Monday, September 21, 2015

Creating a Book Trailer - Guest Blog and Giveaway with Traci L Slatton

Creating a Book Trailer for BLOOD SKY

By Traci L. Slatton

            Usually, when I finish a novel, I contact Book Candy Studios and hire them to make a book trailer. Trailers can help market a book and get it noticed in our visually-based culture. Book Candy Studios is fantastic—everyone loves their beautiful trailers. But when I finished BLOOD SKY, Book 4 in The After Series, I had a budget in place. I’ve also been doing a lot of video work for my husband sculptor Sabin Howard, and I've become comfortable with iMovie on a Mac. So I felt ready to try my hand at creating a book trailer myself. I have no background or training in film making, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

            First, I surfed the internet for reasonably priced footage. I ended up at The tag line for this book reads, “Would you gamble everything to save everyone you love?” and the poker game is central to the story of BLOOD SKY. Reasoning that the trailer should show that, I searched for poker and card footage. I found several clips that intrigued me. Other search terms included “couple kissing” and “ominous clouds,” because of the love story with Emma and Arthur and the devastating mists, respectively.

            As mentioned, I have zero background in film making, and when I assembled various clips prior to purchasing them, I was immediately confronted with the need for coherence in the video, for a unified look. I had to choose clips that would fit together, that would look right together. These clips had to have enough similarity of feel that the viewer wouldn’t be jolted out of the trailer. So I made a decision not to show an entire face in the trailer. Parts of a face, yes. So we see the poker-chip man’s face in profile, but not the whole thing, and he’s wearing dark glasses. And we don’t see the beautiful, buxom woman’s face at all.

            There were other decisions to make as I proceeded. For one, how long would each clip last? Some friends in the movie biz in LA helped with this. I uploaded a first draft into youtube and sent them the link. They sent back some advice. The most important suggestion was to keep the clips short because people have short attention spans. So I shortened all the clips. One friend also suggested adding words to locate the viewer within the action—a great idea that I implemented immediately!

            It was imperative that this trailer feature a great, suspenseful, moody soundtrack, and I found it immediately. It’s called “Under the Apocalyptic Sky” and was written by a composer known as RedDeer on Pond5. It was perfect for what I had in mind: bull’s eye! It was easy to work with this music, to fit it to the footage to make a video of the appropriate length.

            In the end, after several hours of work and some great editorial suggestions from friends, I ended up with a trailer that gives information about BLOOD SKY in an enticing and visually appealing way. Is it a professional trailer? No, and maybe that’s part of its charm: it’s an author-created book trailer, made with old-fashioned imagination, spit, and elbow grease.


Blood Sky
The After Series
Book 4
Traci L. Slatton

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Parvati Press

Date of Publication: August 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-942523-02-4

Word Count: 67,000

Cover Artist: Gwyn Snider

Book Description:

In a time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test… Deep in the badlands of Outpost City, in the Dark Horse saloon, a poker game is being played. The stakes are life and death—for the world.

What can Emma afford to lose? Will she gamble on herself, or on Arthur?

Will love find a way when the apocalypse closes in? A mystical odyssey, a haunting love…

Available at Amazon

About the Author:

Traci L. Slatton is the international bestselling author of historical, paranormal, and romantic novels, including IMMORTAL (BantamDell) and BROKEN; the award-winning dystopian After Series which includes FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, FAR SHORE, and BLOOD SKY; the bittersweet romantic comedy THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE; and the vampire art history romp THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. She has also published the lyrical poetry collection DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE and THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about figurative sculpture through the ages. Her book PIERCING TIME & SPACE explores the meeting ground of science and spirituality.


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