Anyone who has been alive since the last century (gasp!) knows that publishing has changed quite a bit in the last twenty years or so… and one of those “new-fangled” changes is the advent of the “Book Trailer”. But first, a little background.
Self-publishing, once considered to be “out there”, has now become mainstream. According to the website selfpublishingadvice.org, self-publishing first appeared on the scene with the advent of Desktop Publishing, when the American parachutist Dan Poynter wrote and published The Self-Publishing Manual in 1979. A few brave and adventurous souls then jumped on board and started printing out their own creations and selling them to bookshops and/or via mail order. Eventually, as technology continued to advance, digital Print-On-Demand made it possible for more people to professionally print smaller batches of publications to order.
The concept of ebooks really started emerging during the 1990s. As technology advanced, the ability for publications to be created and distributed in electronic form grew. It wasn’t until 1998, however, due to a prior lack of payment mechanism, that digital publishers could actually start collecting money for their works via the internet, and a true market emerged.
Though Sony produced an ebook reader in 2004, it wasn’t until Amazon released the Kindle in 2007 that electronic publishing began exploding onto the market, and with it, the ability to easily create, publish, and sell on one’s own works, without a publishing company. By 2012, when the Alliance of Independent Authors launched at the London Book Fair, self-publishing was already quickly dismantling the publishing world that had dominated the production of reading material since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1493.
So, now that everyone is up to speed on the circumstances that brought us to where we are today, I can get to the point of this blog entry. (Personally, Trade-publishing or Self-publishing- it is all the same to me. I see the pluses and minuses to both options, and all I can advise anyone is to do the research and find the option that will work best for you. I have friends who have done it both ways, and success is possible either way.)
As the publishing world is forever changing at lightning speed thanks to modern technology, self-publishing is making it possible for many more books to potentially reach consumers, and competition is fierce. Seemingly every day, smaller traditional publishing houses are going under, while the more well-known staples of the traditional publishing world are trying to roll with the punches. As a result of this unprecedented flood of books to the market, according to author legend, no one really knows just how many books are for sale on retail giant Amazon.com on any given day, but the internet reports that the number is 32.8 million books. Therefore, the biggest modern challenge for any author is the sheer volume of books we are competing with for readers’ dollars.
As with everything else in this increasingly digital world, where traditional industry giants are finding themselves usurped by “startups” jumping into the market and taking an ever-larger bite of the profits, finding a way to stand out is key. For authors, that means creating ever-growing ways to attract readers to our books, and one of the most inventive ways is the “Book Trailer”.
Just like a movie trailer, a book trailer is intended to pique the reader’s interest and whet their appetite to experience more. I will admit that at first, it seemed a bit odd to me that authors would use film, a multi-sensory inclusive media, to introduce their novels as if they were already in a cinematic format (A bit like putting the cart before the horse, really. It is every author’s dream, optioning their book for a movie, but it felt a bit presumptuous and premature.) After watching many, however, I have to admit the concept has grown on me, and it was armed with this information that the following book trailer was born.
Full disclosure here: I have to admit that I worked myself into a frenzy about how to make a book trailer happen. I confess here and now that while I am fairly savvy with most basic computer functions, creating and editing videos is not one of them. A Good Kind of Crazy was released in October of 2018, and I have been freaking out about getting this done for over eighteen months. Recently, however, I was finally introduced to the wonders of Fiverr.com, and a lovely woman from Pakistan worked with me over the course of a week to produce my very first book trailer. I think she did a fantastic job, and she captured the spirit of the story without my having developed an ulcer or ripping my hair out.
So, now I guess the next step is to make a book trailer for Western Skies, as well. This time, I will NOT panic for eighteen months first, now that I know that there are incredibly talented people who can do this for me, and I can help them make a living in the ever-increasing gig economy in which the world is engaging.
I hope you like the trailer! I also hope that it piques your interest to read (or listen) more about Kat and her journey. (Believe me, Jen Carmody, the narrator of the Audiobook version of both A Good Kind of Crazy and Western Skies is another one of those very talented people who can do what they do so much better than I ever could!) Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think!
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