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Archive for the ‘Book Trailers’ Category

Rockin’ round Queensland

Posted by richardharland on May 9, 2013

I’m having a great time, doing school visits in and around Brisbane. On Monday, I did talks for students at Aquinas (Gold Coast), then at Marymount on Tuesday (also Gold Coast). Further north to Coolum State High on Wednesday, then back down to Mary MacKillop in Nundah, Brisbane today. All accessories play a part in the ‘show’ – new pull-up banner, aviator helmet, goggles, Steampunk hat, book trailer video, PowerPoint – and of course THE GUITAR! I left my camera behind, so I only have photos from today – doing a reading while showing off my guitar!

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Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Trailers, Fantasy Genre, Steampunk, Visiting Writer | Leave a Comment »

Ian Irvine: Marketing for Authors Part Two

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on November 19, 2011

Continuing with Ian’s fantastic article on Marketing for Authors.

  1. Your email newsletter –  emailing newsletters to fans who have signed up may be the best way to market to people who love your books.

Provide incentives for people to sign up to your newsletter, then send it out regularly – at least bi-monthly. Include links for sample chapters and to buy your books, as well as to your website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and blog.

Note that unsolicited marketing emails are illegal in many countries and penalties are severe. Legal requirements differ widely for email newsletters, but, basically, individuals have to opt-in and must be given a simple way to unsubscribe. I asked my Facebook fans what the best newsletter management software was, and the majority said MailChimp.

  1. Your Facebook Fan page ­– the best way to develop and engage with a community of people who love your books. The number one way to sell books is through word of mouth from your fans, and the more strongly you can communicate with them, and they with you, the better. It’s easy to set up a simple fan page, but to create a page optimised to effectively promote your books requires a substantial commitment of time and resources.

Set up a Facebook business Page (also called a Fan Page). This page is designed to communicate with your fans, not to socialise with your friends. Dana Lynn Smith’s Facebook Guide for Authors will bring you up to speed on Facebook.

I’ve devoted a lot of time to developing and running my Facebook page; I’m very happy with the way it’s working and the two-way interaction with fans. Develop a strong sense of community by:

◦         Frequent posts of interest to your fans (but not 10 times a day – some fans will be irritated and Unlike you. 1-3 times a day is ideal);

◦         Providing quick responses to fans’ questions (the same day, or, ideally within hours);

◦         Interaction that shows you as a human being rather than a promotional robot;

◦         Providing lots of useful content, particularly images, audio and video, that’s regularly updated.

◦         You can facilitate the growth of your page by promotions and competitions, and via Facebook advertising.

Facebook now has 800 million active users and publishers are moving a lot of their advertising there. So am I.

  1. Your GoodReads page – GoodReads has 6 million users who are really interested in books. It’s rapidly becoming the main book-lovers’ social media site and publishers are moving a substantial amount of advertising there. It’s also a great place for you to develop a community with readers and fans.

Set up a strong GoodReads page with lots of content that’s regularly updated, as well as deep interaction with fans and other readers. I haven’t been nearly as active on GoodReads as I should be, and will have to upgrade my presence there when I can glean the time. Also:

◦         Add your own reviews;

◦         Respond to comments;

◦         Attach your blog (though there can be formatting issues).

  1. Your YouTube page – useful because it’s a different way for people to find you. Or a way for people with different interests to hear about your books.

If you can, be active on YouTube by posting book trailers, video and audio interviews, book readings etc (you can record these direct from your computer’s webcam). As you can see, I’ve been slack on YouTube in recent years and need to do a lot more.

◦         If you are going to post videos, do it often. Make them brief, fun, quirky, interesting and informative, not long, tedious ‘talking heads’. If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.

◦         Respond to comments on your videos.

◦         Network by commenting on and favouriting other relevant videos and movie trailers of interest.

◦         Link your YouTube page to your website, GoodReads account and Facebook Page, and to your blog, or embed your videos in these places.

