One of the things I noticed as I began my journey toward Kindle publishing was that Amazon actually had “book trailers.” A couple of writers on WA had produced them as well. They were good. One of the amazing things about the computer age is that with Moviemaking software anyone can put together a video promo now. The downside is anyone can put together a video promo now. Many of the trailers I saw were dreadful. They were endless text superimposed over public domain images and went on for minutes and minutes.
And here’s where my radio program started to focus me onto Kindle more and more. I could create a killer promo with professional sounding audio. I just had to figure a few things out. I had recently gotten some new software, Pinnacle, which edited movies, but also made it easy to convert video into digital. I had gotten it to do family videos, but it was going to come into play now. I obtained permission from the Radio Troupe Leader to use excerpts from show. I got a photo of the Rockefeller Tree we took a few years ago, and then, remarkably, I found a version of “Silent Night” that the artist, Lee Byung Woo, had put online with permission for anyone to use! I had known basically what I wanted to do, but this song was perfect; a few notes and pause where I could insert the dialogue.
I scanned the radio show for bits of dialogue that would give the flavor of the book. The stuff you can do with a computer is amazing. Super 8 you actually had to cut film to assemble it in order. Mix tapes you had to stop and start and swap out sources and change how you had the audio plugs to make a copy of something. But here you just load up what you want, copy the part you need and paste it where you want. I had music, graphics, dialogue, photos, fades, dissolves and wipes. It’s amazing.
The audio fell into place really quickly. A few key lines. A catch-phrase. A set up and punch line. I got a couple of photos to pan through the frame with a graphic counterpoint the dialogue. But it was all over a black screen. It seemed longer than it was. Someone asked me if it was for radio, since the visuals were so sparse. So I took my opening shot of the Christmas tree, zoomed in tight. But it was very static. So I segmented the photo into sections, slightly panned every other section, then did a pixel dissolve between the section and it looked like the lights were twinkling. That’s what was needed. It’s no great work of art, but it came out really well. And I found myself obsessing over it as much as the book, trying to get it ready as my publish date approached. It was a great place to hang my “ad campaign” on. And it wouldn’t be the only place.