Sunday, August 31, 2014

Experimenting with novel trailers

I have had a great idea for a promotional video for my new young adult novella. Writers' Digest suggests novel trailers are the latest thing and, while my idea isn't for a "trailer" per se, I still think it will do great things for my book.

The idea came from the plethora of election advertisements we've been seeing on TV of late. You see, we here in NB are facing a provincial vote in September and we're being inundated by television ads for the various candidates.

The commercials all follow a similar pattern and it's that pattern, including the language and imagery, that I have copied for the Abigail video. I hate to admit it but I think it's pretty clever and, if I can pull it off, it might just help the sales of the book.

Today, I spent the afternoon creating the visuals on my home computer. Yet another skill I have been forced, with delight, to acquire. Tomorrow, I do the voice-over.

And then, the launch of this new video. Followed by the anxious moments, days, even weeks of wondering if it will have any effect.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A video trailer for my novel? Hmmm...

The most recent edition of Writer's Digest has an interesting suggestion: authors should create a video trailer for their novel similar to the movie trailers that are so much a part of our culture.


I have to admit. I like it.

But, as good as the idea is, it also makes me want to vomit, just a little bit.

Now, on top of being a writer, a publicist, a public speaker, an event planner, a promoter and marketer, a web-developer and web-site administrator, I also have to be a videographer, video editor, sound technician and who knows what else?

And then I have to figure out how to promote this too?

Ohh, how I long for the days when I writer could just, you know, write.

On the other hand, I have gotten pretty handy with the iMovie program on my iMac. And I have recently purchased a tiny HD video-camera. And I do have my own Youtube channel on top of a series of blogs and two websites.

Maybe this could work.

And what better way to introduce myself to the lucrative world of script writing than to write a script for my own novel trailer?

It will be a lot of work, for sure. And it might not be any more successful than the variety of other avenues I've explored. But who knows?

And, if I try to approach it as yet another adventure in learning and creating, maybe I'll find a way to enjoy it.

Maybe. Once the taste of vomit clears up.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Learning from Francis...

On an extended break from writing, I am attempting to catch up on reading things that inspire me, that help me as a writer.

So I've started to read the entire collection of Dick Francis all over again. I own the first 40 or so of Francis' horse-racing-based thrillers in used paperback format and find I re-read them, in order, once every four or five years.

I call them "environmentally friendly" books: they leave absolutely no residue in my brain. I can read them, then go back to them three or four years later and remember very little about any one of them.

That's not because they are awful books. It's because they are so cleanly, effortlessly written and offer such intensely paced plots that I rend to race right through them, just like one of Francis' jockeys on a championship hurdler races through a steeplechase course.

Francis' novels are all well-written, carefully plotted mysteries with sympathetic characters. I find I learn a lot about writing from his books and a lot about the many different careers/interests his characters enjoy.

I'm trying to slow myself down this time around, to be sensitive to why his books work so well. It's a useful exercise, attempting to learn from one of the best, most successful authors of our time.