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Jocelyn Green | Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Book Trailer


Publishing and promoting a book is definitely a team effort, and one of the teams whose work I am most fascinated by is the one who created the book trailers for my Civil War historicals, WEDDED TO WAR and WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG. The two trailers are quite different, yet both are compelling.

Take a look at the trailers from this page and then read on for an interview with Phil Jacoby, creative producer of Mothlight Creative, the company who made this happen.

Jocelyn: Take me through the process of creating a book trailer, from the time you accept the job to completion.

Phil: It all depends on the project. We pitched a few directions to the publisher and the decision was made to proceed with the live-action option. Budget and time dictate (to an extent) what is possible in any project so we had to come up with a way to tell the story without overtelling it, lest we run out of time and/or resources. For Wedded to War, for example, from the time the project was approved to delivering the final product was roughly a month or so.

Jocelyn: I read on your Web site that the music you used was an original score you created, as well. How do you determine the best tone (in terms of music) for a book trailer?

Phil: The score was created by Paul, one of our animators, and myself. We decided what the general tone of the trailer was and then added a pace to it. Music and sound tend to tell an audience how to feel about something, so even if we filmed images that we thought of as sad or tense, the audience would not necessarily fully believe those things unless the music told them to. I came up with a melody on guitar and Paul came up with a cooperative melody on piano. Once we had those things figured out all it took was placing percussion and small musical textures in the right places to create the dynamic shifts. We are pretty happy with how it turned out.

Jocelyn: In your professional opinion, what makes a trailer effective?

Phil: A trailer is not supposed to tell you everything. A trailer is supposed to entice you. It is supposed to show you something indicative without spelling things out for you. I think a good trailer, be it for a film or a book, knows when to stop. It invites you, but it doesn’t let you in.

Making of trailer Making of trailer Making of Trailer

Award-winning author Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Do book trailers influence your decision on whether to read the book depicted? One commenter will win a commemorative Gettysburg Magazine and a Lavender Sachet just in time for the 150 Anniversary of the battle. (US only)




37 comments posted.

Re: Jocelyn Green | Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Book Trailer

Unfortunately I'm on dial-up, so if I was able to watch a trailer, it would come up in 2 second blurbs, as I call them. It's not worth it for me to watch any video, so it puts me at a loss, considering the fact that I would have loved to have seen your video. I can't really say whether they would sway me one way or the other, because this is something new to me. I normally go by the back jacket of the book, to see if the story itself would interest me. If I know who the Author is, I know that normally I would enjoy the book itself. If it's a new Author, I go strictly by the jacket of the book, and take a peek at a few pages of the story. Those are the clinchers for me. I would say in your case, the story line itself interests me, so I would love to read your book!! Historicals are a plus, and I appreciate the extra effort that you took to make your books a reality. History is something that must be kept alive for future generations.
(Peggy Roberson 12:07pm June 19, 2013)

Yes, I do watch the trailers on books and I do find that they entice me to read a book. Sometimes they don't give a lot of information as you said, so then you want to read the book (or see the movie) even more in most instances. I have yet to read any books by Jocelyn Green, but since I am very fond of women that have served or help in in some way with a war, this sounds like a series that I will enjoy. Would love to be the recipient of this giveaway and will definitely look into ordering. Thank you.
(Cynthia Blain 12:45pm June 19, 2013)

I peruse the shelves or online stores looking for something that catches my eye. I will read reviews in blogs, goodreads, amazon, b and n to get an idea if whether it will be "my type" of book. I am guilty of watching trailers when I get sucked into the YouTube vortex and find that I have ordered 20 books in an hours time.
This book seems interesting - I used to live near Gettysburg and having that history in the buildings and soil, makes it an amazing place
(Carla Carlson 12:56pm June 19, 2013)

I have just purchased the second book in Jocelyn Green's Widow of
Gettysburg....a book written about the era of my GreatGrandmother. Wow!
I can hardly wait to read the second in the series. What a detailed and
wonderful she has chosen to write this historical book. I wish her all the
success she deserves.
(Bonnie Walker 1:24pm June 19, 2013)

Book trailers do tend to capture my interest. Being a bookworm, I can never have too many books. Every time I visit a store, I always look for their book section to see if I can find a book that catches my eye and one that I've never read before.
(Melissa Grace 1:26pm June 19, 2013)

I like book trailers but the blurb influences me more than the trailers do. Your book sounds awesome. I love books set in the Civil War era.
(Crystal Broyles 1:36pm June 19, 2013)

Not really because when I go to a book store I just love to look at
everything and my family knows a bookstore to me is like a kid in a candy
store my true loves are my grand kids my kids and my books thank you
(Ava Curtis 1:40pm June 19, 2013)

I don't usually watch trailers for books.
(Bonnijean Marley 1:59pm June 19, 2013)

Cool Article, it was very interesting.

I do like the trailers but the blurb influences me the most.
The trailers are like an added bonus. Thanks for the chance
to win. :)
(Teresa Mathews 2:26pm June 19, 2013)

I like to watch the trailers, when I actually see them, but
they do not really influence me. I agree with Teresa, the
trailers are an added bonus.
I can't wait to read Jocelyn's two books!!
(Susan P 2:53pm June 19, 2013)

Hi Jocelyn -

Book trailers can definitely help draw a reader into a story and help them "picture" in their mind the overall sense of a story but to really experience the story as a complete picture it's the authors words and sense of connection that makes the scenes come alive in our minds and hearts.

