Movie Magic

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Question:  Do self-published authors really need a book trailer?  Honestly?  Probably not, but then you’d miss out on all the fun!

While their novelty may have worn off in recent times, book trailers are still a fun way to catch peoples’ attention.  Whether or not they translate into direct sales remains to be seen, so it’s probably wise to save your pennies for things like professional cover designers and editors.  But with a little thought and creativity, you can create a trailer that will offer an extra promotional tool for your book.

Being a self-publisher, you soon get used to the fact that you have to do pretty much everything yourself.  This can have varying degrees of success, depending on your skill set, but if like me you thrive on finding out how to do stuff on your own, then read on!

After extensive research on the subject (by which I mean a quick search on Google) I discovered that there are two types of trailer.  The first is similar in tone to the movie trailers we are all familiar with.

‘In a world, where bland stories are lent a certain gravitas by a booming baritone voice…’

You get the idea – it’s basically the hard sell.  These trailers introduce the genre of the book and give a brief summary of the plot.  Those of us on a lower budget could opt for stills, which can be very effective if used in the right way.  But frankly, I think these type of trailers require a professional’s touch – otherwise they can end up looking cheap and doing your promotion more harm than good.

The other type of trailer is more of a soft sell and something all the PR gurus tell us to adhere to when it comes to social media.  (i.e. Stop shouting ‘Buy My Book’ to every passing Tweep).  Rather than focusing on the book itself, you can create a trailer that allows you, as an author, to connect directly with the reader.  A good example of this is Maria Semple’s trailer for ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’.  It’s really quite clever, because, even though she is constantly referring to her book, we don’t feel as though she is begging us to buy it.  In fact, she shows us just how hard it is to sell a book these days and with a bit of humour and self-deprecation, we end up identifying with her on a personal level.

So when it came to producing a trailer for my second novel, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, I decided to put myself in front of the camera.  I must admit that I was a bit nervous at the prospect and so I decided to ‘hire’ two professionals – my nieces, Charlotte and Eabha.  It all went downhill from there!

Several jokes were harmed during the making of this video – what can I say?  I’ll never make it in stand up!!  There was a script; as in I told them to ask me questions about writing, self-publishing and my upcoming novel, but thankfully Charlotte decided to rogue and the result was a trailer that had nothing to do with the book!  While I don’t think Scorsese has anything to worry about just yet, I was quite pleased with the results.

And the best part is, I was able to edit the entire thing on Movie Maker.  It’s a foolproof way to add text and music (by the enchanting Amiina) and lots of other features to make your video unique.  The only limit is your imagination.  I think the main thing to remember is to keep it brief.  I often use the expression, ‘When you’re explaining, you’re losing’, so think of it as a blurb and don’t bombard your audience with information.

So how about you?  Have you made a book trailer?  If so, why not post the link in the comments – I’d love to see them 🙂

 

 

 

Featured Author

featured-authorI’ve been featured on Book Hippo UK!

It’s always nice to have your book featured, and it’s especially nice to be featured with Book Hippo UK.  The majority of sites charge a fee (or something akin to a mortgage!) to advertise a book promotion, but Book Hippo UK do not charge for inclusion on their newsletter.  Instead, they have a strict selection process which means they hand-pick only the very best for their readers.

As an Indie author, it can be really challenging trying to reach new readers, so it’s fantastic to find a site like this where the readers can trust the quality of the recommendations and authors (on a shoe-string!) can get exposure.

So thanks Book Hippo for featuring The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, which is currently on sale for 99p!  I’ll be wearing my blue hippo badge with pride 🙂

The Reviews Are In!

I was so excited to read the first reviews of my new novel, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, that I thought I’d share them with you all here 🙂  You can still get your copy here for $0.99!  

 

In a departure from her historical fiction roots, Evie Gaughan has taken on the paranormal world and made the hairs stand on the back of my neck! This book is full of echoes from the past, but is set in modern-day France…  I would totally recommend this book to lovers of mystery, magic and of course, l’amour.  4 stars

 

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but there’s a reason why the bakery is named ‘mysterious’ in the title of the book. I totally did not see this aspect of the story coming and I thoroughly enjoyed the uniqueness of it and how Evie Gaughan managed to use this element to really turn her story into something special. Next to that, her writing style is warm, well-paced and just really comfortable to read. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to picking up Evie Gaughan’s other book, ‘The Cross of Santiago.’ ‘The Mysterious Bakery on Rue De Paris’ is an engaging, warm-hearted and thoroughly enjoyable novel which I can definitely recommend to readers who are looking for chick lit with a twist; you’ll adore this!  4 stars

 

The description in the blurb is right…  it’s magical. The way Evie describes the scenes and the story has a real spark. I really liked it.  3.5 stars

You can find the full reviews on Goodreads.

Indie Author Spotlight

I’m so excited to welcome my first guest author of 2014 – Jackie Mallon.  As part of a series that will give a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how authors find their own path to publishing, Jackie talks about her experience with the Amazon White Glove Program and the challenge of getting her writing ‘out there’.

Late Summer 08, Eileen's b'day, Lisa & Austin's wedding 100     After months of trying to get a traditional publisher to consider my debut novel, Silk for the Feed Dogs, and many lovely rejection notes expressing their fear at taking a chance on an unknown writer, my agent was approached by Amazon. They had just launched a new publishing venture, Amazon White Glove Programme. Its aim, my agent explained, was to raise the level of self-published material out there by focusing only on writers who had already won over an agent with their work. Out there. How many times have we been told we must put ourselves out there? Those two words have also come to represent the vast dark depths of the internet, mystery-filled. There is so much we still don’t know. Well, I am here at base camp to describe my experience out there, even though I confess there is still so much I don’t know.

