series and had lots of fun with the different effects.
I used text rather than reading anything myself – probably a wise move. I hate the sound of my own voice on tape!
Question two: What do you think?
So, I proudly show off my progress so far. “Hmmm, it’s not very centered, is it?” Ok, who is this kid? How does any child of mine become such a perfectionist?
But at least he confirms that all screens have sufficient time to be read. Phew. He also asks if I am going to add a backing track. Ha! I’ve already thought of this one.
Question three: Where will I find a backing track which fits?
“Oh, YouTube has plenty of public domain music.” “Yes,” say I, feeling superior at last, because I know medieval things and he doesn’t. “I want something medieval or chanting monks. They won’t have that will they?” “They have all sorts,” he replies. And he’s right. I find this. medieval tune It’s not 9th century, but with drums and flutes, it’s only using instruments which could have been used.
Question four: How do you download music from YouTube?
I consulted Google for this one. Yes, even I can do that. Feeling very clever I download the tune. I click on the button to add backing track. Easy! Unfortunately what turns up is a quiet screen. Then the YouTube video I’ve downloaded, then the rest of my video continues in silence.
Question five: How do you convert MP4 to MP3?
“You could layer it so the download plays underneath, but can’t be seen.” Whaaaat? Layering? What is that? Fortunately, before I panic too much, I get given the look of contempt which only a near teen can give and he says, “You could just use an online MP4 to 3 converter.” Phew.
This goes well. I get my backing track on, tweak the timings of the video, make sure everything is centered. Watch it several times. Done. Movie Maker has a nice handy upload to YouTube button which even I can click on. It invites me to make a channel and I decide I’ll set up one from a new account. Here it is: Dark Age Voices Youtube Channel So I click again on the Moviemaker upload button. Answer. “Bad response from YouTube” or something like that. What does that mean?
Question six: How do you upload videos to Youtube?
I consult Google again. It helpfully tells me to log into Youtube and click on the upload button… yes, it really is that easy! Glad I didn’t ask Clever Son for that one. After that it was easy. Description, keywords, choose a thumbnail for the cover. Publish!
So, I watch it a few times, including from my other YouTube account and use that one to subscribe and like the video. Then I put some of the keywords into the search. I have a result fairly near the top, but it’s a link to the channel, rather than the actual video.
Question seven: How do I get the thumbnail to appear?
Ha. This time Son is stumped. He suggests a few things. Nothing works. I google the problem, but it seems no one else has that problem. I ask the question on a forum. It is ignored. Yes, I finally have a problem no one can solve, not even Clever Son! Good! I have just dashed off some feedback to YouTube when the penny drops. The thumbnail does appear – it just appears further down the list than my channel. Yep, I really am that stupid. (Although to be fair Clever Son didn’t consider this possibility either!)
So, here it is! Any views (and likes!) would be much appreciated, so it appears further up in the searches!
For the book: Three Times the Lady
To see some really good videos, check out my son’s channel Arbor. You even get to see me in one of the videos! And I will make a cameo appearance, reading one of my own books, in the upcoming film!
If you’ve made a book trailer, please share the link in the comments – I’d love to see them. Especially if you are, like me, an amateur! Also any tips. I’ve still got lots to learn – and I do have another three books to make trailers for. And hopefully, soon, a fourth…