Wednesday, August 21

Book Trailer

Many of you have already seen the book trailer for Hanging by the Moment, but I wanted to take a few minutes to not only show it off again, in case anyone had missed it, but to talk a little bit about the creative process.

There were several learning curves for me, and one of them was realizing that creating a book trailer isn't the same thing as creating movie trailer. I needed to focus on the mood of the book and a few key points, rather than trying to summarize the story (after all, that's what blurbs are for). The biggest piece of it was finding the right music (and not paying more than I could afford for the license to use it!) Once I had my music, I started thinking about phrases: what was the heart of the book? It was hard to narrow down; there are a lot of themes running through the novel, but it really boiled down to one thing: coping with falling in love with someone who is HIV positive.

The next trick was finding images that captured the way Pasha felt (because the entire story is from Pasha's POV)--and of course working with what images were available on stock image websites (again, that are within my price range).
I don't actually know whether or not book trailers help sales, but my first degree (not that I did anything in it) was in radio and television broadcasting. Admittedly, that was about a million years ago when video cameras were these huge hulking things and honestly, I couldn't carry both the camera and the battery pack, because each weighed at least fifteen pounds; the video tapes were 3/4 of an inch wide. Not the cassette, the tape itself. Editing was done on a monstrous council--or if you only had home equipment, by hooking up two VCRs.
The technology has come a long way since then. Using nothing more than some purchased stock images, stock music (I think I spent around $20 total), and video editing software that cost $40, I was able to create the above video. Now, the learning curve was kind of long--it took over 12 hours of fiddling and futzing, but I suspect the next one won't take nearly as long. (I'm actually thinking about doing a trailer for Bound and Heart's Home once I have a little more time.)  If I'd wanted to, I could have used stock video images, or of course shot my own, either with my camera (that weighs less than half a pound) or my cell phone.
Long gone are the days of lugging around this kind of equipment:

router--links multiple cameras
RM 440 Editing console
3/4 inch video cassette--would NOT fit into
standard home VCR
Newspaper ad for home computer equipment

Look, a fax!



Melissa Keir said...

I loved the trailer. It was heartwarming and showed what you wanted...would love be enough?

I'm scared to do my own and I've tried it, but I don't have the skill set so kudos to you!

H.B. Pattskyn said...


Thank you so much!

The program I used was really great (Wondershare Video Editor). It cost about forty bucks and I only had to fiddle with a couple of things to get it to do exactly what I wanted it to. For the most part, it was drag and drop.

Marianne Stephens said...

Nice video...such a hard decision to make - love the one you feel is right for you or walk away because of HIV.

Unknown said...

An amazing story theme. You did a fantastic job on the trailer and the music is ideal for the mood. Do you mind sharing where you found the music? Best of luck with sales.

H.B. Pattskyn said...

I got the music and images from
Most of their stock music is reasonable (although a lot of the classical stuff is pricy, but the cinematic themes were mostly under $30).