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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Making a Book Trailer



Today I want to discuss book trailers because I know that a lot of people are intimidated by this process or they assume they don't have the time. I am no expert in making book trailers, but I wanted to share this post to let you know how easily it can be done. It can also be done without taking all of your time.


It took me two weeks to put my book trailer together and I work a full-time job. I'd also just had a baby so no more excuses to get this done. If you want to go and pay someone to do this for you there is nothing wrong with that. If you have the money, go for it. This post is for the people who just don't have the money to put towards something that they can do with a little bit of patience. If you plan well, it makes the process go very smoothly.


There are only a few steps in this process and it can be done for free, if you look in the right places. I used window movie maker for mine, but you can also use imovie if you have a mac.


Step One: What do you want to say?


In the first step, before you even open windows movie maker, you need to figure out what you want to say. I believe the simpler it is, the better. It shouldn't be more than a couple of sentences.


Step Two: Pictures or Video


The second step is to look through some pictures or video that ties in to what you are saying. You can choose your own or go to http://photobucket.com/ or http://www.dreamstime.com/. Those are just a couple of sites where you can find some pictures to add to your trailer. Make sure they are ROYALTY FREE pictures. You have to be sure of this or you could face copyright infringement issues. Some of these are free and some are not so be aware. This was the longest process for me, but after I figured out what I wanted it went faster. I spread this out over a couple of days.


Step Three: Storyboard


In step three you need to draw you out a storyboard. This may seem like a wasted step, but trust me you will save time by doing this step. You will change your mind at least a dozen times and this will prevent having to change them in windows movie maker. You want everything final after you place them in movie maker.


Step Four:


In step four find some music that will fit in with your story. Match the tone of the story with the music. For example, is your book dramatic, sad, humerous, or scary? You can make your own music or find some sites that offer ROYALTY FREE MUSIC. I paid $7.00 for mine, but there is some free royalty free music out there. You can also use soundeffects. I found it was worth the $7.00 to get the perfect sound I was looking for.


Step Five:


The last step is, when everything is how you like it, place your files in windows movie maker. Remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Place your pictures in the order you want and set them to fade in and out or dissolve. This will be in animations. Set every transition for the picture the same or it will look cheezy and choppy (this is only my opinion). You can play around with the animations to see what you like. Next, tell your story. Add the text under the picture that matches up with what you want to say. Think of a movie trailer, each picture should tell a part of the story. You also want to set the animations/transition for your text. My favorite is dissolve. Use the same for all text. Now, you want to add your music. Make sure the music plays beginning to end. You want to set volume to fade in and to fade out. Once you tweak it as you like, save it for web use. Then, send it to Youtube and you are ready to share to all social media sites. Don't forget to add it to your website as well.


I have told you five simple steps in making a book trailer. I hope this helps erase the intimidation a lot of you have been feeling. I also would like to add don't over think this process. Just keep it simple. Some book trailer are a bit overdone, in my opinion. If you want your readers to use their own imagination, you need to keep actors out of it or at least their faces. Don't show too much because it could ruin the book before it gets published. Take your time and devote maybe 10-15 minutes a day to this so it can be fun and stress free.


I truly hope this has helped. Please suscribe to my blog for future posts. Thanks for stoping in.

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Marketing Strategy

There are a lot of things that will help you sell a book, but not putting the work into marketing is not one of them. I want to stress that I am not a marketing expert. I am just here to tell you what is making the process easier for me.

Okay, so your book is finished. What do you do besides wait? Whether you are with a publisher awaiting editing or you are planning to self-publish, you need a marketing strategy. I can't promise you will sell millions just by getting a strategy, but it will help your book sell. It will also ease the pain and shock most new authors seem to get when they start the marketing process. 

Step One: Sign up for social media

I can't stress this enough, people. This is important! You need to sign up for as many social media sites that you can. Especially, if you can't afford other means of marketing. It's free marketing people...why would you not use it? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube, these are all good forms of social media and there are many more. Social media even gets you recognized on an international level so take advantage. You can spread this process out over the week so it isn't so time consuming. Sign up for one every day.

