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How to Use Fiverr to Create a Book Trailer

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courtesy Flickr’s Surian Soosay

My husband first told me about Fiverr after the company he works for used their services to have a video created as a teaching tool for their staff. He raved about not only the quality of the video, but the experience of working with a Fiverr artist and the price tag that came along with it.

“Wait, back up a sec,” you say. “What’s Fiverr?”

Fiverr [2] is a freelancers’ marketplace, where you can hire others to create a range of goods and tools, including:

business cards
book covers
promotional videos
banner advertising
and more

Not all artists are created equal, of course, but every freelancer on Fiverr has a public relationship with their past clients; prior ratings and response times are listed to help you gauge the reliability of your artist before you hire them.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of a Trailer, for Nonfiction Books and Novels

Not every project may be worth the effort and expense of a book trailer, but as we neared the end of production for Author in Progress [3], the book we all created together here at Writer Unboxed, I knew this WAS a book that was worth a trailer. Top three reasons:

  1. A pitch for this book could be written that would be fundamentally similar to one you’d see in a commercial for soap or physical therapy or anything else with utility, geared toward a very specific audience: writers of novels.
  2. The book delivers on the promise of that pitch.
  3. The video could be made using a white-board and/or cartoon-character approach, with a modest budget.

Does this mean you shouldn’t consider a Fiverr trailer if you have a novel as opposed to a craft book for novelists?

Not necessarily. Though there are fewer clear options for folks who don’t mind something somewhat generic (like these possibilities for your fantasy [4], romance [5], or suspense [6]) some Fiverr artists will match imagery with a narrative you provide. For example here’s one artist [7] (I don’t know him from Adam — or from Steven, in this case), who claims to use quality stock photos and music to create a personalized video. “If you need a video about a girl with blonde hair trying to make it in Hollywood, I may use a photo of a blonde girl waiting tables (if that is in the book) or a girl carrying luggage. I may not use faces that much. I try to leave the specifics to your audience and your book,” he writes in his FAQ section.

Before you decide to commit to a trailer, though, consider the pros and cons, including:

Find Potential Fiverr Matchups, and Prep for Outreach

If you’re ready to proceed or at least explore possibilities, start with a search. Use terms like ‘book trailer’ or ‘movie trailer’ on Fiverr’s main site to help you find artists with video expertise, or post a request to the Fiverr community directly [8].

Read carefully through the FAQ sections of any artists-of-interests. Look through their portfolios, if they’re publicly available, and consider if what you want syncs up with what they provide. If you know a package will only guarantee 10 images, for example, don’t dream up a 150-scene trailer. (That said, if you find an artist whose style you love and what you’d like isn’t something they offer, you can still reach out to them with your pitch. They may come back to you with a custom offer.)

It’s worth your time to write out a script and storyboard so the artist can visualize your ideal final product–and can tell you straightaway if your dream video is outside of their capabilities. Below is the script and storyboard I submitted to artists-of-interest for the Author in Progress project.


Contact Your Finalists

With your script finished, you’re ready to reach out to artists-of-interest. Contact them through their pages, introducing yourself and your project. They should respond in a timely manner–usually within 24-48 hours–after which you’ll have a better feel about the likelihood of a match.

Ask questions of your finalists that aren’t already transparent on their artist pages. What is their policy on revisions? Do they take care of the voice-over work and any music? How many clients would be ahead of you and your project? How quickly will they be able to create a draft? Are they flexible on any points you think are important (the use of more art, for example, or the length of the video itself), and how will that change the price? Do they have a portfolio of their work that isn’t readily available on Fiverr, so you can get a better feel for their adaptability and range?

Send them your story board or plan, any requests about narration (male or female voice, for example) and see how they respond. Is the project within their comfort zone? Do you feel confident in their abilities?

Make a Choice

If you’ve committed to a trailer and feel good about your project in the hands of one particular artist, accept their offer through Fiverr. In relatively short order, your artist should walk you through the next necessary steps–sending a script, perhaps choosing images or music–before getting to work.

And then, you wait.

Ask for Revisions, if Needed

Once you receive a link to the draft, review it three times before reaching out to the artist. The first time is just for you to take it in as a consumer. The second time is to be as critical as possible about the video, noting things that could be better. The third time is to prioritize that list, letting go of the minor imperfections that don’t matter in the least to your finished work.

Draft up a note with a list of any changes you’d like to make, and submit that to the artist. The artist we worked with for the Author in Progress video was responsive to requests for minor changes (e.g. adjusting something that looked awkward in a scene or having the voice-over artist re-record a mispronounced word).

Ultimately, after a few tweaks, I felt great about our final product.

Use Your Trailer

After you upload your trailer to its own YouTube page–something you should definitely do, as YouTube could bring its own audience to your work–link to it through some of your social media efforts.

Don’t forget it exists! Your video is an asset. Make it work for you.

Have a tip-laden experience with Fiverr or another book-trailer producer that you’d like to share? Have an opinion about book trailers in general that you want to voice? The floor is yours.

About Therese Walsh [13]

Therese Walsh co-founded WU in 2006 and is the site's editorial director. She was the architect and 1st editor of WU's only book, Author in Progress [14], and orchestrates the WU UnConference. [15] Her second novel, The Moon Sisters [16], was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and Book Riot; and her debut, The Last Will of Moira Leahy [17] was a Target Breakout Book. Sign up for her newsletter [18] to be among the first to learn about her new projects (or follow her on BookBub [19]). Learn more on her website [20].