Trailer Designed to Plant Seed

A lot of people ask me about the Bella video trailer. They like the pace and the images, and how the drama of 400 pages was captured in less than two minutes.

The idea was conceived on a small bench outside a classroom at American University, where I teach part-time. I was telling another professor about my self-publishing project, and she suggested a trailer. I thought trailers were only for movies, but after hearing the story of Bella, said we should do one for the book.

Dara Padwo-Audick is an amazingly talented independent filmmaker whose real passion is a documentary about the Kingdom of Bhutan, the only nation that supports “gross national happiness.” I know, when’s the next flight out? Seriously, check Dara’s site:

My job was to reduce Bella to 10 main plot points. Dara took these points and crafted a script. Then we chose locations, added still photos, found some actors, contracted for some compelling music, and Dara went to town. It took months, no exaggeration.

The first draft was good, but needed tweaking. Same for the second. Neither of us was satisfied. Dara went in and didn’t come out until the job was done.

Bella Trailer Screenshot

Does every book need a trailer? Probably not. Ours did; I think this quick piece has already seduced a number of visitors to And no, I wouldn’t complain if some Hollywood exec wandered by, watched the trailer, and started thinking about who should play Danny and Bella in the feature film.

8 Comments so far »

  1. david bethel said,

    Wrote on September 3, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    So…is the trailer to promote the book or the prospect of a movie?


  2. stevepiacente said,

    Wrote on September 4, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    The trailer is designed to (boldly) announce our arrival, David. We’re learning as we go, but the idea is to build a following that becomes too big for Hollywood to ignore.


  3. Karen Hinton said,

    Wrote on September 6, 2010 @ 3:20 am

    Not only was I impressed with the book, I also think you are doing a great job marketing the book. The trailer is one example. I am going to promote the book on my Facebook page. What else can lovers of Bella do?


  4. Fred M said,

    Wrote on September 6, 2010 @ 4:23 am

    The trailer looks interesting, but when I try to play it it keeps stopping and reloading. Is this my computer or the trailer? Can you watch it through without it stopping every few seconds?


  5. stevepiacente said,

    Wrote on September 6, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    Thanks, Karen, Fred, JB, and Maryanne. Here’s the answer, Karen: While technology has enabled us to self-publish and reach out directly to prospective readers (a very democratic process!), it also means we need friends, colleagues, and fans of Bella to help spread the word. We’re asking that they do that through their own social media pages (put a link to the trailer on your FB page), their personal networks (ask your book club or your mom’s book club to make Bella he monthly pick), and so on. Anything that stokes the fire is terrific and hugely appreciated. Fred, I haven’t heard many problems related to the video; I’m guessing it may be your computer or Internet connection. JB, thanks to you and Lindsey for your continued support. And Maryanne, the answer to your question is below. Thanks, all!


  6. MaryAnne Beatty said,

    Wrote on September 6, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

    So for the movie, who is your choice to play Bella?


    stevepiacente Reply:

    I’d actually like to hear who readers would choose, Maryanne. Bella describes herself in the book as someone who is striking but not beautiful. I also see her as exotic and mysterious, sometimes soft and sometimes calculating. Perhaps we need an unknown to play Bella…


  7. JB said,

    Wrote on September 13, 2010 @ 2:09 am

    The entire project of Bella is really well done. From the storyline to the plot to the promotions! The trailer is absoutley excellent and makes me think a movie is in the works. How long did this entire project take to put together?


Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

Name: (Required)

E-mail: (Required)