H.         Other Activities to Complement your Platform

If time permits, you should try to use or establish a presence on these sites:

  • Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the first source of information for many internet users so your entry needs to be comprehensive and up to date. Most Wikipedia entries are far too brief, and often wrong. Get someone to put up a Wikipedia page for you, if there isn’t one, or to update it if there is. You can’t do this under your own name. See Ian Irvine Wikipedia.
  • Other social networking sites relevant to authors and book lovers include LibraryThing,  and Shelfari 
  • Key genre sites: Update your entries on the most important sites. E.g., for speculative fiction, The SF site, SFF World, the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, and any others you feel are important. Please let me know about any I’ve missed;
  • Fan sites: interact with your fan sites, if any, and respond to questions regularly;
  • LinkedIn: Not hugely important for book promotion, but it’s worth having a presence there – consider if it’s useful to join relevant groups (some of them are huge!) and post comments.

Lesser Sites

  • The following social media, networking and bookmarking sites aren’t tremendously useful for book promotion (though they do help, so it doesn’t hurt to have a presence in lots of places if you have the time):

If you have any comments, criticisms or advice, I’d love to hear them.

Ian Irvine is an Australian marine scientist who has also written 27 novels, including the international bestselling Three Worlds epic fantasy sequence, a trilogy of thrillers about catastrophic climate change, Human Rites, and 12 novels for children. His latest children’s series is the humorous adventure fantasy quartet, Grim and Grimmer. Ian’s latest epic fantasy is Vengeance, Book 1 of The Tainted Realm.

 

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Marianne’s Angel Arias is out!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on October 18, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance for Marianne. Angel Arias, sequel to Burn Bright is out. Not only does this book have a superb cover, but a great clip with music by Yunyu and clip by my DH, Daryl. (R & D Studios)

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Creativity, Musicians, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

How do readers connect with a book (by a new author)?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on October 14, 2011

 

My guess is that the greatest service we can do a book is to talk about it - on our blogs, to our friends, when we are on panels and to bookstore staff. Let people know the book is out there and it's good!

George Ivanoff did a post about  book trailers for ROR recently.  Nigel commented that his reading forum were discussing this and:

1) Most people didn’t even know book trailers existed

2) Those that did know they existed did not seek them out

3) Some book trailers were obviously more interesting to watch than others, but no one believed that this was likely to influence what books they ended up purchasing

 

I chimed in with the point that people under 20 reacted well to book trailers. Nigel agreed, but argued this didn’t mean that they went out and bought the book, as they were looking on the trailer more as a short movie.

So how do readers connect with a book (by a new author) before they make the decision to buy it?

The following is in no way scientific, but a guess:

  • 75% recommendations from friends (In this I include blog sites where readers follow a certain reviewer as that reviewer becomes the equivalent of a trusted friend – at least where books are concerned).
  • 10% from book staff. (Those little tags on shelves and Indy stores where they know the staff)
  • 5% from reading a blog post when the author does a guest post somewhere that arouses their interest, or reading their tweets and thinking they sound intriguing.
  • 5% from reviews (the old fashioned kind in newspapers)
  • 5% from picking up the book because the cover is interesting, reading the blub/front page and taking a chance on a new author

(It does add up to 100%, I checked. Some years ago I embarassed myself on a panel doing a quick breakdown of my reading genre habits but the total didn’t reach 100% and of course, someone in the audience pointed this out).

You’ll notice I haven’t included book trailers in this. That’s because the reader would have to seek them out on You Tube, which means they have to know about the book to find the trailer. The other way they would come across the book trailer is on a blog review site, or the writer’s own web site. So the reader is already engaging with the book/author at this point.

If a reader comes across the book trailer at this stage and, like the review or the author’s tweets, it appears in intriguing then the trailer would contribute towards the reader’s decision to buy that book.

As I said, this is all guesswork. What I’d like from you ‘gentle reader’ is your input on what influences you to take a punt on a new author’s book. Have I given too much credence to traditional reviews in newspapers? I must admit, I’ve bought only two books in my life, based on newspaper reviews and both were nonfiction.

Over to you…

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Covers, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book | Tagged: , , , , | 55 Comments »

Book Trailers — Are they worth the effort?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 17, 2011

This week George Ivanoff, Award Winning author of the Gamer’s Quest series (YA fiction) talks about book trailers ….

Watch out for the give-away at the end of the post.

George Ivanoff

 

There has been much debate about the relevance of book trailers. Are they a worthwhile investment of time and money for publishers and authors? Do they actually sell books? Does anyone watch them?

Well, I don’t have any definite answers for you. Sorry! But I do have a few observations based on personal experience.

