On Self-publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 3

The book trailer!

If you sit down and research how to promote your writing in today’s techno-web, you’ll need medical attention. There are more words written on this than you’d ever care to read. As I have said before, there’s plenty of great advice out there, and there is also quite a bit of pandering just to get you to click on the stupid link. As I work through my process on this blog, I will spare you all of that, and only share what is relevant to me and my novel. If you want advice, clear your schedule and wind up the Google machine. I’ll see you in 6 months.

Something that is a supposed critical piece to promoting your book is the book trailer. It’s like a movie trailer or commercial that should engage potential readers, excite current readers, and provide any interested parties with a glimpse of what the book is all about.

I’ve watched a bunch of them (of mitigating quality). There are websites devoted to them. I have mixed feelings about them.

However, it’s a nice thing to have. People respond to visuals and video waaaayyy more than the written word. And with shortening attention spans, it’s a good tool to have in your promotional arsenal. So, I’m gonna have one too.

In my research, I found many to be rather formulaic, and somewhat tedious. That’s not going to happen for Tommy boy. Nope, I’m going to put together something special. Something true to the themes I attack in my book. Something satirical. Something funny. It’ll be several weeks before it’s shot, edited, and up on the web. I promise to share with you the process of putting it together in the hopes that it will help  those who are interested in putting one together for their work.

Here is the first draft of the script for the trailer. Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have.

Leather to the Corinthians – the Book Trailer

INT – LIVING ROOM

Kid in living room watching Sat Morning Cartoons, stuffing face with chips, guzzling soda. The cartoon he was watching has just gone to commercial.

We’ll be right back with more adventures with Auntie Nuke and the Fun Bunch right after this! (Still image which I will provide)

Kid starts flipping channels.

Nutritious Breakfast Cereal – vacant family, all prize no cereal

INT – KITCHEN OR DINING ROOM

Family sitting at table eating breakfast. The mom, dad, and one child eat in very robotic fashion, staring out into nowhere.

Announcer:
Hey Kid! Tired of the same old sugary crap that you’ve been eating for breakfast?

Kid:
You betcha!

Announcer:
Well breakfast just got better. Introducing a brand new cereal! Leather to the Corninthians. It’s filled with everything a growing kid needs to survive this cold, brutal world filled with violence and despair.

Kid looks concerned.

Announcer:
And it has a prize inside!

Kid:
Yay!

Kid pours cereal out of box. The book and a handful of cereal slam into his bowl.

Kid looks into camera, clearly displeased. Mom, dad, and other kid have their heads on the table, looking dead or passed out.

Living Room kid changes channel.

Car Dealer commercial

EXT- Car Dealership

Car Salesman:
Are you driving a late model POS? Do you burn with jealousy as you see every knucklehead on the road driving a sweeter ride than you?

Do you feel like you deserve a sweet ride?

I’m here to tell you that you do, and it doesn’t even matter that you can’t afford it!

Here at Everhard Motors, we have a car to fit every budget, even if we have to wedge it in there!

Boy:
Low rates, EZ financing!

Car Salesman:
That’s right. Get what you deserve at EVERHARD motors.

Boy:
Low rates, EX financing!

Car Salesman:
You got a paycheck, you got a car. At least for the moment!

Boy:
Low rates, EX financing!

Come down today, every new car owner gets this special operator’s manual with their purchase!

Car Salesman holds up copy of book.

Boy:
Low rates, EZ financing!

Car Salesman:
Ok, that’s enough. Get back in the box.

Living Room kid changes channel.

Toy Commercial using characters

EXT – Back Yard

Two boys playing with army figures.
Announcer:
Hey kids! New from Sell Inc! Get the new Rebel General and King action playset!

Boy #1:
I’m the King and you’re going to have it my way!

Boy #2:
No way, I’m the Rebel General and you are gonna get it! Pew pew!

Announcer:
Now you can play out all your favorite scenes from the smash hit book, Leather to the Corinthians. Remember when the General destroyed the Village?

Boy #1:
DIE you stupid king you. DIE DIE DIE!

Boy #2:
Arrrgh, no I’m escaping in a super rocket thing. You can’t catch me!

Boy #1:
That’s not fair. I hate you!

Announcer:
Now that’s great fun! And cathartic. Find these and other exciting war toys from Sell Inc, at your local toy store and military recruitment center.

Living Room kid changes channel.

Deadbeat commercial

INT – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Man sitting in a dark living room watching TV. He’s wearing shabby clothes. Unshaved. Trash everywhere.