Step Two: Join some groups

After you sign up for some social media sites, you are going to want to join some groups. Who would want to read your books? For example, if you write fantasy, join as many fantasy groups they have. It will give you more exposure and more followers. Again...free marketing so use it. Do this for every social site you are on. Break it up throughout the week.

Step Three: Start Marketing on social media

Now that you have a few sites going, you can start marketing. What are you supposed to say and what if you have no cover? Don't fret, you can do three things. You can make your own-depending on publisher. You can post a blurb of your book, or you can just simply state the title of your book and that it will be coming soon. That is a good start.

Step Four: Website

After a week or two of dilegently posting about your book, you need to give them a little more. It's time to make a website. If you don't already have one you need to get one. This is simple and free to do. This is somewhere you can send your followers from social media to let them get more information about you and your book. After you design your site, you can share it with all social media.

Step Five: Book Trailer

After a few weeks on social media, you may start to get a little bored. It's time to step it up a notch. It's time to think about a book trailer. DON'T RUN AWAY! This may seem intimidating, but it is actually a very simple process. You just can't over think it and it can also be fun. Just remember to keep it simple. This process can be free and you should spread it out over the next couple of weeks. Once you get it the way you want, you can post it on YouTube and share it with your followers. Don't forget to add it to your website.
www.thecreativepenn.com

Step Six: Blog

After you've started getting people interested in you with social media, your website, and your trailer it is time to get yourself a blog started. I know, I know! How the heck are you possibly going to have time to write and maintain a blog? Having a blog is very time consuming, unless you manage your time well. Start with one post per week and work your way up. Post about anything you like. Let it all out and let people get to know you, your work, or both. You can keep it at ten minutes a day if you need to. It doesn't have to rule your life.
www.wpbeginner.com

Step Seven: Newsletter

This is a free proccess you can do at www.mailchimp.com.
You can link it to your website so people can sign up from there.

Step Eight: Friends and Family

Don't underestimate the power of friends and family. Word of mouth can be very effective and of course it is free.

I've given you eight free marketing techniques today that have worked for me. I hope it has helped relieve some stress you may have had and please use the links provided to help through the process. These are all free marketing techniques and if used with persistance can dramatically improve your sales. Please subscribe for more posts on tips and tricks for selling your book. My next post will be on how I made my book trailer.

Marketing Blues


You finally get your book perfect and you send the MS in to a publisher. You wait. You finally get accepted by a publisher. You wait. You finally make it to editing and...you wait some more. Publishing a book is a big waiting game, from my experience. So while you are waiting ever so patiently, why not use that time to do something constructive like marketing. I know this is a word a lot of authors hate and with good reason. Marketing is very time consuming and for most authors it's hard to maintain a good marketing strategy. 

I am a mom and I work a full time job. I was finding it hard to market my upcoming book The Faewitch. I was sitting in front of my computer one day hoping to find an email from my editor saying my book was ready. I thought that if I had the time to check my email over and over again, I could take a few minutes each day and market my book. I needed to take the time I spent worrying over my book and actually market it. So I decided to get a plan. I only have so much time in my busy day so how was I going to use those few minutes to market a book. Well...that is where the plan comes in. 

You need a marketing plan. How do you plan on reaching people? Who is your target audience? What is your budget? These are all important things to consider when marketing. I want to stress that I am not a marketing genius. I am just telling you things that I have learned with the process of having the marketing blues.

This name is fitting because unless you can afford someone to do all the work for you, it can get down right depressing. I didn't know what I was getting into with marketing and I began to get overwhelmed. I needed a plan. It got a little easier or at least a little less stressful when I sat down and wrote out my plan of action. 

Think about it this way. If you get your book on a shelf somewhere and your dream has finally came true, do you want your dream to sit and rot. That is what will happen if you don't do some marketing. Your dream will sit and collect cobwebs. Marketing is the key to a successful book. Like I said before, I am no expert. I am just getting my first book published, but I have done my research on marketing. It is really common sense that if you don't let people know you have a book, you don't really have a book.