I had my first trailer made for my 2009 teen novel, Gamers’ Quest. I had no idea if it would be worthwhile. And I had no budget. After an aborted attempt to make it myself (it was pretty crap), I got some help. Friend and computer animator, Henry Gibbens stepped in and produced a trailer for me, with my brother-in-law, Marc Valko, writing and performing the music. I wanted it to look a bit computer-gamey, as the novel is set within a computer game world, and I wanted music that sounded a bit like a 1980s sci-fi tv show theme. This is the result…

It has been up on YouTube since October 2009, but has had only a little over 800 views. Does that mean it’s a failure? Perhaps if I had spent lots of money on it, it might be considered a poor investment. But I didn’t. So even though it has only had a relatively small number of views (compared, for example, to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters which has views in the hundreds of thousands), it has at least had some people watching it, and it’s not languishing at the bottom of the heap, as so many trailers are, with views not exceeding 100.

YouTube aside, it has been a very successful trailer for me in another way. As a writer of books for kids and teens, I do school visits, and the trailer has proved to be a great way to capture the interest of a young audience. Starting a school talk with a short video that has computer game-like visuals can seize the attention of the most bored and uninterested of teens. So for this reason alone, I was keen to have a trailer for the sequel, Gamers’ Challenge.

I showed this trailer to a couple of school groups last week. The reaction was fantastic! The trailer is more dynamic that the first, and the music deliberately more upbeat and techno. The feedback from the audience was very positive.

Currency did exchange hands this time around — but I already consider it money well spent, purely because it will be a useful tool in school presentations.

But what about YouTube? The trailer has been up for a little over a week and still has not broken the 100 mark. What do I do?

I’ve posted it on FaceBook and Twitter, and on my blog. But this doesn’t seem to have done a huge amount. In fact, reaction has been slower than when I posted the Gamers’ Quest trailer two years ago. You know what? I think people are gradually paying less attention to videos on FaceBook and Twitter. So much crap has been posted over the last two years, that people are more reluctant to click on a vid, and, in fact, will often bypass them without even registering what they are.

Certainly, my use of FaceBook has changed over the two years that I’ve been using it. When I first started, I used to religiously log in every morning and check my friends’ updates… and again at the end of the day. As the months rolled by, and my ‘friends’ list expanded, I started to skim rather than read. Another few months down the track I divided my friends up into groups, so that I could keep track of those who made interesting posts, while bypassing those who status updates consisted of what they had for breakfast. And still, FaceBook was eating up my time (it is, I am convinced, the Black Hole of the Internet)— time that should have been spent writing. So now, I glance at the status updates every couple of days, and look up genuine friends when I’m thinking about them and wondering what they are up to. Do I ever look at videos posted to FaceBook? Rarely!

If this is the way I use FaceBook, how can I expect to get lots of people looking at the videos that I post?

So where does that leave me and my trailer with regards to YouTube? I’m not a big-name-author with a high-profile book published by a large publisher that can afford a big-bucks trailer that is guaranteed immediate and constant attention. But I need to get people to watch my trailer… otherwise why bother having it up there?

Talking to other authors and trailer makers, I’ve discovered something. Even though a book trailer is a piece of promotion for a book, it also needs to be promoted. You need to let people know that the trailer exists… and you need to tell them repeatedly. If they see a link to it often enough, and if you tell them interesting things about it, then they are more likely to invest their time in watching it.

But I hardly have enough time to promote my book, let alone a video about my book! I hear you scream. But promoting your book trailer is simply another way of promoting your book. And believe me, after the umpteenth interview and gazillianth guest blog post, I need something a little different to say in order to interest my readers and maintain my sanity.

And so, here I am, telling you about my experiences with book trailers in the hope that you, my dear, dear, readers, will all spare a couple of minutes to go and watch my latest book trailer. And hopefully, if you actually like it, you may tell other people about it. Or, if I’m very lucky, it may inspire you to seek out and purchase a copy of my book (titled Gamers’ Challenge, just in case you’ve forgotten).

But I’m not relying solely on the readers of Ripping Ozzie Reads to boost my YouTube status. I will be writing about this trailer whenever I get the chance, to as many different outlets as possible. This article is the first of many!

