Tag Archives: video

The Making of a Video Trailer

As a recently published author, I am still learning the ins and outs of the promotional side of this business. When I received my author’s packet last fall, I developed my Facebook page, started a Twitter account, joined Smashwords and Goodreads. I slowly began to use them. Okay, I don’t use them like I should, but I do use them.

Sometime around Thanksgiving, my publisher, Second Wind, talked to me about doing a video book trailer. I realized immediately that this was going to be a little more complicated than posting a tweet @hvpurvis. This was going to be a major undertaking, kinda scary even. We talked and I, having a theater background, had an idea of a scene to do. Mike liked it. I called my son, Adam, who has just started a video graphics company and had built my website, hvpurvis.com and explained what I wanted to do. His response? “Yeah, we can do that. I’m really swamped right now, but I’ll give it some thought.”

Adam and I talked about the video several times. He had a different idea than mine. It was a good idea and the one he wanted to use, since his name would be on the credits. .

In early January, I get an email with an attachment, Storyboard. He laid out the action in still drawings complete with descriptions. Another attachment contained the voiceover dialogue for each of the scenes. Adam wanted to film it with an iPhone to give it that “I just saw this happening and filmed it” look. He thought using a “real” video camera would take away some of the realism. He arranged for my daughter, me, two of his long time friends, who are almost like my children, and himself to film one weekend. Friday evening they shot the interior scenes. On Saturday, a dreary over-cast day, they arrived at the barn. (I write in my barn loft.)

Adam explained what each scene would entail and we shot one for practice, just to get the feel of it. We shot each scene five or six times with slight adjustments or small changes to see what worked best.

He spent the next two weeks putting it together, tweaking, and getting it like he wanted. I had seen drafts at each stage and offered suggestions and comments. Then the finished product arrived in an email. I was amazed, and it was posted at http://youtu.be/K2SvcqSgs4g

Although making the trailer took time, the experience was exhilarating and fun. Now, I’m working on scenes to film for my forthcoming books—with much anticipation!

H.V. Purvis
Author of Extinction and it’s soon to be released sequel, Survival. Also due out this spring is the murder mystery, Death In A Small Town.

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To Vid or Not To Vid

What sells a book?

It is obvious that people are not going to buy something they don’t know about. We are told the best way to inform people in this cyber age is with a website, a blog site and be on every possible social network. I have a website and blog site and I’m on Facebook and Twitter. To be very honest with you I don’t quite yet have Twitter figured out. I’m also on Linked in, but that’s another one I haven’t figured out yet.

Having done all those things, my question is, “When they come to your site what is the more effective sell; an excerpt or a video?” If you want to share your opinion the comment tab is open.

So here is a picture of the cover, and a brief description of The telephone Killer. I will also post a brief excerpt and a short video. What I’m wondering is if the video really does something or is it just fluff in the selling process.

Someone said of the video, “Well it lends credibility.” It seems to me it is the writing that has to be credible. So if you would read the excerpt and watch the video I would love I if you would let me know which, if there was only one or the other, is more likely to get you to buy the book.

OK. Here goes.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00024]

Who will he kill next? A local television station is the link between a murderer and his victims. When the unknown killer calls the station, misleading clues cannot help his intended targets.

But why is he killing seemingly random people? An insurance salesman, a police officer and a hitchhiker; the police cannot connect the victims to each other much less to the killer.

The questions haunt Vince Williams as he takes charge of the task force set up to stop the serial killer. When the team comes too close to answers, the killer makes a bold and very personal move against Vince. 

As Vince races to find the killer and rescue his fiancé, he is haunted by the killer’s calm promise to destroy the woman Vince loves. Vince will do anything to save her. – Anything.

Excerpt for Telephone Killer

‟KWBD newsroom. Andrea Becker speaking.”

‟I have a news story for you.” The voice was quiet, but was easily heard and had a calm and soothing quality. ‟I would appreciate it if you did not interrupt me with questions until I have finished what I have to say.” He paused. ‟I have just killed a police officer. After determining there was no one else in the area, or anyone in his car with him, I shot him in the head. The bullet entered the left temple and exited on the right side. The killing took place at precisely ten forty-seven this morning. You will find his body in his car located at the end of Harmon Place. He did not suspect a thing. I imagine he thought I was going to ask for directions or something of that nature. He was in car number seven, twenty-six and his badge number is eighteen, twenty-one. I hope as a public service you will make the most of this news opportunity. ”

The phone went dead but still Andrea said, ‟Hello. Hello.”

