Carrie Butler’s STRENGTH Tour — “How I Made My Book Trailer (for Free)”


How I Made My Book Trailer (for Free)

Thanks for having me over, Bailey!

A couple of years ago, book trailers became a “thing”. You can blame the digital revolution for this one. Readers stopped frequenting brick-and-mortar stores, and in turn, stopped getting introduced to new books via events, promotional materials, and employee recommendations. Instead, they relied on introductions from the same place they made the majority of their purchases—the Internet.

So, authors adapted.

Borrowing a page from the film industry’s playbook, they began condensing their blurbs into short, accessible videos. If readers were enticed, they could go to the author’s site for more information. Simple as that.

Okay, maybe simple isn’t the best way to describe it. Book trailers are an expected staple in marketing campaigns these days, and let me tell you, those things cost a pretty penny. I looked around, and most start around $350. Start! That’s a little less than my car is worth.

(I wish I were exaggerating.)

Obviously, I couldn’t afford to hire someone to do Strength’s book trailer, so I took on the project myself. We’re talking hours and hours of work here, but you know what? I managed to pull it off for free, and I’m pretty darn proud of myself. 🙂

Want to give trailer-making a try? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Some kind of video editing software. I used a combination of Windows Movie Maker (free) and an old, diluted version of Sony Vegas I had from college. I know other people who’ve had luck with programs like iMovie, Animoto, etc. Play around with a few of them, and then use whichever one works best for you.
  • (Optional) Royalty-free or public domain video, i.e. Videezy or Neo’s Clip Archive
  • (Optional) Royalty-free or public domain images, i.e. Public Domain Pictures or Morgue File
  • Royalty-free or public domain music, i.e. Incompetech or SoundCloud
  • Patience
  • An Internet connection
  • A YouTube account

Oh! And before you get started, here are a few quick tips:

  • Read license information carefully. Even if you don’t have to, it’s nice to credit those who helped contribute to your project.
  • Choose music and visuals that complement your genre, i.e. I write paranormal music, so I went for a mysterious, otherworldly vibe.
  • Keep things moving. Ideally, book trailers are between 00:30 and 1:30 long. If you use still images, try playing around with video effects that pan or zoom.
  • Avoid bombarding viewers with huge blocks of text.
  • Include relevant information, i.e. title, author, publisher, release date, etc.

Beyond that, just try to have fun. Think of your book trailer as another way to express yourself. 🙂 Good luck!

Divider_for_LightCB_Author_PhotoAbout the Author:

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.




Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013
Formats: E-Book & Paperback
Paperback ISBN: 9781938404351
E-book ISBN: 9781938404368

Short Synopsis:

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.





“Carrie Butler is now on my must read list.” ~Lynn Rush, author of Violet Midnight

“I carried Strength with me everywhere. Grocery shopping, the dinner table, you name it. The storyline was addictive, and the characters were hilarious. I couldn’t put it down.” ~Jessica Therrien, author of Oppression

“…Carrie Butler’s debut novel is brilliant, riveting, imaginative and seamlessly written.” ~Lisa Regan, author of Finding Claire Fletcher

“This is definitely one to buy for the bookshelf.” – All’s Fair with Pen and Paper

“I love that Carrie took so much time in building the relationship between them. Yay for no instalove!” – Read It, Reviewed It

“I freaking loved every last word on every page.” Scelest’s Journal

“I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’s interested in reading a bloody good book. :)” – The Life of a Total Book Nerd

“I devoured this book in two days – staying up until the early hours because I didn’t want to stop reading!” – Kyra Lennon, author of Game On


so that’s Carrie! i worked with Carrie during my NA Alley days and i am so excited to be hosting her on the blog today for a stop in her STRENGTH blog tour. she’s a wonderful woman & truly inspiring as an author because just look at the things she does for herself! she made her own book trailer (for free!) and now you can, too.

if you have any questions/comments/anything for Carrie, please comment below.

thanks for stopping by, Carrie!


Here for a Cover Reveal: “The Crimson Hunt” by Victoria H. Smith

Book information:
The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles, #1) by: Victoria H. Smith
Release Date: November 12, 2012
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Romance
Cover Image Designed by: Michelle Johnson
First chapter of THE CRIMSON HUNT is available on Victoria H. Smith’s blog (link to blog at bottom of post).
Book Description:

College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

About the Author: 

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.

Victoria H. Smith Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Y’all should know that I don’t often participate in cover reveals or interviews. The only time I have ever promoted books has been post-release and post-reading. So when I do these things–cover reveals, interviews, etc.–it’s because I have sought out the opportunity with the author. It’s because I am so jazzed about a book and an author that I want to be apart of the promotion as much as possible.

