If you’ve been following me on social media, you would have noticed that I’ve been uploading videos on Tuesdays as part of a #TeaserTuesday hashtag to promote my books.
These 30-second videos include a snippet from my latest release and are animated with the magick that features in my YA Urban Fantasy series, Blackbirch.
Creating these images is both fun and easy, and since quite a few people have asked how I made them, I decided to do a blog post about it!
What You’ll Need
I use the free versions of Canva and Pixaloop, and the example in this post was made using these apps on my phone—in only a few minutes.
- Open Canva.
- Go to “Create a design.” I use the Instagram option because that’s the best size to post across all of my social media accounts.
- Select “Blank.”
The graphic I use for the background of my videos is a cropped section from my book cover. You can do something similar, use a different book-related image, or any other image you want (provided you own it or have permission to use it).
- Go to “Uploads” and select the image you want from the “Images” tab. If you don’t have an image already in Canva, use the “Upload an image or video” button to add an image saved to your phone.
- The image will appear on the blank template.
- Fit it to the template by moving the sides with your finger.
- Go to the “Export” icon at the top of the Canva app and press it (it looks like an upward arrow coming out of a box).
- Save your image as a PNG file.
- The image should then save to your “Photos” on your phone.
- Open the Pixaloop app.
- Go to “New Project.”
- Import the image from your “Photos.”
- Go to the “Animate” option at the bottom of the app.
- Select “Path” and use your finger to add the path of where you want the animation to flow.
- Adjust other settings like the “Speed” to make the animation faster or slower.
- Add any other “Effects” using the bottom menu. There are a few options in the free category. In my example, I’ve also added a sparkly effect (ES03).
- Once you’ve added all the effects and adjusted the speed and other settings to your preference, hit the “Export” button in the top right-hand corner and save the file as a “Video,” “Original,” change the “Duration” to “30 Seconds” and press the “Export” button.
- Your 30-second video will then save to your “Photos” on your phone.
- Go back to Canva.
- Go to “Uploads” > “Videos” and upload the video from your “Photo Library.”
- Add the video to your Canva template (I usually throw it on top of the image we made in the first step).
Now it’s time to add your text or other images. The only other image I’ve used here is a PNG of my book title in the book’s font, but you can also add things like your book cover, which I have done in other videos (you can find them on my Instagram).
- Press the circle with the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the app and bring up the “Upload” menu.
- Select “Uploads” to look at images you already have in Canva, or use the “Upload an image or video” button to add something new.
- The image you’ve selected will be added to your template.
- Move the image into place using your finger and Canva’s guides to line it up.
- Use the circle with the plus sign in the bottom right corner to bring up the “Text” options and select pre-made designs or add plain text as “Body Text,” “Subheading,” or “Heading.”
- I selected a simple, pre-made font option that had large text and then a smaller line of text below it.
- Edit the text by tapping inside the text box with your finger.
- Line up the text.
- Double-check your spelling (you’ll notice I initially typed steam instead of stream) and add any formatting, such as “Italics” or “Bold”, by selecting a section of text with your finger and tapping on the options. I added the Italics using a feature on my phone, but you can adjust the text in Canva using their options at the bottom of the app. The Canva font options also allow you to change the font style and its sizing.
- After you’ve got your text/images in place on top of the animated background, you’re done!
- Hit the “Export” icon in the top right corner of the app and chose the “Download video” option.
- Save it as an “MP4” and press the “Download” button. It will save the video to your “Photos” and you can then upload it to social media.
The Final Product
And that’s how I create animated book teaser videos!
It might seem daunting if you’ve never created a video before—and trust me—I had no clue what I was doing the first time I tried it. Now that I know the steps, it’s easy and doesn’t take long. Then, once you have an animated background created, changing the text or images on top gives you endless fresh options, with most of the work done already.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and that it inspires you to create your own animated teasers or other book-related promo videos. If it does, let me know. I’d love to check them out!
— K.M. Allan