Book Promotion Activities When You're Unpublished (Or, I Spent My Miserable Day Looking At Book Trailers)
I spent this morning trudging through a rewrite of one of my chapters. I soon decided to waste my day on the internet, also watching Se7en, with B-Pitt and The Man Who is In Everything. Somehow, I got onto YouTube and to searching book trailers.
Quick, quick, before I begin: Changes have been made to the site that are not quite visible from the homepage. So, Who is She? the page, is now expanded on and includes a picture of my face (don't all rush at once, I know you want to order a hit on me). There is also a new page! My Work. That is the first place where I have included information on my novel REVENIR (RETURN as I call it in posts) anywhere on the internet-slash-blogosphere. Check it out to read up and possibly understand all that I've been yapping on about for the four-odd months that I've been writing this blog. Anyway...
Personally, I am pro book trailers. They are fun and easy to access and they help psych up fans for upcoming debuts or new additions to beloved series(es?). My next point comes from an hour or two mindlessly watching videos and wasting my internet GB-age, throwing my money into the bottomless chasm of Youtube-hell. Anyways. Why do so many of these book trailers have to be so...tedious? A lot of them are the same thing with different font and (sometimes) different images. The ones that are acted out, why do they have to be so bad? I'm sorry, but there's no other way to say it. I mean, a student made one for Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH and my God it was good. A student, a collective that is notorious for their shortage of money. Now what's stopping the big publishing companies from dishing out amazing book trailers?
But as I kept watching, I began to find bits and pieces that I liked. I apologise in advance: this is going to be video heavy. But don't assume the post's over (something I would probably do), it continues below the list. Also, you might want to full screen them? Anyway, here is a shortlist of my favourite book trailers I discovered today.
1. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH
3. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
I'm sure that by watching those you see the sorts of things that really stood out to me. The stop-motion individuality of Maggie Stiefvater's, or the very Neil Gaiman clip for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and we all know that my review of MOCKINGJAY wasn't the glowing review of the year, but the simplicity of that trailer was great for an upcoming instalment in a series. Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is the only one on that list that I haven't already read and the trailer, as well as the premise, really makes me want to read it. It's a pity that my local booksellers don't sell it.
Now, how about authors making book trailers for themselves when they're unpublished? You know how some of us draw our characters, or do up the blue prints for the main venue in their novel, or write up profiles? We do these things predominately when we're procrastinating (Oh, admit it, you do). So, how about making book trailers? You get to mess around with casting your novel, setting the theme, ironing out the imagery in your setting - you also have to narrow down the summary of your novel. (Good for those games where you have to come up with a summary in 20-words for a hypothetical situation where you're stuck in a hypothetical lift with a hypothetical dream agent and get to make your pitch) You set the atmosphere for your novel, you get to have a break from your world of words and documents with walls of text and mess around with videos and music and special effects.
What do you think? You don't necessarily have to do the trailer yourself, but if you had a hypothetical film editor who had the entire film world of clips at hand and a music library of everything - how would you do it? A slideshow of images or movie clips? General cast? How about your music, its tone? Voice over? What about the text you include? How would you make your novel come across to your audience?
If you have no idea, then what about your cover? I think nearly everyone has their own DIY cover. How do you use symbolism or how do you portray your novel to whoever picks up your novel?
So that this post isn't completely pointless, I decided that I was going to post my day's progress. I did the following in about three hours on iMovie. This is me embracing more of a cinematic trailer, and you're welcomed to laugh and point at me. Though for some reason, there are some cringe-worthy editing mistakes here and there as YouTube decided to upload a earlier draft of it, but whatever. So, yeah, check it out (It's probably going to have better quality here):