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Archive for September, 2010

Thank you so much for hosting me during my Cherish the Romance Book Tour, which launches my contemporary romantic suspense, Lancelot’s Lady. My tour runs until October 10th and I’m giving away some great prizes, including a Kobo ereader sponsored by KoboBooks.com. Now let’s explore the fascinating world of book trailers…

Book trailers have increased in popularity over the past two years, and you’ll find that many publishers and writers, including bestselling authors, use trailers as part of their marketing. Schools holding book fairs are using book trailers to get the attention of younger readers.

YouTube currently has over 355,000 book trailers. The most popular is Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which has had over 240,000 views. These facts alone show that book trailers are being viewed.

Personally, some trailers have led to me buying a book. I bought Mothering Mother by Carol D. O’Dell based on her book trailer and info. The info drew me in, the trailer sold me. I’ve seen awesome trailers and some that are just not that well done. Technology has changed and trailers once considered more complex are now easier to create. With micro-stock photos readily available at cheaper prices, it’s more affordable than ever to have a book trailer made.

Book trailers vary in style. Some are text only with dramatic music. Those can definitely be appealing, since nothing else distracts the viewer. Some trailers feature live actors. Most of these are low budget shorts with unknown actors of minor skill, but once in a while you’ll come across a trailer that showcases excellent acting.

A while ago, I watched Dean Koontz’s Odd Passenger “webisodes” (or Internet movie chapters) on YouTube. It is basically a series of short book trailers that, combined, tell a creepy story. The acting won’t win any Academy Awards; however, it’s solid enough and the camera shots are professional enough that I was hooked. Reel me in, Odd! I’ve ordered all of the Odd books because of these webisodes.

Most of my trailers have been created by a friend who happens to be very talented. Kelly Komm is best known as a YA fantasy author, but her trailers are so well done (even better than my last publisher’s) that I’ve had her create mine.

Here’s the trailer for Lancelot’s Lady:

Thank you to everyone for dropping by this blog and visiting me on my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour. Lancelot’s Lady is available in ebook edition at Amazon’s Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Pick up a copy today and “Cherish the romance…” You can learn more about Lancelot’s Lady and Cherish D’Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at http://www.cherylktardif.com.

Prizes & Giveaways: Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You’re guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you’ll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.

Does the above video intrigue you, tease you, leave you wanting more? Does it make you want to order Lancelot’s Lady? Have you ever bought a book because of the book trailer? Enquiring minds (mine!) wanna know.

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Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author whose stories have been featured in multiple print and online publications. Her first book, The Golden Pathway, is about a boy who befriends a slave during the civil war. It is an illustrated story book for older readers (ages 9-12). Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Musing Our Children, and The National Writing for Children Center. You can learn more about Donna on her website. If you sign the guestbook, you’ll receive a free ebook, Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews. Donna also keeps two blogs, www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com and www.thegoldenpathway.blogspot.com.

Thanks for the interview, Donna! When did you start writing for children?

In 2006 I came across an ad for The Institute of Children’s Literature and completed their aptitude test and application and mailed it back for consideration. This came at the perfect time for me since I was longing to find something more fulfilling outside the scope of administrative and website work. About a month afterwards I received an acceptance to ICL and haven’t looked back since.

Tell us about your historical children’s book, The Golden Pathway. What inspired you to write it?

History has always fascinated me and when I had the chance to outline a book idea for my last ICL assignment the Underground Railroad immediately came to mind. While I did get positive feedback on my outline my ICL instructor did not feel there was enough appeal with a market flooded with the Underground Railroad books. I reluctantly put my outline away and tried to forget about it, but it kept calling to me to write it. And again perfect timing aligned and I discovered Suzanne Lieurance at the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club and I dusted off my outline and eagerly began writing. This manuscript was critiqued in the early stages by Suzanne Lieurance (CWCC) and my online critique groups and placed as Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 78th Writing Competition, then edited after the competition by Lea Schizas to assist in expanding the story since it was no longer under a word constraint from the contest.

I understand The Golden Pathway is an illustrated story book and not a picture book. Could you please explain the difference between the two?

A standard picture book is 32-pages with illustrations on every page and geared towards 2-8 years old. While a story book has roughly half the amount of illustrations the text is written with the 9-12 age range in mind and (in the case of The Golden Pathway) almost 2,000 words. Each publisher has their specific guidelines they follow. Over the course of the years many teachers have realized a vast majority of students respond better to their curriculum with visuals. Hence the story book format.

Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?

Initially online, then visiting the Tappan Library and thoroughly researching the Underground Railroad.

What is the main message children will learn from this book?

Overcoming adversity against immeasurable odds and that with determination success in achieving your dreams is possible.

The illustrations in the book were done by fine Oregonian artist K.C. Snider. How was your experience working with an illustrator? Did you have input in the artwork? Do you think she captured the mood and tone of the story?

My excitement over the quality of illustrations K.C. Snider designed blew me away from the onset of the book cover design. K.C. captured the true essence of The Golden Pathway from the get go. Since The Golden Pathway is my first book I honestly did not know what to expect from the collaboration process and I was pleasantly surprised. I have read time and time again that the author and illustrator never meet, but not in the case of Guardian Angel Publishing. As long as an author tries not to micro-manage the illustrator and puts full trust in the publisher and illustrator a win-win outcome is sure to be had.

You also offer press release services to authors. Tell us all about it!

My press release service is called Dynamic Media Release Services and with the overwhelming responsibilities an author has to promote their books I thought what better way to take the pressure off a bit is to offer this service at reasonable prices. For rates and testimonials readers should check this page.

What next for Donna McDine?

I’m thrilled to announce my manuscripts entitled, The Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey or Boy have been accepted by Guardian Angel Publishing. These will be my second and third story books with this publisher.

Any last words to our readers?

My road to publication has had the typical rejections (which I can wallpaper my office with) and doubts of my abilities to make a go as a published writer. I have found every writer experiences these feelings, but learn to push through the “doubting Thomas” thoughts to reach publication success. Don’t give up! Learn your craft, continued to network, and success will come your way.

Thank you, Donna, and best of luck with your book!

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