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Book Trailers Part Two: Electric Boogaloo

Two weeks ago, John talked about book trailers. This time, he’s talking about book trailers again, but with a twist!
| Mar 13, 2013 | No comments |

So last time, I shared some book trailers that I’d found on YouTube and asked all y’all what you thought of book trailers. And the reaction seemed sort of mixed. Some people liked them, some were ambivalent, and some didn’t think they were necessary at all. It was interesting to read your opinions and I appreciated it. I think I’ll still do book trailers, but maybe I won’t be so nervous if I don’t do too many of them.

But there is a second kind of book trailer we can talk about, something that I had never heard of until a few years ago. When I first signed with Amanda Luedeke at MacGregor Literary, she was going to shop Failstate around to a few different publishing houses. To help her do so, she encouraged me to put together a pitch video.

I believe my exact response at the time was, “A what now?”

She explained that a pitch video is sort of like a book trailer for an unpublished novel, a way to introduce the author and the concept to an editor and maybe even help the editor pitch the book to a pub board. She told me that Jill Williamson had done a pitch video like that and, with Jill’s permission, let me take a peek at the results.

Well, Jill has since released the pitch video to the general public, and so now, I share it with you.

This is what Jill has to say about the video in the description:

Many writers stink at the novel pitch. I am one of them.

I practice and practice, but when I sit/stand in front of an editor, I babble, I ad lib, my mind blanks and I say things I never meant to say!

It’s so frustrating!

In September of 2010, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I pitched my new idea to an editor there. I started out rambling about my plot, the whole while thinking to myself, “Danger Jill Williamson! You have deviated from the plan and are heading into shark-infested waters!” I finally shut up and let her read the one sheet in silence. When she finished, she said some nice things about the idea, then asked me if I was published.

I said, “Oh, yes. Ha-ha-ha-ha. I wrote this.” I handed her a bookmark for my fantasy novel By Darkness Hid. “It won a Christy Award this year,” I said.

She looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and said, “You should really open with that.”

And so when I got home from that conference, I made this video to send to the editors who requested the proposal, in hopes that it might help them pitch my story to the other editors and the pub board in the way I failed to pitch to them.

It was really hard to get through this without stuttering, you can see my eyes darting back and forth as I read my lines, and there are several places where I spoke in a ridiculous tone that I never meant to use–totally embarrassing! But it did the trick. Jason Farms, now titled Replication: The Jason Experiment, comes out January 2012 from Zondervan.

Having seen that, I decided to give it a shot. I shamelessly ripped off her three-part outline and dredged up some graphics. If I remember correctly, it took me close to an hour due to a number of flubs and flops. Eventually, though, I uploaded it to my YouTube channel. I originally had it on private, but now I figure it’s okay to share. I mean, the book’s been out for a year, right? So here I am, nervous as all get out, trying to sell my debut novel.

Please don’t laugh too hard:

I haven’t made one of these since, but then, I haven’t had a need to yet. When the time comes, I might just break out my video camera again and try it again.

Now I know that there are a lot of writers who come to our little corner of the Interwebz. I’m not saying that you have to do this. Quite honestly, I haven’t heard of any other authors doing this. But it is an interesting tool and I just thought I’d share.

John W. Otte leads a double life. By day, he’s a Lutheran minister, husband, and father of two. He graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a theatre major, and then from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. By night, he writes unusual stories of geeky grace. He lives in Blue Springs, Missouri, with his wife and two boys. Keep up with him at JohnWOtte.com.

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