I think of a book trailer much like some of the guides who our family has followed and listened to on our journey to many historical sites from walking the Freedom Trail in Boston to the battlefields in Gettysburg and the surroundings helping you to hear thru time the beat of the drums, the feet tramping across the field and the sounds of gun shots so loud that you can no longer hear the soldier walking next to you. It opens your eyes and mind to those small details that would otherwise be missed.
(Jeanne Miro 3:04pm June 19, 2013)

Book trailers are very helpful to me. Great way to get more
information about the book, which helps me decide whether or
not to buy.
(Patricia Miller 4:16pm June 19, 2013)

OI enjoy watching the book trailers but it's the blurb that does it for me and if it's an Author I always buy.I love that your books deal with /during the civil War. It's one of my favorite times to read about. Thanks for the chance.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com
(Carol Luciano 4:45pm June 19, 2013)

I have never watched a book trailer before....so to this point
it has not influenced me.
(Sheri Lesh 6:16pm June 19, 2013)

I have only watched a few book trailers, and they do influence me to want to read the book. The majority of the new books I've found just reading excerpts about them when they're advertised by authors on Fresh Fiction or sent by email to me from authors. I have a long list I want to read from my favorite authors and I'm adding more and more new authors daily of books I can't wait to read! Your books sound very good, and I am now going to watch the trailers!
(Linda Luinstra 6:43pm June 19, 2013)

sometimes they do i watch alot of youtube becauuse of my kids
and so i see alot more trailers then anything else
(Denise Smith 6:43pm June 19, 2013)

i love watching the trailers, makes the characters alive, as
you have a physical person to associate with.
(Debi Brown 7:08pm June 19, 2013)

I enjoy the book trailers that have become so popular. I have
definitely been infuenced by them. If I really enjoy the
trailer, I'll most likely enjoy the book. It's like getting a
real life preview of what's to come. A book cover tells me a
little about a book, but a trailer truly gets my attention.
(Nancee Marchinowski 9:01pm June 19, 2013)

I rely more on Word of Mouth than book trailers but book trailers do play somewhat a role in my book choices.
(Shelley Pierce 9:32pm June 19, 2013)

Yes, I love to watch book trailers and movie trailers too.
Yes, they do influence me a bunch to read a great book and
see a great movie too. Yes, I would love to read and win your
new book: WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG. Sounds like a fantastic read
for sure. Thank You, Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 10:25pm June 19, 2013)

i have not watched a book trailer..i usually listen to librarian or my friends...love to win
(Kimberly Hoefs 10:47pm June 19, 2013)

I enjoy book trailers. Gives me an idea if I MIT like to read the book.
I would like to win this contest.

Phyllis Kemp
(Phyllis Kemp 11:47pm June 19, 2013)

I enjoy book trailers, but they have no effect on whether I
will read the book. Please enter my name in your giveaway.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Barbara Thompson
(Barbara Thompson 12:07pm June 20, 2013)

makes me want to read the whole book in one night
(Debbi Shaw 12:29pm June 20, 2013)

Book trailers are not for me. I feel like they give away too
much! Also, I like to imagine the characters in my head
instead of trying to make it match the cover/trailer.
(Christin Faber 1:08am June 20, 2013)

I love trailers they get my interest and let me see what the story is going to be like.
(Darci Paice 1:54am June 20, 2013)

Trailers have been a big part of choosing books. Although, when I see an author I know I dont need a tailer to make a purchase but I do enjoy the trailers.
(Lisa Fitzgibbons 5:47am June 20, 2013)

I enjoy book trailers, but typically they do not influence my decision to read or buy a book. Thanks for visiting.
(G S Moch 6:59am June 20, 2013)

Yes they do. I love book trailers. It gives me idea of how the author sees the book.
(Sue Brandes 7:37am June 20, 2013)

I don't really watch book trailers.
(Pam Howell 8:26am June 20, 2013)

I am much more inclined to buy books based on blurbs. If I discover a book trailer, then that is just an added bonus. It is the cover and the blurbs on books that initially entice me. Your books sound wonderful - I definitely plan to get them to read. Best of luck with them.
(Nancy Reynolds 9:15am June 20, 2013)

I purchase a book based upon the blurb, and rarely watch
trailers. Best wishes.
(Sharon Berger 10:49am June 20, 2013)

I understand the purpose and ideas behind books trailers but I try to avoid them as much as possible. One of my favorite things about books is that the way I see the setting and the characters in my head is unique to myself. A lot of times book trailers show actors as the characters and that's far less fun imo. Not to mention, a good book blurb is far more enticing to a reader than a trailer ever could be.
(Jamie Fortney 1:53pm June 20, 2013)

I will watch the trailer but get much more info from the inside jacket cover.
(Bonnie Capuano 6:14pm June 20, 2013)

Book trailers don't influence my decision about a book. I get most of my
information about a book from the summery or reviews.
(Laura Gullickson 9:50pm June 20, 2013)

Book trailers don't influence my decision in buying a book. I like to review the blurb on the back of the book and read a few pages to make my decision.
(Kai Wong 12:43pm June 21, 2013)

I like to look at book trailers, but it's the blurb that influences my purchase a lot more.
(Carol Woodruff 11:20am June 21, 2013)

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