Day 5: Introducing Kidlit Book-Trailer Designer Cyndi Marko
When my debut chapter book Kung Pow Chicken #1 came out, I was on a really tight schedule to get the next three books completed as all four were set for 2014. I never had the chance to do anything for their launch, so I thought this time, with Piggy, I would have some fun with its release!
What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was that I had no idea how to make a trailer! But I had seen two or three really fun fan-made trailers that some elementary school students had made for Kung Pow Chicken and I thought if kids can do it…I probably will fail miserably. :) But I was determined to try! I read some articles on making book trailers and found the two most important things are to make a script first, and to keep it simple. So that’s what I did.
What was your greatest triumph?
Doing the voice over. I originally hadn’t planned on it because the very idea gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies. But I thought if young kids are watching with a parent or teacher or caregiver, a voice over with the text might be necessary. It was really discomfiting as I had no idea I sounded like that! But I pushed through and even made piggy noises at the end. I’ve been really trying hard to go outside of my comfort zone lately so I’m proud I was able to get through it.
What program(s) did you use to create your book trailer?
When I was researching how to make a trailer, what program to use was of great concern. I couldn’t afford to purchase pro editing software, and some of the free programs seemed too complicated or too limited. I already had an Adobe subscription for Photoshop and Acrobat Pro, so I thought I’d see if Adobe had anything suitable. That’s when I discovered Adobe Spark. It’s free for everyone, even without an existing Adobe subscription. It’s not a movie editor, it’s an online social media tool for creating graphics and memes, web stories, and animated videos.
I also used Photoshop to create the slides I uploaded to Spark. I wanted more control over the fonts and their placement/size/color etc, so I added the text in PhotoShop and made it part of the images rather than use Spark’s text option.
I’ve had lots of experience with PhotoShop, but this was my first time using Spark. I really liked Spark because like most Adobe programs it’s pretty user-friendly. They have templates you can use or, like I did, you can start from scratch to create your project. It was super easy to learn, and even easier to edit. You can upload images and video, add text and voiceovers, and upload your own music. If you don't have your own, they have a nice little collection of free music. They also have a Creative Commons library with thousands of icons available to use.
Would you recommend the program for to someone who is making a book trailer for the first time?
I think Spark is a fantastic option for someone who wants to make their own book trailer but isn’t experienced with video editing. You don’t even really need PhotoShop. All you need is an idea.
Tell us about the trailer's adorable music, how did it come to be?
The adorable music was composed and recorded by one of my author besties, Larissa C. Hardesty. She has her debut YA come out this month as well, so I approached her about us helping each other with our book trailers. We traded skills. She provided music for my trailer in exchange for me putting together her trailer from a script she provided. It was really fun working together and I think both trailers turned out great considering neither one of us had ever made one before.
Do you think you'll be creating more book trailers in the future?
Absolutely! It was really fun and not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I think a trailer is really great way to let people know what your book is about.
Click the cover to purchase your copy of THIS LITTLE PIGGY: AN OWNER"S MANUAL, an Aladdin PIX illustrated chapter book for kids 6-9 that tells the tale of a brother and sister who—more than anything—want a pet pig, written and illustrated by Cyndi Marko, available in paper over board and as an ebook!