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I hear this question a lot these days: “How did you get started making book trailers?” I answer, “It all started with Scooby Doo!”

Seriously. I was a fledgling screenwriter when William “Bill” Hanna of the famed Hanna/Barbera took me under his wing and taught me how it’s done. I remember so clearly walking with him along the colorful hallways of that historic studio, with all its stellar characters calling from the walls, “You can do this!” Thanks to Bill’s encouragement and patience, I believed I could. Before I knew it, I was learning my craft by doing everything from painting cartoon cells to finally moving into my own office in the writers’ wing of the studio.

As it turns out, I was one of the first women to write animation in Hollywood. It’s true! It was definitely an old boys’ club before that. But with Bill’s mentoring, I was able to crack that celluloid ceiling. It was an amazing time in my life, one that I cherish deeply.

During my many years in Hollywood, I had the privilege of writing for various animation and live action shows, including Another World, Knots Landing, The Incredible Hulk, and Fantasy Island. I was even one of the first writers on Hollywood Squares. (Oh, yes, there were then and still are writers for that program!) One of my favorite memories is the first day of shooting Hollywood Squares at NBC Studios in Burbank. We writers were used as “trial celebrities,” mainly to see if the gigantic tic-tac-toe box was going to stand up. It was shaky but, as you probably know, it stood the test of time.

When I retired from my exciting time in Hollywood, I was in no way ready to stop creating film and video, so a little over three years ago I established Trailer to the Stars and began my second career of writing and producing mini-movie book videos for authors and publishers.

 

Now, industry insiders know book trailers are hot. They hit the scene right about the time I founded Trailer to the Stars, and are really catching on as a creative way for publishers to promote and market their new titles. I got in on the ground floor of the movement because, having published a number of books myself, I realized that authors should not have to wait for someone else to decide if their books got marketing $$$$. Because of my close connection with American Christian Fiction Writers (I was one of the founders), I already had many authors as friends, so it wasn’t that difficult to get started. Creating one video quickly led to two, then two led to four, etc., and here I am today with a roster of wonderful best-selling authors and top publishing companies as my clients.

Why is all this important to you as an author? Trust me when I tell you that a professional trailer works for any genre, fiction or nonfiction. Want to get a feel for how these videos can bring your book to life? Take a few minutes to check out our more than 175 sample trailers on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/booksinmotion), and then come back to read on and learn more about the process.

If you’re wondering how the book trailer process works, here’s a thumbnail sketch of the production process at Trailer to the Stars:


1) Your trailer needs to be completed at least two months prior to your book’s release. When you contact us at trailertothestars@gmail.com, we discuss your book and your marketing. Then your video is placed on our production board far in advance. You want to have your video 2 - 3 months in adance of the release date.

2) When it is time for your production to begin, and with your input, I write the script. Once approved by you . . .

3) We choose the perfect voice-over talent (yes, they are all professionals!) and do the recording.

4) We begin choosing and/or shooting still photographs or video clips.

5) We obtain the appropriate music.

6) Editing begins, and your video is on the way to becoming your #1 marketing tool.

When the process if finished and we give you your trailer, it is totally yours, free and clear, with no residuals due; all rights have been cleared.

 

The style of your video must be true to your vision. We give you all kinds of ideas on how to use your video.  It will open marketing and promotion doors that nothing else will.  Properly used, it will create the desired buzz and send the reader to purchase your book.

Okay, now that you know how it’s done, why not break out of the old media mold? Your book is being published, and this is your chance to shine, so do it right! You won’t see any slide-show videos with canned music at Trailer to the Stars. You’ll find only professional video trailers, from fade in to fade out.

So let’s talk about your book! Contact Misty Taggart at TrailertotheStars@gmail.com

 

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Comment by Misty Taggart on February 26, 2011 at 7:50am

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