Victoria Smith is a fellow NA Alley sister, so I am a little biased, but I’m biased in a good way — I know this woman can write, and I know she can tell an engaging story. So I am stoked to be promoting her debut novel, The Crimson Hunt, by revealing it’s beautiful cover here on my blog. Be sure to read the first chapter of The Crimson Hunt over at Victoria’s blog, and be ready for her release on November 12, 2012. 

Would you give me a quick critique?

Last week at NA Alley, there was a 35-word pitch critique. It was an incredible event to be a part of, both as an NA Sister and as a participant. But as much of my attention was focused on giving feedback and critique to our readers, I didn’t really spend a lot of time revising my own 35-word pitch contribution.

Not that I’m anywhere near ready to pitch my novel, but when I find myself in a dark void of writing despair, I also find that refocusing my mind on the novel-at-large helps get me out of the dark void. That’s where I was last week, and where I’ve been for several weeks actually. Writing this 35-word pitch made me wrap my head around the most simplistic concept of my novel. It forced me to stop tugging on all these threads, and find the main thread.

The 35-word it was a requirement of the particular event being held at NA Alley, and I stuck to it. But now I’d really like some focused feedback and critique from you readers, if it’s not too much to ask. The feedback I did get during the session last week helped highlight what readers were understanding or not understanding in my main thread, and in turn, that helped me even more — both with understanding the finicky art of the quick pitch and my most basic plot conception.

Below is my 35-word pitch, revised once of feedback from last week’s event. If it’s not too much to ask of you, my readers, I’d like more thoughts. In exchange, if you’ve got a short little something you’d like a pair of outside eyes on, post it with your comment (and provide some context, please). And if you comment, please come back around to stay a part of the discussion and, I hope, enjoy a little spontaneous writerly help.

The Pitch

Title: #thatghoststory (Untitled WIP)

Genre: Urban Paranormal

Pitch: Vera spends more time with ghosts than living people, helping them find peace in death. When Vera’s friend reappears as a ghost, she learns Lennon’s set on revenge, not peace, and she’s his first victim.

35-word Pitch Critique Today @ NA Alley

Do you know what’s a good exercise? Writing a 35-word pitch for your manuscript or work in progress. Even better than that? Having the opportunity to seek feedback & provide other writers with feedback. It’s a cycle that helps you (the universal you) with writing, thinking, and critiquing. 

I just wanted to leave this post directing you to NA Alley today where we’re hosting a 35-word New Adult pitch critique. Author Lynn Rush is our guest critique-r, and she’s doing a fabulous and diligent job on every critique posted, and us NA ladies are doing our best to keep up with her!

While this is meant to be of particular help to those authors preparing for YAtopia’s pitch contest on July 10, and while I definitely encourage you writers with completed NA manuscripts to participate in YAtopia’s pitch contest on July 10, I don’t think anyone would mind if you just dropped by to share in the big feedback cycle.

We’re all seeking & offering critiques on 35-word pitches, revising frantically, but smartly, and then repeating the process. It’s been a fun day so far, and it will undoubtedly continue to be fun. If you haven’t joined us, you should.

You may also want to read Juliana’s post from yesterday about writing a 35-word pitch. And if you don’t have a completed manuscript today, don’t worry about it. Neither do I, but writing the 35-word pitch for #thatghoststory has helped me simplify my thoughts about the novel and has reminded me that at the heart of every story is a strong, simple idea.


I’m a Stylish Blogger, the fancy badge says so!

Summer Lane, my NA Sister, has tagged me with this Stylish Blogger award. Neat — my style is seeping (what a great-but-gross-sounding verb!) from my closet to my blog space. It’s really inevitable.

Alright, so it’s really not *inevitable* but a few of you may remember back in my old days of blogging (back when I was on Blogger, not WordPress) that a large portion of my blog was about fashion. I created outfits on requests and I reviewed books and I talked about NaNo. It was a pretty good blog, but obviously not the direction I wanted to keep going.

With this blog award from Summer, I’m pretty excited to talk about something a little fashion-y today.

The rule is simple — answer this question: when was the last time I got dolled up (you know, dressed up for some formal occasion or a date or, perhaps,  just because). 

April 28.

I know the exact date because a very close friend of Boyfriend’s (and now of me) got married — it was a truly beautiful & spectacular wedding. Seriously, books & old trunks & interesting knick-knacks & baby’s breath made up their center pieces on the tables. It was held in an old mansion in town and the style fit the venue. Absolutely breathtaking.

