Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reflections On My Book Trailer Teaser

As writers we envision what our characters look like, what they wear, where they live, yet seeing that unfold within my book trailers was quite literally, magic. On Halloween I viewed both the final version of the teaser and the working draft of the full trailer, which will soon be released. Emotion pinned me to my chair for those few minutes, and (no surprise) I've studied the trailers a number of times since.

To explain the process a bit, I provided my book cover, a synopsis, and a copy of my galley proof to the Art Director, Matt Faichnie. We chatted about the book, discussed what sort of music would capture the mood, and the amount of text I would provide. Now here was a new challenge. Writing an eight-page synopsis for a book is difficult enough. For the trailers I needed to craft phrases that captured the heart of Soliloquy without revealing too much.

As Matt began to story-board I started writing. My first draft was clumsy and several pages long. That would never do. This was supposed to be a visual encounter with Soliloquy, with minimal text. So I turned up the volume on Moonlight Sonata and started over.

Alone she creates (This first sentence was easy). Amazing music (Hard to think of amazing as ordinary, but I did. That sentence sounded ordinary). Extraordinary music (That might work). Searching for love (Strike that. My main character wasn’t actually searching for love; she yearned for it but was afraid to trust). Yearning for love? Aching for love? (That was better).

Alone she creates... Extraordinary music... Aching for love... Never found...

Yes! Over the course of several days I pared the full text down to forty-four words to represent a novel of 81,000 words. A fascinating challenge. I forwarded a working draft to Matt and he forged ahead with green-screen filming and his unbelievable computer magic. I tiptoed away, although I couldn't help but look over my shoulder once or twice.

A few weeks before Halloween we met so I could listen to the music he created and he shared a few unedited scenes. On Halloween, Matt sent me links to the teaser trailer and the working draft of the full version (an additional 45 seconds or so). First I watched the teaser trailer and I couldn’t stop grinning. Then I opened the link to the working draft and I think I traveled through time, right then and there. I was entranced.

After watching it several times and then viewing it again with my husband, I realized how many details Matt captured. The music crescendoed slowly, enhancing the action, embracing the re-enactment of the primary scene from my book cover. Erin and Arick lived and breathed.

Pouring your soul into a manuscript and having an editor tell you she enjoyed your story and wants to publish your book is an intense experience. The first glimpse of your book cover is highly emotional, as is signing off on your galley proof. Viewing my trailers transformed this Halloween into another magical day, courtesy of a talented cast directed by the extraordinary vision of Matt Faichnie of Improbability Productions. Abracadabra!


  1. I think making a trailer is great fun, it's such an accomplishment no matter who does the posting!

  2. You ended up with an impressive trailer. So lush and charming.

  3. Wow,
    I haven't gor around to doing anything about making a trailer before, too scared, but yours sounds great, you have spurred me on.

  4. What a gorgeous trailer! I haven't tried a trailer yet. Scares the cr*p out me even thinking about it.

  5. Hi Janet,
    I love your trailer. It's one of the most elegant book trailers I've ever seen. Congratulations!

    Like Margaret and Penny I haven't ventured into book trailer creation. I'm afraid of all the time it would take me to learn the program, and then find the pictures and music. If I decide I need a book trailer, I'll probably do the same as you and hire someone. If I get results like yours it would certainly be worth the money.