Self-publishing scared the holy bejaysus out of me. After hiding away for five years to write the damned thing, I didn’t believe I possessed the ability to do an about turn, truss myself up in glittery ribbon and neon bulbs and shout about my new novel from the rooftops. I discovered I had no other option. My agent, having just returned from the London Book Fair, had observed that the industry was in grim shape. More than any other year, she said, the publishing industry was on its knees. Traditional publishing routes were growing narrower and more problematic. We both knew apparently successful writers now extremely disillusioned–even ones on the fourth book of a five book series–who despite being published by the big houses, suffered nothing but anxiety at the unanswered calls or emails, demand for gratuitous sex and violence to be added to their completed manuscripts, sales of translation rights never materializing, and the ever-hovering threat that they would be dropped. The grass isn’t so green on that side of the fence anymore yet most of us hopeful first-timers still carry the torch that a real publisher will sign us and legitimize our dreams of a writing life.

A new contract was drawn up between me and my agent.

Now to the terms. My agent devised a profit sharing contract whereby Amazon gets their required 30% (non-negotiable and the same as regular self published authors hand over, I believe) and she and I split the rest. As the programme is so new there are no standard contract figures to work from. Each agent and author needs to hash that messy bit out for themselves. So, compared to other independently self-published authors, I don’t pocket as much from the sale of my books as they do. That might be the sticking point for some.

But there were advantages to Amazon’s offer. As I write this, Amazon UK is running a week-long Valentine’s Day promotional offer and, as my novel has steadily gained good reviews, I was eligible. Emails are sent out featuring my title to book buyers who have shopped in my genre category before. My Kindle sales in the UK have been very strong this week as a result. After my launch they also promoted the novel for an entire month, however that promotion was less successful. I, the author of the work who therefore knew what she was looking for, couldn’t even find my title when I went to the site. It was buried among so many others involved in the same promotion. Maybe it was because Silk for the Feed Dogs, starry eyed and freshly arrived at this glittering debutante’s ball, had not yet gained any traction. Who knows?

Having an agent–perhaps another outdated tradition, soon to be extinct in this new world order–has certainly helped me get myself out there. She actively pursues opportunities for me to share my writing, seeks out translation sales, represents my book at book fairs, and allows me access to social media consultants and other professionals who can help. Her European contacts got Silk for the Feed Dogs into the hands of a French TV company who are currently writing a treatment. The bottom line is, if she wins, I win. I feel like I am part of a team. But I still do everything that a regular self-published author does: I blog twice a week, pursue all avenues to let people know about my novel, write articles for free, contact book editors, organise my own readings, and generally behave like a small business owner whose livelihood is at stake every day. Publishing a novel without the support of a HarperCollins or Random House is like opening a corner shop down the street from Whole Foods. You have your pretty green and white awning and shiny shelves well-stocked with tasty goodies but you still need to entice each and every customers through the door.

Amazon has the exclusive Kindle sale of Silk for the Feed Dogs for one year. I receive quarterly sales figures through my agent as she is the one in direct contact with them, not me. I make more money from each Kindle sale than Print on Demand but so far, despite the reports that books are dying, the majority of readers are buying an actual copy. The one-year deal with Amazon White Glove is only for this novel. When my second is ready, I will have to decide if I want to go it alone or stay with my agent, pursue a traditional publishing route, or participate anew in White Glove. I’m only four months in so it’s too early to tell.

Every day reveals something new and that is as much as I know.

You can follow Jackie’s blog here.

Get your copy of Silk For The Feed Dogs here.

Sneak Preview…

The Cross Of Santiago is inching ever closer to the launch date of September 16th, so the excitement is really starting to build around here.  I’m so grateful to everyone who has signed up to the Smashwords Pre-Order and I just want to let you know that you can read a sample before you buy here.  

I’m really looking forward to my launch day party with Enchanted Book Promotions and my blog tour with Fiction Addiction Book Tours which will be kicking off on October 1st.  So watch this space for author interviews, book give aways and hopefully glowing reviews!  

Still wondering what The Cross Of Santiago is all about?  Here’s a little taster…

 

“One cross will bind two couples across four centuries.”

An ancient love story, locked in the heart of a sunken Armada ship, is destined to find its happy ending… even if it takes four hundred years.

Amanda Morrison does not believe in love or destiny, but when a long-lost aunt leaves her a mysterious golden cross in her will, her uneventful life in Galway City is turned upside down. The arrival of Xavier, a charismatic yachtsman in search of treasure and adventure, complicates life further, as their paths seem destined to cross.

While Amanda tries to uncover the truth about her family’s past, a strange series of events ensues, involving drama on the high seas, hypnosis, scary sheep, Armada treasure and five-a-side football championships. Though, not all in that order. 

***COVER REVEAL***

Here it is everyone – the cover design for my debut novel The Cross of Santiago.

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I am seriously psyched about the cover!  It really encapsulates the essence of the story:-

 “A young woman’s journey to find the truth about her ancestry and the mysterious cross that will unlock the secrets of an ancient love story.”

Big thanks to my designer Deborah at Tugboat who interpreted the story so well and persevered through many e-mails until we got it just right!  Let me know what you think and if you like it – spread the word 🙂

Stay tuned for details of the launch (September 16th) and subsequent book tour.