Announcer:
Just look at you. Watching TV all day, wasting your life away. Directionless. Just a money mouth, eating and spending what little money you have on useless.

Do you ever ask yourself, “What happened?” Do you wish to do something, anything with your pathetic life?

Of course you do. That’s why you need to read Leather to the Corinthians. In it, you’ll learn why your life is so terrible, so absolutely pathetic and how it was designed to be that way.

You’ll learn how to take the power back, and turn your life around. Once you read it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

So stop being such a loser and buy Leather to the Corinthians today.

Living room kid changes channel

Big Pharma commercial – Dad with kid, Book is the drug

EXT – Suburban Neighborhood Street

Father and son playing football. Kid hikes ball to dad, runs off-screen

Dad:
Go out for the long bomb!

Dad:
You know, it wasn’t all that long ago that I couldn’t even play with my son.
Life had left me feeling listless. All of the problems today – the economy, war, obesity – it was just too much to handle.

I was depressed. I felt powerless. I felt flaccid, impotent.

Then my doctor prescribed “Leather to the Corinthians” and with just one read-through, my life changed dramatically.

Announcer:
Side effects include: total illumination, a complete intolerance to bullshit, the ability to see the invisible strings pulled by our puppet masters, constipation, anger, and a strong desire to riot in the streets. Consult your doctor should any desire to take control of your life occur. Take with a meal or strong drink.

Dad:
Read Leather to the Corinthians today. Your new life is waiting.

INT – LIVING ROOM

Living room kid turns to camera. Blood runs from his nose.

Boy:
It’s so pretty.

TEXT:
Leather to the Corinthians. Available now on Amazon.com and other fine booksellers. (More to come on this end.)

Read the first two segments of this feature: Part 1, Part 2

18 thoughts on “On Self-publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 3”

  1. “If you sit down and research how to promote your writing in today’s techno-web, you’ll need medical attention.” No truer statement has ever been made in the history of statements. Yes, it’s true, I really did need medical attention when I first began this crazy journey. I could NOT feel the fingers on my left hand. I had a procedure to relieve some pinched nerve issues and a month of physical therapy. =:0 Insane.

  2. First of all, congrats on getting to the point where you can make a trailer of your novel. Im following your self published posts and am learning along the way.
    Sorry if I missed this answer (I lack brain cells after mid day coffee) but did you say you were self publishing by way of Ebook also?
    Im currently taking a course on formatting for ebook publishing. I know there are many avenues to do this.
    thx for sharing ur experiences.

    1. If I may intrude in this comment….may I?…okay, I’m pretending you said yes.
      You may want to check out https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52. The style guide (FREE) is what I used to format my ebook. It gives instructions specifically for Smashwords, but is a great resource for creating hyper-links from chapter titles to your table of contents. Plus other tips that, of course now that I’m telling you this I realize you may already know.
      If you read any of my early posts, you will see I was pretty much a cave woman when it came to e-anything. So, you are actually smarter than me and feel free to disregard this altogether. :)

      But…Using that guide I was able to format and upload my manuscript in one night of uproariously glorious success. No errors on the first attempt!! I was so thrilled that I posted this http://honiebriggs.com/2012/02/03/smashing-good-times/ which for some strange reason gets hits every Friday. Weird. All the best to you.

      1. You’re not intruding in the least. Excellent resource and thank you for posting this. What has been your overall experience with Smashwords? It’s on my distribution list but I hear mixed reviews.

      2. Well, I’ll tell ya. Here’s a post with my early impression. http://honiebriggs.com/2012/02/27/unmentionables/
        I don’t have a comparison. Kindle’s “exclusive” thing wasn’t my cup of tea, but there are other self-published authors who swear by it. So, whatever. My goals aren’t the same as most authors. Smashwords is a WYSIWYG and I like that. Readers can browse and safely purchase, they have a NO SPAM policy, which you must know, I L O V E and it has some features like links to my blog, a bio page https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/honiebriggs and an affiliate program. Smashwords distributes via catalog to Amazon, B & N, and other retailers. When my next book is ready I may shop around for an additional platform, but I would certainly use Smashwords again and most definitely will use Createspace for my P.O.D.

      3. Excellent links here as well. Not sure where my material might sit, as at times it is quite profane, but more so to provide social commentary than titillate. I do know that Createspace is my POD, and the ebook version will be solidly whored out to every portal that will take it. Thanks for taking the time to share this tonight.

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