Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Creating A Book Trailer

Author Christine Lindsay has had first hand experience in creating trailers for novels. (See last week's post for part one of creating book trailers and using them for marketing purposes.) 

Today, Christine continues to share how she went about creating book trailers for her novels, Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight.

Christine - Use your imagination. But don’t be too quick to say your trailer is finished. Have your friends look at it. Ask them if the text is going by too fast? Are any of the little flourishes making it hard to read?

This happened when I added a little sunburst to when Laine in Captured by Moonlight says, “But never again.”

It creates a second of confusion because the burst of light obscures the first word. But the sentence is short, and that little burst of light is resonant of the defiant emotion in the character. So I kept it that way. But in the end made the size of the text bigger.

By using different lengths for scenes you can slow down where you want the watcher to stay longer, such as in Shadowed in Silk where the reader is introduced to those Indian arches and the word India comes out at them in glorious color.

In Captured by Moonlight, I used the same arches, but adjusted the color to the bluish tone. My viewer remains there a little longer to understand the tension of the story as it comes out at them.

In the back-to-back scenes with Laine in Captured by Moonlight, where the script says Adam crushed her heart, I shortened the seconds for that text and video to 3 seconds, so that the quickness produces an almost toss of the head with that burst of light, when the character says, “But never again.”

In my opinion, a reader doesn’t need to read every single word, but that’s me. When I see an ad for a movie, I’m only getting a ‘feel’ for the movie.

That’s the part of me that as a painter I’m not afraid to experiment. Same thing with my trailers, they aren’t someone else’s artistic impression of my book, they are my artistic impression of my book.

In both my trailers I’ve made mistakes that I’ve learned from.

In Shadowed in Silk, I played around too much with different types of color tones. I started out in somber and then changed to a rush of color when my main character gets to India. That’s all fine, but the black and white photo of the soldiers in the WW1 trenches is just too different in tone and texture. It jars.

I did better at keeping the tone of the pictures in Captured by Moonlight. If you’ll notice there is a bluish tone to all photos—a coolness and a softness to the texture.

But in the first shot of Laine in her nurse’s uniform there is a hair out of place from poor cropping of the photo, and the color tone isn’t quite right.

Still all in all, it’s not too bad, and it cost me less than $100 to produce.

It creates an emotional response, and that is worth it to me.

(See Christine's book trailers: Book Trailer for Shadowed in SilkBook Trailer for Captured by Moonlight)


Christine Lindsay writes historical novels with strong love stories. She’s proud of her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard, and one of the ships they helped build was the Titanic. Another ancestor served in the British Cavalry in India, seeding Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her series Twilight of the British Raj, and her debut novel, SHADOWED IN SILK. Her current release CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT is Book 2 of that series.
The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. She and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but look forward to all the noise when the kids and grandkids come home. And like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.


  1. Wow, that was a lot of thought that went into your trailer! No wonder it's so good. Great tips on creating a connection with your readers. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    1. Thanks Angie, I find most authors think on the same side of the brain as painters anyway, so their creative juices start to flow one they play around with the program and see what it can do.

  2. Very informative. I had no idea you could do a trailer for such little expense.

    1. I took my time Davalyn, and shopping around on the stock photos helps. Some are cheaper than others. It's time consuming though. What you save in cash, you put in through sheer number of hours.

  3. So much cool information, Christine. I have gotta catch up with your previous post, sadly I missed it. I am an artist too (oil paint) but making a trailer (as well as most blogging these days) kinda terrifies me due to copyright and trademark issues re: picture use. But ya never know.

    I'm afraid I'm dreadful at reaching readers, so I know I'll come back here for hints and helps.

    Best wishes always!

    1. That's the nice thing about buying the licensing to use the stock photos and the music from companies such as iStock or Shutter stock. You are completely obeying the law as far as copyright is concerned by purchasing the licensing. And then once you've bought the licensing to use those photos you can use them on your blog etc.

  4. Just watched the trailers. AWESOME!

  5. Christine, you did an awesome job on both trailers! Some of those little details that bother you didn't even pop out at me. :-)


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