I wore this dress (it looks better on me than on this blonde) with some strappy, white sandals I wear pretty much every day:

And it was all very fun.

But aside from this wedding, I get really dressed up a few times a year. For weddings, and for holiday dinners, and for my anniversary, and usually Boyfriend & I will have a “fancy date night” just because we can. We both like getting dressed up, so we do it when we can.

The next rule is also simple: tag 3 more people for this award.

I’d like to see what these 3 people can come up with for this blog award tag:

L.G. Kelso @ Ramblings of a Red Head

Kenzie @ Kenzie Audacious

Sarrah @

What are you doing this summer? (Blog Me MAYbe)

Blog Me MAYbe — Wednesday — MAY I ask something about you?

So after getting into the habit of blogging every day in April, not blogging every day feels like I’ve cut of some small limb, one I’m not quite aware of  normally, like say my pinky, but then now I go to use my pinky all the time and it’s not there. Okay, so that’s a really awful analogy for blogging, but basically every day I think, “Oh, this would be something interesting to blog about,” and then I remember I’m not blogging everyday. Then I wondered why — so if I come back to blogging every, or almost every, week day, would that be alright with you, my dear blog readers? 

And don’t worry, that’s not actually the question I’m asking you. It’s just question I’m asking you. So anyway, it’s Wednesday and I did mention that I would probably do Wednesday combined with Blog Me MAYbe because I liked the prompt. I like the prompt because I want my blog to be home to some discussion — I want y’all to feel comfortable leaving comments, and sharing your opinions, and all of us meshing and not meshing as the mood suits us. In constructive, community-building ways.

So today I ask you:

Do you have any fun things planned for summer? Or is it just the same ol’, same ol’, and if it is, what are you looking forward to in the next 3.5 months anyway?

For me, I actually have a summer break this year, though that’s only sort of true because I do hold a regular job and will have to go work every day. But there is no #ohgradschool, and that’s just fantastic. If you read yesterday’s post, then you know I also have Noveling through Summer. I am also an NA Sister, and with my other sisters, I am really excited to keep promoting NA Alley and supporting the NA writer and reader community at large; for that, I am hoping to read one or two NA books a month before I go back to school in September.

I am moving at the end of the month, which I think I’ve mentioned here before, but now it’s slowly creeping up on me and over the weekend I’ll probably make a list of all the things that need to be done like canceling my cable and switching my utilities and having my mail forwarded and buying a ton of boxes. I’m selling some books today, and later this week making a much needed clothes donation run, all in prep of moving. Having less to move is always good in my book, and I have definitely collected some stuff while I’ve been in this apartment.

Lastly, I’m going on some vacations. Only the vacation with my mother is finalized and for sure happening in June, but Boyfriend is ready to get out of town, and we’ll probably get away in July. And I’m sure I’ll see my Dad this summer, either going away someplace or just visiting him.

Please leave your answer to my question(s) in the comments below, and have a good Wednesday!

Noveling through Summer & Blog Me MAYBE

Blog Me MAYbeMondayMAY I tell you something about writing?

So it’s another Blog Me MAYbe day here at baileyiswriting, and since I am also supposed to talk about Noveling through Summer once a week, until the end of May these two posts are going to be combined. This blog fest is very convenient to my usual content, and I really like that.

I have done some odds & ends work on #thatghoststory here as the semester winds up, but mostly I’ve just been letting my semester wrap up before diving headfirst into all that Noveling through Summer entails and all I want to accomplish in May with #thatghoststory. If you click that pretty picture above wherever you happen to see it on this blog or on other blogs, it should always bring you back to my main page for Noveling through Summer. But anyway, here is my goal for May:

May: ten-scene outline of novel; character profiles for 3 main characters & 3 secondary characters; outline of how Ghost Society functions.

I can’t say I have done any of that yet. I’ve written some zero drafts of the beginning and the climax, but I really do need to step back again and outline. I don’t get far without outlines. I am an outliner.

This week I think I’m just going to finish wrapping up my semester — all my course work is done, I just have to finish grading my students! — and then I’ll figure out a writing schedule I can stick to and start with that next week.

And don’t forget to check up on how the other Noveling through Summer participants are doing, and give them your support, too! You can find their buttons on my Noveling trough Summer main page.

Oh, and as always, be sure to stay up-to-date with NA Alley as my sisters and I also Blog Me MAYbe all month. We’re also hosting an epic giveaway, so be sure to enter!