So get out there and market your book. Even if it is just by word of mouth. Make sure people know it exists or it just simply won't sell. I hope I've helped clear any misconseptions about whether you should market your book or not. If you simply don't know where to start, my next post will be about my marketing strategy and how it is working for me.

Please subscribe to my blog for further posts on marketing. Thanks for stopping in.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fallen Angel

I fall from the sky trying not to cry
Reaching out to touch a star, but I pass right by
I feel the wind and I gasp to take a breath
Falling and awaiting a simple dreamer's death
My light dims as I fall closer to the ground
I put my hand upon my chest and feel my heart pound
But there is something in the fast-paced beat
Is it trying to save me from a horrible defeat
Is it telling me not to defy my inevitable destiny
Is it telling me not to let go of what is meant to be
I see my strengths shine through brighter than before
And as I hit the ground the light shines even more
Letting my presence known
Letting myself be shown
I know now I can conquer all my hearts desires
Because I am a fallen angel and I come armed with heaven's fire

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Getting Closer

I have learned a lot over the past few weeks, but I know I have a lot more to learn about the exciting world of writing. It has been three years since I began to write my first book, The Faewitch, and it has been a very interesting journey. I know that I have found my calling in life and that is very gratifying, but it hasn't been all unicorns and rainbows. It has been a long process to get to where I am now and I am still only at the beginning. I know it will be well worth the wait, though, it has been a long wait. I am happy to say that The Faewitch will be published through Caliburn Press later this year so my wait is almost over. 
I do hope to inspire people to follow their dream and not to let fear stand in their way. I was scared for a long time. I finally decided if I wanted a change in my life I was the only one who could do it. So I did and I don't plan on looking back anytime soon.
I hope y'all enjoy my posts and maybe something may help you along the way. 

Always live for passion,
MJ Boshers


Darkness Lingers

I'm a tortured soul confined outside my dreams
Every day I wake it seems
Visions of a love that doesn't exist
A passion withered, denied love's first kiss
I try to grab an outstretched hand
But only sink further into the sand
Time or the devil ticks the clock
When I wake all is forgot
But when I can turn the devil's hand
Back to when love never began
I shall finally witness unmistakable bliss
When the darkness lingers with love's first kiss.

-MJ Boshers

In the Painting

This is a tale of a painting...
There was a man in a painting I would see 
As I came up to it he would stare at me
I looked into the eyes of this souless man
And I couldn't help but want to hold his hand
I saw the pain behind his eyes
Couldn't see what he had to hide
Something haunted me to the core
But drew me in even more
Was it his expression that intrigued
Or his eyes that was desperate to plead
I heard his cry more than ever
This souless man was oh too clever
My curiousity would finally win
And I felt something pull me in
The man smiled and tipped his hat
And walked away and that was that
Still today I wait
So I can change another's fate
So stop, if you dare, and stare a time or two
But know this, I will show no mercy for a single one of you.

Lost

I am lost, but not alone
In a world that has turned to stone
Just trying to break free
Just trying to be me
But I'm bound tighter if I tug to hard
Once again pulled beneath the shadows of freedom's card
But I work my way back up through the shallow wall of hope
Without a single pull from that souless rope
I reach the light and see what I've struggled and fought for
Only to be dragged back down just beyond the door
I reach, pull, and scream for you to let me go
But the lost is just a loss the world will never know.

Eternal

I waited for you, but you never came
I waited so long and it started to rain
I fell to my knees, soaked to the bone
Despair filled me up and I was all alone
As the thunder roared through the sky
It couldn't mask my shattering cry
I felt the earth shake and saw it crumble
My crying still louder than the rumble
Destruction and chaos is all I see
This is the burden you left with me
I will drown forever in my sorrows
In spite of how many tomorrows
The days are dead, stale at best
This love...this need is eternal and it shall never rest.