* * *

Harmon Place rose up the gentle hill to end at a barricade beyond which there was some tall grass and scraggly brush interspersed with a few scrub oak trees. The street was paved with curbs and sidewalks in place and sloping driveways leading to bare dirt lots that were beginning to fill with weeds. From the end of Harmon Place, at the top of the hill, one could look down on Falcon Heights and beyond it to the city. At night, the sight of the city lights was spectacular and the curbs of Harmon Place, and other streets like it, were dotted with the cars of young lovers. Officer Remke had never parked there at night himself, but often in the middle of the morning, he parked at the end of Harmon Place to catch up on his reports so he would have that much less to do back at the station when his shift was over.

The KWBD crew from the senior citizen center, which was two miles away, got there a few minutes before the first patrol car. In that time the KWBD crew were able to get pictures of the dead officer sitting behind the wheel of his car with blood on his cheek and neck and splattered all over his uniform and the car seat. So much of the right side of his head was blown away it would have been hard to determine it was a human head if it were not for the neck and then the uniformed body below it.

More patrol cars arrived, and the police started stringing up yellow tape to keep people back. Unmarked cars with detectives and professionals from the homicide division arrived. Five minutes later, the Live-News truck arrived. Although the crew from the truck was prevented by the police from getting close enough to the crime scene to get any good pictures, the video George Patton had taken before anyone else got there was transmitted by the Live truck to the station for broadcast.

Here is the video for Telephone Killer

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Paul’s book The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing will be out in December, 2012.

Please feel free to re blog any of my posts.

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My Book Trailer Experience by Coco Ihle

My son, Rob, was visiting recently and I asked him if he would like to help me put together the trailer for my book, SHE HAD TO KNOW. He was enthusiastic, but busy with work, so I did the preliminaries. I watched dozens of book trailers on the Internet and came to two conclusions. The perfect length seemed to be a little over one minute, and eerie music and a British voice over would really help set the mood for the Gothic feel I wanted.

At my piano I experimented with notes that would create an eerie tune. When satisfied with the music, I developed a script. The hard part was keeping both simple.

Many of the trailers I’d seen had too much unnecessary information in the overall content, too much text per frame, hard to read text, too many pictures or ones that moved too fast. I needed: the one sentence TV Guide version of my book, in video.

The basic elements of my book contain a premonitory dream, one sister searching for her birth family, a castle, secrets, an ancient treasure, danger, a murderer.

Now to decide what pictures to use. First, I needed a title page and a background graphic. I had painted a faux rock wall in my sunroom a couple of years ago and thought that would make a perfect backdrop for the text of my book title, so I took a photo of a portion of the wall.

The next would logically be from the dream—a hand coming from a grave. On a night with a full moon, Rob, and I went out in the front yard and set up a floor lamp in front of a gnarled tree. The lamp highlighted his arm, but was hidden from view as I positioned my camera in front of Rob. Just as the camera started shooting, he blew cigarette smoke toward his hand and the resulting video looked like a hand reaching upward on a foggy night with the gnarled tree silhouetted in the background.

We didn’t count on my neighbor walking his dog about this time. Can you believe we scared him? He uttered a strange nonverbal sound, and to cover it, said, “What is this? Halloween?” Rob and I were still laughing when we went back inside.

The next pictures needed were of a man in a kilt and a picture of a young woman (family). That was easy enough. I used photos on hand.

Then, we needed a castle at night. I went searching on istockphoto.com and Fotolia.com and finally found a black and white video that was perfect. I purchased it and downloaded it to my computer.

For the “secrets” shot, I went hunting again on the Internet and found the tunnel video.

For the “treasure” shot, I gathered all the things around my house that could possibly be used to represent a treasure and took a photo.

For the “danger” shot, I went to the Internet again and found the wonderful eyeball. For the last shot, Rob and I videoed my arm falling. Next was the book cover and credits.

Using a program I had on my computer for doing family slide shows called, Magix PhotosStory on CD & DVD 9 deluxe, we lined up the photos and videos in order and added the music I had composed and recorded on an organ at my son’s store (complete with sound effects embedded.) The next step was adding the text to some of the frames.

I convinced a British friend of mine to do the voice over. That comprised the second sound track. All I had to do then was add the credits and send the video to Youtube. I also made a DVD of it, just for me, and I asked my web maven to put it on my website.

Some of you may want to hire a professional to do your book trailer, but I really wanted to try one on my own. It gave me a wonderful bonding experience with my son and memories I’ll never forget. If anyone has questions about how to put a trailer together yourself, I’d be glad to help if I can. If you’d like to see my trailer, go to  www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS_L0wQ7Zws  note: that’s a zero after the L. Any comments? Your own ideas?

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Book Trailer — Staccato by Deborah J Ledford

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