Book Trailer fun

Most of my posts, if not all of them, have been about my ill-conceived and badly carried out plans on how to produce a book and then go about marketing it; this post will be no exception.

I previously posted a link to the book trailer I made to promote my book, The Dead Famous. It wasn’t made too seriously (as I think was obvious from the clip) but it was fun to make and taught me, if nothing else, at least how to use iMovie for mac. It also taught me a couple of other things:

1) Cemetery workers are really suspicious of people walking around with cameras.
2) Cemetery workers are realy suspicious of people walking around with spades.
3) Cemetery workers are really suspicious of people walking around with balaclavas.

It took about two days to film, edit, and finalise the video before finally uploading it to youtube. The problem is that, once uploaded, it’s very difficult to get viewings without paid promotion. Nevertheless, I quickly gained a large number of views within the first few days and I also submitted it to the International Movie Trailers Festival (which has a “book trailers” section) which also seems to have generated a good deal of the attention I needed for it.

Lastly, I ensured that everywhere either my book or my author profile was featured throughout the internet, a link to or embedded version of the video was featured (for example Amazon allow authors to create their own pages with accompanying media)

It’s hard work, and I have complete respect for anyone that has not only made a trailer but also made a success of it. I can’t say that my sales have risen significantly, but it’s been a fun learning curve as has this whole writing experience so far 🙂

Enjoy! : http://www.internationalmovietrailerfestival.com/all-trailers/the-dead-famous/

Book Trailer – The Dead Famous

Following on from my previous blog post, here is the fruit of my personal labour. I hope it provides at least a little amusement 🙂

Making a book trailer

In response to a link posted by @SandyAppleyard on Twitter, I decided to make my own book trailer for The Dead Famous using what little film making skill I have (i.e. none). 

My first step was to read through the post describing what a trailer should contain adn what structure it might take. I then went on to youtube to see what other trailers looked like and wa not exactly surprised, but was curious at the varying quality of clips that were out there. Some such as the one for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters looked as if it had been fun to make, got me a little interested in the book (even though I was already aware of it) and it gave me all the information I needed to know about the book. It told me that it was a book that was not to be taken seriously, was tongue in cheek and was now available to buy from all good etc etc.
The link for it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jZVE5uF24Q
I would only criticise one element of it, that the credits at the end were hardly necessary and, if anything, distracted from the trailer’s point, that it was an advert for a book adn not a film for film’s sake…on the other hand it has so far received over 370,000 views so judge from that what you will.

On the other side of the trailer spectrum, we have Secrets of Surrender. I have to be honest, the music sounds like it’s stolen from a 1980’s tv movie and the trailer made with Windows movie maker BUT it has still received over 17,000 views and the comments are very complimentary. It can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpDLfFKyzv4

So, what I have learned:

Know your target market; if you’re writing a romance book and think your audience spend all their spare time watching the Hallmark Channel or generic tv movies, make a trailer to suit.

Keep the information brief and to the point: Book Title, Author, plot premise, where to buy the book and when it might be available. I can only suggest that any other information is fluff and probably not necessary (if you can think of anything else that should be included, please respond to the blog, I usually am wrong about most things and happily accept criticism).

Keep it short or, at least, if it is going to be more than about 1 minute, then make sure it holds the viewer’s attention for that time. Go in, give your message, get out.

I’ll end by saying that the trailer I amde was with a camera and a mac book and looks very home made, it is also probably too long and was amde with iMovie rather than movie amker (probably not a giant leap forwards!) but it was a great deadl of fun making it and, after I’ve hacked it to pieces, I’ll post it to youtube for someone to criticise and rip to pieces. That person probably, I don’t know, has a blog or something and just spends their time ripping on other people’s work while creating nothing but literary poop on toast themselves anyway.

Don’t you just hate that?

Originality in plot

I read, quite some time ago, a claim that William Shakespeare had managed to encapsulate most story types within his works. He had been so successful at doing this that now, as a result, people tend to refer to the story types via his writings rather than any works created before him even if the structures had been around for millennia.

Knowing that he perhaps had acheived this feat, a writer might be justifiably be daunted by the prospect that there might be no story structure available for their brain to conjure up without having someone having beaten them there first.
This needn’t be a problem. I personally think that dwelling on the structure of the story is soemthing that is certain to doom the writer to failure before even starting out.
I’m not aware of anyone that came up with the idea of a book and said that the premise should be this or that structure, it’s nearly always the character or the basic plot of the story that has been birthed, developed, grown and created rather than the structure, and that being the case, it seems to me entirely acceptable to ignore the structure almost completely until at least the first draft has been completed. At that stage, it would then deem wise to start thinking about whether the character developments are satisfying, the story has a flow, the events have a natural progression, and so on.
If, after those things have been analysed, you find that the story does indeed have the structure of Romeo and Juliet or Othello then you can take it as happy coincidence, and if it has no resemblance to any accepted structure then, who knows, maybe you are the next Shakespeare, and I bow down to you.

Author Ronald Moger: Short stories and tales of publishing woes.

Short stories, the search for success and tales of book promotion attempts :)

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