Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Trailer: “Aww, do I have to do it!?”

The other day, I found out that I have something in common with best-selling author Jonathan Franzen. No, we haven’t both decided to skip out on inclusion in Oprah’s book club. Unlike him, this is me going,“Oprah, darling, I’m ready and available. Let’s talk book club. Call me. Anytime. I mean it. Call me.”

Instead, I found out that Franzen, like me, isn’t too fond of authors creating promotional videos. Don’t get me wrong: I love many of the videos and book trailers I’ve seen on author websites and Amazon.com. A few of my friends have blogged about working on their book trailers. You can see the results here, here and here. All lovely and very stirring, but when it comes to doing one of my own? Ugh. I’ll let Franzen sum it up as only he can: "This might be a good place for me to register my profound discomfort at having to make videos like this …." If you want to see the rest of his comments in his author video, go here.

Franzen’s point is delicious irony, but in using the very medium he hates to get his point across, he has reached an almost inescapable issue for authors of fiction. We cannot connect with readers only through the written word. No, that’s just too simple. Now, we need author videos and...book...trailers. Sigh. Groan.

I've gone kicking, screaming and whining into the production of a book trailer for On Falcon's Wings. It was the choice of doing it or spending more time avoiding it while thinking of doing it. For too long, I've reasoned my time was better spent creating fan videos for one of my favorite cable shows, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. No, I'm not kidding. It is so much fun!!!! We all know I should be taking my time and what I've learned from Windows Movie Maker and applying it to a book trailer. Right? Right.

Now, I've spent most of the evening listening to samples of royalty free music, trying to create the right mood. I've narrowed down to choices that are intense, mysterious, somber, and / or uplifting. That leaves only about twenty or so odd samples to sift through. The visuals are trickier. It's hard to find the image of a medieval couple that's exactly right.  Wish me luck, but I won't promise I'll be showing off this trailer any time soon. I suspect this will be a work in progress for a bit.

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