Once you have all of the elements for your sizzle reel in a file format, you are ready to create the sizzle reel. These four elements, as previously noted, include the following:
– the narration as a mp3 or wav file
– a music file (highly recommended) as mp3 or wav file
– the photos or images in a jpg., jpeg., .png, or other accepted format
– the video clips if any in an mp4 or other accepted video format.
The next step is adding in a slide with any credits and information on where viewers can get your book or contact you. Additionally, you want to create some background music for a more professional touch.
Commonly, a sizzle reel includes one or two final slides with the credits and contact information. This can include a website for the book, film, or author if there is one, as well as an email and phone number. If you don’t already have this information in a .JPEG or video format, an easy way to create these slides is as PowerPoint presentation with one or two slides.
Once you set up the script for the narrative and corresponding photos and video clips, you can select these from those you already have. Or you or your video editor can select them from any of the free or paid stock photo and video sources. To save money in creating the sizzle reel, select the photos or clips from your collection or obtain them yourself from one of the stock photo and video sources. This will save the video editor time in searching for the photos and clips and then getting your approval before buying them.
Once you decide to create a sizzle reel, which can be a book or script trailer or promotional video for any kind of product or service, you need the following major elements to create it. You can do this yourself, though if you are not experienced with video editing or don’t want to learn how to use a video platform, you can hire a video editor to create the sizzle reel for you.
A typical sizzle reel is about 2 minutes, ranging from about 90 seconds to 3 minutes, and is composed of these major elements:
1) A voice-over narration (and/or text, though not recommended)
2) Photos or video clips
3) One or more slides with text, usually for your website and contact information
4) Some background music to accompany the narration and contact information
This is the first of a series of blogs and articles to show you how a sizzle reel, also known as a book or script trailer or promotional video, can help you make a pitch more powerful or compelling if you are trying to find an agent, publisher, or producer or promote your project once it is published or produced.
In fact, a sizzle reel can be used to introduce and promote any kind of product or service, such as if you are promoting workshops, speaking engagements, consulting, coaching, courses, or anything else based on your book. You can create a sizzle reel to build interest and sales, too. This article is based on a chapter on creating sizzle reels in my book: Turn Your Book or Script into a Film. If you want to learn more, I hope you will want to subscribe to this newsletter, which will feature tips and techniques for publishing, producing, and promoting books and scripts.