So you have the ebook, the paperback, the audio, what next – how about a book trailer?

For the launch of our sixth novel, Meddling with Murder we decided we wanted to make more of an impact rather than our standard “cover reveal” and the “Lo, behold, our new book launching today”. We wanted to go video. Many authors have been using video for a while now, so we were relatively late to the game. Something that had been on our “to do” list for ages – time for action.

First thing we were considering was a type of a video link aka Sophie Kinsella talking about Shopaholic and Baby…

But then we thought again. Even though our talented nephew Anthony is a budding film-maker with all the know-how and camera equipment, we realized: A) we’d never scrub up that well or look that dignified and well-dressed. Lorraine would probably have straw in her hair and Pam mud on the knees of her jeans.  B) Apart from being camera shy, we could never maintain a straight face for that long. Even having our photo taken usually ends up in ridiculous girly giggling.  C) Every time we’ve had to talk about our books, we’ve gone blank and have no idea what they’re about.  And D) most important of all – we live thousands of miles apart. When could we do this? Pam was flying out to Colorado for the launch / Lorraine’s birthday party but we needed it beforehand.

So having ruled out “us” we concentrated on the more important thing “the book”. We’d do a trailer instead. We thought about commandeering our nephew again – he’s a computer whizz as well as a film-maker. We wanted something a bit like this we said…

but selfishly he read our begging email and hot-footed it to San Francisco on a “hugely busy” schedule.

Anthony headAnthony

Next thing we considered was just doing it ourselves. Pam’s pretty good at PowerPoint, Lorraine has an Apple Mac and can do Apple-ly things on it. Surely it wasn’t too hard. We’d just have to be creative.

We scoured the internet. First we found someone that had made a pretty good one herself through Pam made a quick impromptu attempt but Lorraine’s reply was “bleurgh!”11 Just for grins we’ll show you anyway.  Ignore the spelling mistakes – Pam says she was just playing really…

The photos weren’t up to scratch either. We had the book jacket but Pam’s kids would probably have lumped her if she’d put them up on display to the world. Also we were finding it hard to condense the whole book into a few lines. First, how many slides? How many words on a slide? How much was too much? What would look good? Which music? What about copyright? etc.

Our last option, which turned out to be the best, was to hire a professional. We googled book trailers and scoured through ones we liked. Checked to see who’d produced them and Rachel Bostwick’s name kept coming up. We contacted her and followed her instructions. She would have written the script and selected all the photos, but we thought our own photos might work.  They didn’t.  Example below.  For a start there are no cowboys in Meddling With Murder.

IMG_0635_1 (4)

She was right to ignore them and choose ones from her own collection.

Then we waited. Not our strongest point. A week at most.

And this is the result

After one tiny edit, we were really happy with it. She found the music, played around with the wording and just did the magic with what we had given her.  It’s like having our own little movie!

We’re already planning our next one…