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Monday, 28 September 2015

Buddhas, Bombs and the Babu - Book Trailer

Once upon a time, in a time long, long ago,  a little girl had a dream, a dream to sit in a room all by herself.  This room would be filled with books, lots and lots of books spilling from the bookcases, stacked on desk, covering the floor and anywhere else there was space. It would have a desk covered with stuff - pens, writing pads, scrunched up balls of paper and cups of cold coffee,  and it would have a big overstuffed chair with a side table covered in  remanent stains of coffee rings.  This girl dreamed of sitting in this room and stare at the wall while her fingers tapped furiously away at a machine, pounding out words, turning words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs and whipping it all into a story.  Her whole life, all she wanted to do was sit in the room and write.  

Well not quite all. 

She also wanted to dance across the contours of borders, wander an open road, to fly across a sky of uncountable stars and then write all about it.  That was the dream.  To be a writer, to be an Author. 

And in a few weeks time the 'Author' dream is about to become a reality.  So as I await the realisation of this dream I find there is much more to being a fully fledged author than just tapping out a few words, seeing it bound and maybe ringing up the local radio station for a speal on the book. 

I have to build a BUZZ.             
                             Cause a vibration.
                                                            Start a wildfire.    

I knew I had to do some marketing work - organise some bookmarks and postcards to send out to book shops,  poster here and there, contact a few book groups and libraries to chat too, but as I googled the sites on "marketing your book"   I learn there is so much more.  Amoung the fountain of ideas was The Book Trailer.  

Now up until a month ago,  I'd never even heard of a book trailer.   Sure I'd heard of trailers for movies and I'd come across countless videos of author chats and 'how too' videos but not book trailers.  So a little google wander sent me of a whole new journey, and it turns out, book trailers have been around for years - huge in America - and are now becoming the norm in Australia,  most of the big publishers make and send them out to the bookshops as part of the marketing package.   I had a chat with a bookshop owner friend of mine and she explained they are a brilliant Author Package Tool as they bring an auditory emotional feel to the book,  if the trailer is engaging, just like a movie trailer,  it'll entice the shop owner to put the book on the shelves.  Turns out my book will be competing with 7000 titles that hit the market every month - anything to give an enticement,  that got me interested in definitely making one. 

So where to start - I didn't have a clue.  I am not a movie maker,  hopeless at even taking a video on the camera - a bit of a shaker, with an addiction to the zoomer -  so I wasn't sure how I was going to come up with something that might be worth even glancing at.   I also had to find some software. I might work on a computer all day, but I don't know the first thing about computers or software.   Thankfully I have a writer friend who  knows a little something about PowerPoint... that was a start, then when she had a look at what 'freebies' her computer had come with - there was MovieMaker.  With her generous offer of a day of her time, armed with a couple of photos I landed on her door step first thing in the morning and we began the day musing over the photos picking the 'best' ones - that was hard because I love all my Nepal photos equally... except for the ones of me... then we installed them, lost them, found them, lost them again, argued, took time out for coffee, then discovered they (the photos) had set up their own little file which we had to wrangle them from .  Finally the photos fell into a movie strip, and text and fades were added, only to lose the whole bloody thing again.  It was wine o'clock time by that stage.
Over the following week I scoured the websites for music I could use. Every tune I thought  might work was voted down by the new production team I'd suddenly found gathered behind me.   But seriously, it was all my fault in the first place for this happening, as I had come home with the put together piece and insisted that M, Bud and the Gorgeous Gal look at it and give me their thoughts.  A once over wasn't not enough,  I insisted they look at it,  over and over, and then some more.  So when it came to choosing the music, they felt they now had an invested right.  I eventually came across a fabulous website called 300Monks (royalty free music) and  after much shuffling through endless wonderful tunes, finally found the perfect beat we all agreed upon. "Chakra Superstar" from the A Magnificent beautiful day by The Winston Giles Orchestra (a Melbourne band),  is just so quirky and upbeat, and for me evoked the mystery and joy we had found in Nepal and its people on our first visit there.
As I uploaded the trailer to Youtube and Vimeo,  I suddenly discovered I was now a 'channel owner' good grief!  I have my own 'entertainment station'  WOW, next step, Ted Turner land... (you can tell I'm a bit of a social media luddite!)    I notice now my book trailer is looking a little lonely on Channel Kerry Tolson.  Might have to BUZZ it up!   Once again I hit the google train and find the catch phase "VLOGing" .  A new 'frontier' for me to discover.
This brings to mind a line from one of my favourite Book Trailers, How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain by Dennis Cass. 
                  Quote: "That's the dream, twenty years when I wanted to become a writer, a big part of the dream was being able to put little videos on the internet. That's why we do this.  Maybe I'll just stop writing and I'll just do downloads, apps and widgets..."

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