Archive for the ‘Book Trailer’ Category

Why Book Trailers?

July 3, 2015

The Official Book Trailer for “Street Light”

They say every indie author needs to have a book trailer to promote his/her work (do you ever wonder who “they” are?)

Well, I’ve made one for each of my books. Yep … each one.

So, whoever “they” are should be deliriously happy with me. Reichold Street. Zebulon. Tinker. One Way Street. All of them have trailers.

Now there’s one for my new book, Street Light (you saw it above).


Well, to my way of thinking there’s only so much marketing copy you can write about a book before you’ve saturated your audience (not to mention your own overworked brain).

But in three minutes or less you can tap into the visual, auditory and emotional senses of your potential reader. Like its cousin the movie trailer, a book trailer is designed to get the buzz going and, at the very least, generate more interest.

What makes a good book trailer?
Make sure your message is authentic. The tone and feel of the video should accurately reflect the content of your book. Getting and keeping a viewer is essential, so it’s important to respect their time (not to mention their attention span) and keep it under two minutes.

Most television commercials only last for 30 seconds. However, as a viewer I’m sure you’ve seen some where even that brief span can seem far too long.

If you have strong, recognizable endorsements, don’t be shy about dropping the testimonial into your trailer … but you don’t have to think box-office smash to get results. With the right images and editing, you can produce a quality trailer that doesn’t look like it came out of your garage.

Finally, as simple as it may seem, you’d be surprised at how many people forget the (rather major) detail of ending with an image of the book and convenient purchase instructions.

Will a book trailer broaden your audience?
I don’t know the answer to that. However, I do know we live in an age where fewer people are reading, and more people are watching. There are those (“they” again) who might argue these trailers simply contribute to our increasingly short attention spans.

My hope is just the opposite. I hope that book trailers help draw more people to the beauty, substance, and power of books.



My books have garnered some terrific reviews. You can see the stories I have available by using the Amazon link below.

buy now amazon

You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.


Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Year of “The Yearling”

December 26, 2013

Original Book Jacket Cover for The Yearling

The Things You Discover
With the bustle of Christmas preparations behind us for another year (and the sound of tearing wrapping paper still fresh), I began my usual year-end review of the many things I meant to do in 2013, but never got around to.

I also started making an updated list of the things I probably won’t do next year, either.

I’ve been extraordinarily blessed with new acquaintances, good relatives and great friends this past year, but my bride and I also have many pressing family issues to deal with right now (life is always like that, isn’t it?).

I wasn’t doing my usual patient search for literary things to write about, so it took me by surprise to come across a notation about the year 2013 that I had overlooked.

This past year was the seventy-fifth-anniversary celebration of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 1938 novel The Yearling.

So, you ask, what’s the big deal?

A Best Seller
Well, for one thing, The Yearling was the best-selling novel of 1938. It held the number one spot that year for twenty-three consecutive weeks, sold millions of copies and has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Russian and twenty-two other languages.

It was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.

But it’s only vaguely familiar today to young American readers, and in 2012, it only sold about six-thousand copies … in all formats.

Although that’s an annual sales figure that would thrill most indie authors … they’re dismal numbers for a book considered a classic.

Running Out of Steam
It seems The Yearling is slowly sinking into obscurity. Why? How does such a classic novel run out of steam?

It wasn’t as if The Yearling was Rawlings first book. She also wrote the little-remembered South Moon Under (which, remarkably, was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize … in 1933).

Original Cover for South Moon Under

One factor might be Marjorie Rawlings herself. Matronly and angry-looking, she was not a very good public speaker … and she was certainly not a sexy figure. As a woman of independent means, Rawlings could live as she chose, but her abuse of alcohol increasingly ruled her life.

She advanced no politics and didn’t have a spectacular, memorable “rock star” life or death that was covered by all the available news media … just a lonely, broken-hearted alcoholic one (1896–1953).

Majorie Kinnan Rawlings

Despite her apparent successes, some critics considered her writing to lack the depth of great literature, although they praised her skill in reproducing the color, characters, speech, local customs and way of life of backwoods Florida.

“Writing is agony for me,” she once told an interviewer. “I work at it eight hours every day, hoping to get six more pages, but I’m satisfied if I get three.”

Wrong Genre?
Another factor in its apparent demise might be the prevailing view today that The Yearling – despite a few uses of the “n-word” – is a book for young readers. I find that surprising, because Pulitzer’s are not an award for children’s books.

Perhaps, in the final analysis, sales of The Yearling are fading because the story reflects a world view here we’re also losing … a much more simplistic time, where self-sufficient farming and hunting were individual necessities, and families only survived by their daily hard work and wits.

As that world disappears it seems almost inevitable the book, and the stunning landscape it evokes, would continue to lose audience.

Readers today expect their protagonists to come face-to-face with the true meaning of hunger, loneliness and fear in other ways … like road rage, sex, vampires and zombies.

5491372-lyearling poster
MGM Movie Poster for The Yearling

As someone who read the book at a fairly young age and who also remembers the many early television broadcasts of the old, tear-jerker black & white film based upon it, it seems the world spins now at a different rate. Faster and more unrelenting.

Click picture for a scene with young actor Claude Jarman from The Yearling

Perhaps … just perhaps … the book, with all its heart-tugging sentimentality and backwoods charisma, is fading away because it can no longer keep up with the pace.

I think that’s sad.

It’s like forgetting that it’s the intention you bring to the simplest gift of time, love, laughter or friendship that is worth far more than anything you could put a bow on, because the best gift you can give your loved ones is you.

Hmmmmm. I think I just made my resolution for 2014.

Happy New Year.


Versatile Blogger Award

March 31, 2013

mushroomsRemarkable things sometimes grow in the strangest places.

This edition of my blog is a little different from most.

I received a nice accolade last week from another writer and blogger, Marny Copal, who nominated me – or more precisely this blog you’re reading, Painting With Light, for the Versatile Blogger Award.

versatile blogger

It’s given by bloggers to other bloggers who are writing things they like and find interesting.

Why It’s Special
You don’t always know people appreciate and enjoy what you do, particularly when it’s something you’re going to do anyway, with or without encouragement.

But it’s both exciting and humbling to be told someone does.

I want to thank Marny for thinking my constant drivel is worthwhile. I try to make it interesting, but I’m not always certain I succeed. I know there are a lot of other indie authors out there, and some of them are writing pretty exciting things.

I want to encourage and help all that, if I can. I’ve even thought about offering to do reciprocal interviews, if anyone was interested.

The Aha! Moment
Of course, there’s a bit of self-serving hope in all of it, too. I’d like to think some few of you might someday take a chance on one of my books after you’ve visited here.

I don’t ever plan to get rich off them, and will continue to write them even if my friends and relatives also quit buying them. Still, a guy can always dream, and I thank you for visiting.

If you get a chance, I recommend you also visit Marny’s blog, too. There’s a lot of interesting stuff there.

Requirement No.1
One of the requirements for accepting this accolade is nominating other bloggers you regularly follow, whom you think are doing an excellent job talking about their chosen subject (you’re supposed to tell them about their nomination, too).

So, to satisfy that requirement, here are my choices, in a completely random order (you’ll notice they all have something to do with writing) and you may also notice there are far fewer than the fifteen that are usually recommended:

The Creative Penn
Seumas Gallacher
K.M. Weiland’s WordPlay
Jeff Goins, Writer
T.W. Ditmer
M.S. Fowle
Cindy LaFerle
C.S. Lakin
Tom Rydder

I’m certain I’ve left someone off the list that should be there, and I’m going to apologize profusely right now for the omissions. I’ll blame it on age and lack of sleep (and hope that works).

Finally, I’m supposed to tell the person who nominated me (and all of you, presumably) seven things about myself you might not know.

Requirement No.2
So to finish my acceptance, here goes:

    • My first direct male ancestor to arrive in the New World sailed from Ireland to the colony of Virginia in 1635

at the age of 18.

• I met my soul mate when she was fifteen (we were married a little more than five years later).

• She’s still my best friend.

• A voracious reader with a reasonably good memory, I was a National Merit Scholar in high school.

• I write at least 1,000 words a day (and that doesn’t include email or blogging).

• I gave my six-year-old grandson a duplicate of the Gold Medal I won for my debut novel, ribbon and everything.

• He wants to wear it into the shower in the morning.

That’s it. Now you know more about me than I often intend to tell.

Thanks again, Marny. I’m delighted to know there’s someone out there that actually likes this stuff I ramble about. I can hardly wait to find out what, if anything, those nominees above have to say.

Oh yes … for all of you celebrating one of the big holidays at this time of year, whatever it may be, take the time to look around you and appreciate your family.

Time doesn’t wait for any of us, and wonderful memories were meant to be created now.



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