Will all of this boost the trailer’s views and hence sell some more books? Time will tell! In the meantime, excuse me while I go check YouTube to see if anyone else has watched it.  😉

George is giving away 2 copies of Gamer’s Challenge.

Give-away Question: If you could replace the music on the Gamers’ Challenge trailer with a pop song, what would it be?

 

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author and stay-at-home dad, best known for his Gamers series of teen novels. Gamers’ Quest won a 2010 Chronos Award and is on the reading list for both the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge and the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. Gamers’ Challenge was released this month by Ford Street Publishing.

George spends most of his time writing books for the primary school education market, and also writers a regular bookish blog, Literary Clutter for Boomerang Books online bookstore.
More information about the Gamers books is available on the official website.
More information about George and his writing is available on his website.

Posted in Artists, Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Collaborating, Creativity, Musicians, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Sales, Visiting Writer, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Blitzing the book trailers …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 5, 2011

This Sunday we have a ‘call back’. In an interview with AA Bell, author of Diamond Eyes, she tells how the music that inspired her while writing the book led to a collaboration, that has created a killer book trailer. Then we hear from the musician involved in her project,  ‘David Meshow’.

We have a copy of Diamond Eyes to give-away. Watch our for the question at the end.

Blitzing the book trailers for many NY Times bestsellers this month is the non-traditional low-budget trailer for Diamond Eyes, by AA Bell.


Over 106,000 views in only 3 weeks! (Here and Here)

 

Interview with the Author:

 

How did music play a role during the initial creative process?

Since the main character is blind, music and poetry plays an increasingly important role in the Diamond Eyes trilogy, adding sensory depth to settings as well as a few main plot twists. During the research stage, I therefore searched high and low for musicians who could inspire me by playing as many instruments as my main character, and play them so well, they could do it anywhere – in a garden or forest, and with a quirky sense of humour too preferably, to suit the off-beat characters and varying paces of the story, from slow and melancholy to fast-paced action. That’s how I found French Canadian, David Meshow, a young musical genius who can play at least 8 different instruments (and up to 4 at once, while singing in English, which isn’t his first language!) He also taught me how to play the most amazing electric guitar melodies around a campfire, so I could use it to increase the ‘magical’ aspects of a specific scene in Hindsight (launching in June.)

And in post production?

It seemed only natural that such unique music should play a large role in post production too. So I wrote to David for permission to use part of the music which had inspired me so much during the creative process, and sent him a copy of the book, but he was so inspired by the story, he told me he was keen to write a brand new piece just to suit it. And wow, what a fabulous example of inspiration breeding inspiration. Over 5000 fans now agree it’s his best yet!

Interview with the Musician:

What inspired you when writing the Official Theme to Diamond Eyes?

 

From the story, I imagined how I would be if I was blind. Seeing nothing, but seeing something that nobody else can see, because it’s only in my head, gave me a lot of strange feelings. I first tuned my acoustic guitar with an unusual scale. After having found the main “chords” I recorded the guitar on my computer, just a simple test. Then i added some improvised piano. I love the sound of piano because you can get some smooth peaceful high tones and aggressive low notes at the same time. At the final recording step, I thought: What could I play to replace these testing notes? I tried different things but my final answer was; “Hey David, don’t change anything. The first recording test was pure emotion. It sounds deep.’ And finally, I used the soundless preview of the traditional trailer to get many ideas for the main ambiance and for adding different sound FX.

How long did it take?

A few minutes here and there, but if I calculate the full time of the composition, mixing and production to finished product, I’d say it took me a good full week. But i don’t like to calculate my time because it “scraps” my imagination and the mood I have when I’m recording a song. It has to be done with heart. The most difficult is the final mixing step because I have to admit that I’m never 100% satisfied. Sometimes I just need to stop or I’ll never release my work. Hehe!

What has this fabulous response from youtube fans meant to you as an artist?

Ha! I’m surprised! I’m the kind of person who is always anxious until I get the first comments. It’s always like that. I really wasn’t expecting such a good response. I wasn’t sure about making a video for the song either. I was wrong, I guess. A lot of fans have told me it’s my best yet. And if I’m here today, it’s thanks to them! This 50 million views could not have happened without them. I’m really happy about everything that’s happened!

To win a copy of Diamond Eyes, AA Bell asks: What music do you listen to when you write?

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Creativity, Musicians, Promoting your Book, Sales | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »