Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the next day

I will do a proper recap when my head stops spinning, but here are the bullet points of last night's launch.
  • I have awesome friends
  • everyone loves free wine and cheese pie.
  • 50 books is not enough if everyone you invite actually turns up
  • this comic explains my problem with book signing.
One last thing before I go to sleep -- COMPETITION TIME!

Go here. And enter to win free copies of my book, shipped to anywhere in the world. (I'm thinking of you, TL Conway -- and all the others not in OZ)

Also, just how does one go about organising a blog tour?

Monday, December 19, 2011

One more sleep 'till launch.

So what the hell should I talk about? Seriously?

I will definitely show the trailer, but what do people want to hear a new author say at a launch?

Any suggestions welcome.

Oh, and my book is finally available in print -- order one now! 

About me.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to make a book trailer.

In this age of intertubes connecting us all, online marketing for authors is paramount. Unfortunately, the skills needed to write are often not translatable into cross media advertising campaigns. Nor do we have the time to invest in learning digital editing software, or 3d rendering programs.

This can lead to book trailers that perhaps do more damage to the launch of a new book than good. I'm not going to point fingers, but this year I have seen so many trailers for books that honestly look like the authors made a powerpoint presentation and simply exported it as a movie. Some even use comic sans. Sigh.

And so I thought I'd have a go -- certain I could do better. But even with my 7 years experience as a media teacher, the best I could achieve was this:

I found the music at this site where the talented Kevin MacLeod gives away his tunes for people like me to use. But while I was happy with the timing of the text to the music, not only was the footage mostly stolen, but it was mostly unsuitable for what I wanted, which was to show a snippet of the fantasy land of my book.

I started to mess around with 3d modelling software, Vue, and Bryce and 3dsMax, but all these had a learning curve like Everest and I have never had patience for manuals. Besides, I was in the middle of editing my book, and that was where my energies needed to be spent.

So I emailed my ex-student, Alex Perrin, who had done some test artwork way back when I was playing with book cover ideas. I had put the single image render of the "White City" in the above test trailer, and I wanted to know if it would be possible for me to get the 3d model he had made so that I could play with some animations.

This is where Alex offered the biggest favor I have ever received; he said he'd be happy to have a go making the entire trailer himself. See Alex was in my senior art class in 2010, but he is now studying computer graphics at university, and my book trailer would be the perfect thing, he said, for his portfolio.

What could I say but "Yes please"

So to finally get to the point, the answer to the question, "how to make a book trailer?" is simple.

Get a professional to do it for you.
And here is the result of handing Alex the above trailer that I made, and saying, "See what you can do."

I think you will all agree, it is a little bit of an improvement. Here is Alex's site. I have a feeling he'll be doing more of these in the very near future.

Please share this video and "like" it everywhere you possibly can. With this trailer, and the book launch next week, I think it is safe to say that the push to sell this book has officially begun.

Here is a youtube link.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

we are Go For Launch

Spread the word

Stay tuned: Book launch imminent

Proofs have been proved. Formatting has been formated. Prints are being printed. Trailer is ... trailing.

But soon the planets will align.

Like next week.


About me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The proof is in the pudding.

This last week my wife was a superhero. She read the entire thing again, and found over 100 issues in the proof copy of my book. I sent the markup to my editor, and he found another 5!

I honestly have no idea how people self publish. I just hope that by the time I am editing the next book, AI has gotten good enough that SIRI can dictate for me and work out the grammar automagicaly. 

The good news is, thanks to my wife's editing blitz (tip for all would be writers: marry an English teacher) the Dragon and the Crow looks like it will make it for Christmas.

Now I just have to hope the process of converting the book to ebook is easier than making the dead tree version.

About me.