Today — February 6th — was dubbed by Chuck Wendig (or I like to call him, TMB or That Magnificent Bastard) as International Please Don’t Pirate My Book Day. He has put out a call for creatives of all types to head to their blogs, their podcasts, and their various social media networks to share their thoughts about piracy. This, as inspired by that TMB, is my own entry. If you join in, give Chuck a shout.
Step in your wayback machines to 2005. A short eternity in Interweb years, but barely eight years ago a young whelp of an author launched a rather daunting project: a podcast novel. Following in the footsteps of people like John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, and others, I stepped up with my epic fantasy MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana to give it away as a podcast. Throughout the journey I was an advocate for this new model of promotion and marketing. Interviews with me at that time were reminiscent of a Red Hot Chili Peppers diddy…
And here we are — the final part of the mini-series blogpost! (See? Aren’t you glad I broke this up into segments?)
Now as I mentioned, I have saved the best tip for last; but before getting to what I believe is the most imperative thing you can do in planning out a book trailer, let’s quickly recap those previous 10 tips from Parts 1-4:
Know what you’re shooting. You’re shooting a book trailer, the emphasis on trailer. Not book.
You don’t have to understand the process, but take time to understand the process. A book trailer doesn’t just happen in your basement one weekend afternoon. There’s steps to follow and processes to adhere to.
For your first book trailer, keep it simple. You might want to go full-on epic for your first book trailer. Don’t. This is your first step. Think smart.
Set up a budget. Best way to avoid going broke.
Figure out ways to stretch the budget. Did I mention “avoid going broke” earlier? Yeah. I did.
When the trailer needs artwork, imagery, or music, make a financial investment. When it is time to spend money on your trailer, particularly in stock audio and video, do’t flinch or take shortcuts. Do it.
Be patient and understanding with your talent. Cast and crew. Especially if they are giving of their time and talents, roll with the challenges and make things work to the best of their abilities.
Make sure your cast and crew understand their responsibilities. Remember though that your trailer is the top priority, not hanging out or chilling out. That happens after the work is done.
Trust your editor, especially if he or she has a track record. Sometimes the toughest thing is to surrender your work to an objective party, but it also the best thing you can do in order to make it shine.
Never forget: It’s YOUR trailer. Don’t let others render your vision so blurry that it’s no longer yours. It’s your book’s first impression. You make the final call.
It’s all been leading up to this one key piece of advice I’ve been sitting on since Part One. You all have been patient and (for this, I am really thrilled!) attentive on what makes a good book trailer happen. Now comes the most essential thing you need to know before making that jump from the printed word to a visual medium in order to help your book sales reach a wider audience.
Something I find absolutely fascinating in my first decade as a published author is the sheer amount of backpedalling I have seen authors make when it comes to self-publishing.
Oh. Wait. Independent publishing. Now, indie publishing includes self-publishing. Yeah. Ain’t that something?
When I took my first steps with Dragon Moon Press back in 2002, I also took hits from a few established authors online and in real time, turning to their colleagues and referring to me as a literary ambulance chaser. (No kidding. I collected some killer stories in my first year as an author.) Now, those same voices snubbing me at conventions and literary events are now swearing up and down to the masses that “Legacy Publishing is dead and the independent author shall vanquish the evil Gatekeepers! Take control of your writing career! Do it yourself!”
Yeah, taking control, doing it yourself, and “sticking it to the Gatekeepers” all sounds seductively intoxicating. Charlie Sheen did just that and referred to himself as an F-18. (That’s Comment #5 in the previous link.) Before you decide to go supersonic in your own path to being a writer, ask yourself one quick question: Have you ever sat in a cockpit of an F-18?