Preparing for Book Trailers

aeridel-teaserGrowing up with a photographer for a mother might have given me a keen eye for beautiful shots (and a stronger back for schlepping equipment into overgrown fields), but I never took the time to learn from her how to use a camera, and what all the little details on the lenses and back of her nicer cameras were for. She bought me a simple point-and-shoot camera for my seventh birthday, but it couldn’t pick up the triple rainbow overlooking our balcony that morning.

She upgraded my camera to a Pentax right before I started middle school, but I rarely could get the film to load right, and when the shots did turn out, they were often blurry or overexposed. Much like attempting to learn chess with a professional player for a mother (in the top 5 U.S. players in the mid-80s), I never found the same passion to really dedicate myself to learning … until now.

Last year, I asked for a new DSLR for my Solstice present. I thought I’d start to make videos of myself dancing in an effort to work on re-strengthening my body doing something I’d loved throughout all of my youth. Instead, I’ve put it off all year since, and haven’t learned much about using the new video features (although the photos, even the quick snaps, are far better than I think I could manage with one of the old cameras I once used). One thing I absolutely learned from my mother, though, was that a good photographer can’t depend on the equipment to make up for a lack of knowledge.

Since The Grasp of Time launches next month, and it’s been a long-term collaborative project with world building spanning nearly twenty years, it’s rather important to me that it receive better marketing than I gave Perdition and my other books. Thus, I’ve been learning about book trailers, watching what other people have done, and seeing what I do and don’t like about varying styles. I’ve especially focused on young adult and new adult novels, since this book is intended to at least appeal to the latter.

There are every kind of book trailer out there, ranging from expertly professional movie-like trailers to simple text and voice over trailers ending in an image of the book cover. With our budget, we can definitely do the latter, but I’ve seen both good examples and really poor ones. I’m also hoping to create something closer to a film teaser, though it won’t be quite so elaborate. Just a quick glimpse of the opening as seen in the free preview I posted last Friday.

To make such a book trailer, I need to learn how to use my camera to make videos and not just snap cute photos of our kids, cats, and rabbits. Did I mention we adopted bunnies a month ago? They’re furry, pooping demons that leave scratches on my arms when I put them back in their cage after playpen time and their timothy hay leaves me itchy and sneezing, but whatever. I love my son, and the buns are still cute. Cute, furry demons, but cute.


They’re members of the family now, so either they learn that I’m not going to eat them when I groom and care for them, or we’ll develop some Disneyfied Stockholm Syndrome over time.

But I digress …

While I’ve been watching a lot of videos regarding low budget film making using DSLR cameras, this is my favorite video so far for clarity in camera settings.

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