This week I’ve been working on a long-delayed project: my book trailer. Writing the script isn’t too hard. Finding (or creating) pictures or other images is also not too difficult.
The real time consuming task is finding music.
The music’s job in the trailer is to convey emotion, to create a mood. So when searching for music for your book trailer, the question is what do you want the listener to feel, other than an irresistible urge to buy your book?
Consider these questions carefully. If the mood of your script changes from carefree to a looming disaster, the music you select will need to reflect that. If you are writing a historical novel, urban hip hop won’t work.
I’ve already spent hours listening to tracks, and have a long list of “maybes.” What I’m realizing is I need to go back to my script and make some revisions to get greater clarity on the mood and the message I am trying to convey. Then I’ll be able to narrow down my search.
The other consideration is cost. Some music is listed on the internet as “royalty free.” This does not mean you get to use it for free. What you will have to do is pay for the music, and then you can use it for your book trailer without any additional charges.
Some websites that offer royalty free music are:
Using music that is not royalty free means that you will have to pay per use: every time you post your trailer, possibly every time it is viewed. That could be a huge accounting nightmare that you don’t want to have. And not paying can get you sued: another nightmare you’d probably rather avoid.
Before you buy, download the sample track and play it against your book trailer to make sure it fits. You’ll hear the repeated words “sample” or “preview” or something like that in the sample just so you can’t steal it, but you’ll be able to tell if the music will work for your project.
Also before you pay, read the license agreement carefully to make sure you understand what your rights are regarding using the music.
There are also free sites like Wikimedia Commons that offer completely free music, with the stipulation that you give credit in your project.
So think of it this way: if you do all the work yourself and only have to pay $30 or so for some royalty free music, it’s worth. That’s a small investment compared to several hundred dollars you might pay someone else to create your book trailer.