trailers

A Spark Ignites – Now on Sale!

A Spark Ignites is now on sale in Kindle and Paperback! Please help support my writing by buying my first book. Not sure if you want to buy it, or just don’t have any money at the moment? No problem! There’s a short story set within the same universe that’s now available on Amazon absolutely free!

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Description:  Matt was just a regular teenager, dealing with homework, hormones, high school drama, and an obnoxious older brother. He found his life complicated, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. Then, when Spark, the city’s greatest superhero unexpectedly dies, Matt finds himself in possession of the hero’s costume and gadgets, with a note asking him to carry on the legacy. Finding himself unable to refuse, he reluctantly begins his superhero career, hoping he can live up to the name of his predecessor. Not knowing the first thing about being a superhero, Matt soon finds himself overwhelmed. Will he find himself in an early grave, just like his hero?

Meanwhile, an aging supervillain, the Inventor, creates a powerful device capable of killing thousands. An elaborate plan is put in motion that could lead to the destruction of everything Matt holds dear. Will he be able to figure out the how to stop him in time? And when evidence arises which indicates that Spark’s death may not be the accident everyone believes it is, Matt finds himself consumed with trying to uncover the truth. Will he be able to get to the bottom of this mystery? And if so, will he be able to handle the dark reality behind it?

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Book Trailers: Are They a Good Idea?

Speaking to fellow writers out there: Should you make a book trailer? Is it an effective marketing technique? It there a point to them? Numerous books, both self-published and traditionally published try to put out book trailers. It isn’t hard to notice that even book trailers from big publishers often only have views in the quadruple digits on youtube. Often, book trailers are underwhelming, and it is unclear to me if they actually help sales. Ninety-nine percent of book trailers I’ve seen did not make me want to buy the book. Why is that? Well, for one thing, they’re often boring. They’re slow paced, are comprised of static or almost static images, and have a few slow moving words here and there. A book trailer should be like a movie trailer. The point of it is to make the audience HAVE to find out what happens next. When you’re making a book trailer, watch it again and ask yourself, if you say a trailer just like it in the theater, would you want to see the movie? If you’re making a boring trailer, you’re just wasting money that could better be spent on other, more effective forms of advertising (unless you’re skilled enough to make the trailer entirely by yourself).

So the traditionally published books’ trailers are usually boring and not well circulated (this one has been out since 2011 from Harper-Collins, and has 12 views, as of this writing). What about indie books’ trailers? Often they’re boring too, not to mention amateurly done. Many of them contain stock pictures found on google and some text. Then there are those who go a step beyond, and use clips from various movies and tv shows. The problem with that is, ignoring the copyright issues, that they too look cheap and unprofessionally done. Oh, they can be interesting, but then you realize “Hey, it’s a clip from Iron Man! And that one is from Dragon Ball Evolution!” It will make people think of other products, not your work. And again, if it looks like it was made by a fifteen year old making an music video revolving around his favorite show, it is less likely to get a positive response from your audience, and less likely to be taken seriously.

Then there are the few, rare trailers that seem as if they’re advertising a movie. They have actual animation or actors, and it really seems unique. Until the very end, the audience isn’t even aware that it’s advertising a book. And they MUST find out what happens. I wish all trailers were like that, but even among the traditionally published companies who hire professionals, it is quite rare. The trailer for the self-published series, Mindjack, is one of the rare ones that fit this criteria.

Ultimately, unless you’re making something that would make someone need to find out what happens next, something that looks exiting and is professionally made (or close to it), you are likely wasting your time and energy investing in a trailer, and should probably not make one.