I’m always thrilled to have a new book trailer to debut and it’s such fun to work with the awesomely talented (and patient) Theresa McClinton of Making It Reel. Here’s the backstory of how we work on the trailers!
First I give her the book cover art, the blurb and any really quotable reviews there might be. Then we start by selecting the music – she sends me a set of suggestions, which I dutifully listen to and make notes about. Last time I even got brave and went questing on the soundtrack site for a few more choices (fast tempo, drums – that’s me LOL). Ultimately we went with her top choice but bookmarked my favorite for possible use on our next SFR trailer. It just wasn’t quite the right “feel” for ESCAPE.
Then it’s on to the images and video clips. She and I go back and forth on the stock photos as she has excellent instincts for what might work but ultimately it’s my book and my characters and we authors are funny about the little worlds we create. (Which Theresa totally gets as she is an author herself). We had an easier time of it collaborating on the video trailer for my “Gods of Egypt” paranormal series because there are wonderful stock photos and computer recreations to use, both of Egypt itself and of artifacts from the time period I set my novels in. Please feel free to judge that video for yourself on youtube!
A challenge I do run into on book trailers for the Gods of Egypt is that the models in stock photos (or their photographers) tend to think that old, hackneyed “walk like an Egyptian” dance craze is the pose to use (um no) AND/or they’re wearing what look like bad Halloween costumes. Not what you want for your serious, romantic book video! Someday maybe I’ll have the luxury and fun of doing my own photo shoot for the covers and videos. I have looked into the idea, for the future, but to do it right, since authentic-looking costumes, wigs and elaborate makeup would be required, I’d need a decent budget and right now, that much promo for any one book just isn’t in the (credit) cards.
For ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, the requirements included the far future, an alien planet and alien sentients. Again, without a Star Trek or Star Wars-sized budget, I think Theresa was quite artistic in choosing the photos that made the final shoot. There is a whitewater rafting incident in the novel and my characters do visit a monastery high in the mountains seeking help along the way, so we could use some Earthly photos to suggest the feel of those episodes on Zulaire. After all, Zulaire has to be quite Earthlike for my characters to survive without life support or spacesuits.
Luckily for us, the female cover model had a variety of other poses available we could use in the video but the hero, much as we both liked him, took all of nine photos in one session, once, as far as we can tell from searching the photo sites, and that was it. So we had something of a challenge in assembling a video that told the story effectively in about two minutes, using stock photos of the original book cover art models.
Once Theresa has assembled a rough cut of the video she sends it to me to review. First I’ll watch the trailer two or three times without analyzing or commenting, just to get an overall sense for the feel of it, does it convey the feel of the book to me, are any elements standing out – good or bad – on repeated viewings? I make detailed notes for her, with the exact spot in the video that is affected, down to the second. Some elements are only a few seconds long but they all add up to the experience of the final product. Sometimes I want the wording changed a bit and sometimes I’m not resonating with a particular photo or video clip. But we rapidly reach the point where I LOVE it and then the video goes live for everyone else to (hopefully) enjoy.
I hope our mini movie will please you (and the book of course, which so far has spent nearly two months on the Amazon Science Fiction Romance Best Seller lists…)