Saturday, July 18, 2009

Creating Book Videos Betty Sullivan La PierrePlus a Contest to Win One!

Welcome Betty!
Betty Sullivan La Pierre, author of the Hawkman mystery series, creates book trailers for fun. I was lucky to win a trailer by Betty for my short novella,
Christmas on Wherever Island. In a few days Betty made a delightful trailer. Needless to say I'm proud of that contest win and impressed with Betty's talent.

How many trailers, or more correctly, "book videos" have you made?
I haven’t really counted, but around 25 or 30... I’ve done all my own, then revised many of them as I became more acquainted with the programs I have on my computer. I’ve done several for friends of mine, Amber’s included. I’m particularly proud of one I did for Howard Hopkins, Horror Writer, “Chloe #2”. View the book trailer.

I can see why you're proud. It's gorgeous and scary.
Lots of authors talk about sources of free photos and music, but I'd like to know about the other parts of creating a video. Where do you start?

First of all, I ask for a short synopsis of the book so I can follow the events in order. (I could also do one for people’s vacation using the same information.) Then I need .jpg pictures of the cover and any other photos the author might have describing the book, or the author could tell me what they’d like and I can usually find photos, as I did with Amber’s. The music is very important for your book trailer, it needs to catch the mood. I have several sources I use. However, if a person wants a special song, let me know the title and I can usually find it.

Betty found great photos for mine and when I asked for a steel drum version of Jingle Bells, she found it!
Do you also use the book's blurb?
That all depends on what the blurb tells me. I might use parts of it for some of the text with a picture.

What about timing?
You usually want to keep a book trailer under 2 minutes. Timing between images is very technical, depending on the clips, audio, text, and transitions.
And the amount of text on a page?
Text is not a problem, but it has to be readable. I might try several different colors, sizes, and methods to get the right effect.

What other steps are important in making sure the video grabs the reader?
It’s like your book. You need a hook to make the viewer want to buy the novel, so it’s important to make the trailer so intriguing they can’t stand not reading the real thing.

Last week Dana Davis talked about authors and audio. Have you ever considered using voice over in videos?
I tried it on one of my earlier book trailers,
The Silent Scream, which I’ve since redone. I don’t have the right voice to be effective, so I won’t do them anymore. However, there are many I’ve heard that are great. It's an option for those who have the intriguing vocal cords.

Besides creating videos for fun, what's new with you and Hawkman?
I’m in the process of writing #12 of the Hawkman Series, titled "Shadows In The Night". The setting is an Independent Living home for the elderly. Yes, murder happens.

Thanks Betty, for sharing your tips and videos!
Betty Sullivan La Pierre author of mystery/suspense/thriller novels, enjoys the challenge of plotting an exciting story. Her Hawkman series is developing quite a fan base. BLACKOUT, Betty's story about a bingo hall (Hawkman Series), ranked in the top ten of the P&E Reader's Poll and won the BLOODY DAGGER AWARD for best Mystery/Suspense. EuroReviews picked THE DEADLY THORN, her stand-alone mystery/thriller, Book of the Month.

Visit Betty

To watch Betty's trailers
then click on ‘Bookshelf’ for a list of all her books. Under each
mystery cover is a link that will take you to the book trailer.

Betty's Contest!
You can win a book trailer made by Betty!
Go to Betty's site, watch the book trailers, Pick your favorite.
Email your choice to Betty

A name will be drawn on Sunday July 26th.
Betty will notify the winner
(Not an author? Betty will figure out a good substitute like a vacation video.)

Contest Closed!


  1. Wonderful interview with just a great author and friend. The lucky winner of her contest is going to absolutely LOVE their video!

  2. Making the videos sounds like fun. When we travel I journal to my web site so family and friends can follow along (AND so that we can remember where we were). Many of them just like to see the pictures so a short 'trip video' would be perfect. Even if I didn't win one, I would like to know how to make one!

  3. Hi,

    I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award here


  4. Thanks Kim,
    I am so proud of my wonderful guests.

  5. I'm curious what program(s) you use for your videos Betty.

  6. Great interview, Betty! I make my own videos too and have a blast doing it. And you're right about redoing older vids as you learn more about the programs. That's exactly what I'm doing now.

  7. I'm such a techie idiot -- I wish I could make book trailers! Great blog, Amber and Betty!

  8. Betty--WOW! I'm very impressed. I made my own for my first release and it took me 3 months--the software just bumfuzzled me to death. but it was fun in the end.It has it's problems, but still, I like it. the one you gave as an example could't be more professional and perfect. (Hi, Amber!)Celia