Animoto is a video creation service: Pick a theme, a few pictures, music and text. The service will take your preferences and blend them together into a video. You can download the video (as an MP4 or DVD image) and upload that to services like YouTube. Which is exactly what I did.
It’s a subscription service, but don’t let that intimidate you: You can also subscribe, create and download your videos, then unsubscribe.
There is a free option, but I didn’t really like the result – you’re limited to 30 seconds of video and some options are disabled. (It actually turns out to be less than 30 seconds, since you’re also forced to have a couple-second Animoto ad at the end). If you pay for Animoto’s “Pro” account ($39), you can remove the Animoto branding and get a few other perks.
I’m very happy with Animoto’s Pro service, and will use it again for future books. For self-publishing, if you need a way to create a nice-looking, simple book trailer, you may want to check them out.
Below is what I created – I now have mini-trailers for both my Dev Manny and Transhuman series. The music and picture effects are from Animoto. The pictures and text are from me.