[Resource] Creating a Promotional Trailer for Your Book or Game

After creating several promotional videos using the tools I have available, I wanted to share with you how I do it. This is a low, low budget version that requires a little bit of creativity and a lot of puzzle-making skills.

Here’s a qutoe:

After seeing some of the trailers that I’ve created, a lot of people ask me how easy it is to create a book trailer and whether or not it’s worthwhile. A lot of people are claiming that one easy way to promote your books is to offer a video book trailer through YouTube! or your website. While the jury is still out as to whether or not sales can be attributed to someone watching a video book trailer, they can help spread the word and, for horror, can allude to the theme of the work. — SOURCE: Creating a Promotional Trailer for Your Book or Game on FlamesRising.com

Hope you get the chance to check out Creating a Promotional Trailer for Your Book or Game on FlamesRising.com!

My Interview with Suvudu.com

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to drop by and let you know that a new interview with yours truly went up on Suvudu.com. I’m pretty happy with the way the interview turned out.

One of the questions was about how a recent reviewer pegged me as a “fearless author.” Here’s part of my answer:

You know, I’m the type of author and game designer who loves to experiment with my work. In that way, I’d say that fearless is an appropriate description. I’ve had a lot of people look at me in shock when I tell them I included my first draft in this e-book. Several other pros told me before I even worked on this that authors would be crucified professionally for publishing less-than-superior work. To me, I think that some readers might find a first draft a fascinating read. I view writing to be a process and if it makes sense, why not clue a reader into what went on behind-the-scenes? — Source: Interview with Monica Valentinelli at Suvudu.com

If you get the chance, drop by and check out The Queen of Crows interview at Suvudu.com.

As always, I really appreciate your support! Happy reading!

[Contest Update] Do Good Things. Fight Lupus!

Kitten Unicorn Pegasus Kitten of DoooooooooomA few months ago, I mentioned that I had written a fan fiction story for the unicorn pegasus kitten beast of doooooooooom. (Or whatever you want to call it.) While I did not win the contest, two other fine authors did. Now you can download the collection of short stories for free and make a donation to fight Lupus.

Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi and Subterranean Press are proud to announce the publication of Clash of the Geeks, a special and fantastical electronic chapbook featuring stories by Wheaton, Scalzi, New York Times bestseller Patrick Rothfuss, Norton Award winner and Hugo Best Novel nominee Catherynne M. Valente, Hugo and Nebula Award nominee Rachel Swirsky and others, for the benefit of the Michigan/Indiana affiliate of the Lupus Alliance of America. –SOURCE: CLASH OF THE GEEKS Chapbook

I’d like to extend a hearty round of congratulations to the winners of the Wil Wheaton/John Scalzi fanfic contest. WHOO-HOO!

So what are you waiting for! Do a GOOD thing. Laugh out loud. Feed your head and help fight Lupus!

Download the CLASH OF THE GEEKS Chapbook and donate, too!

What Does Tolerance Mean?

In addition to Banned Books Week 2010 rearing its head in your local library, it’s also election season. Politics often brings bold claims and idealistic messages. Right now, the media is rife with stories about things that push people’s buttons so they react to these statements — including some authors, I might add. As an advocate for tolerance, I wanted to open a dialog about what this word means in today’s culture. You see, I think that many words (like tolerance or racism or patriotism) mean different things to different people.

To me, tolerance is very simple. You treat other people with respect — regardless of who they are, what they look like or where they come from. Sometimes, that means you respect a foreign culture by adapting to it while you’re in their country. (When in Rome…) Tolerance also means you interact with an individual and don’t make sweeping generalizations about every other person that shares a similar strait.

For example, if someone is acting like a jerk, a tolerant person would say that person is being a jerk. That does not mean that if the person was Italian, every other Italian is automatically a jerk. To think that, means that you assume people are either genetically hard-wired to be jerks or they magically turn into jerks because they wear similar clothing or live in the same place. To me, that is the opposite of tolerance. Note: I won’t bring religion into this, because I believe faith is a very personal thing, but there are extremists in every belief system that’s out there. Religious or not.

Preventing tolerance involves education, patience and excellent listening skills. No one wakes up and is automatically tolerant — including me. Tolerance, like many behaviors, are learned. Either someone has to teach it to you, or you have to learn it for yourself. When I don’t understand something, like a religion or a culture, I ask questions about it. Then? I either talk to people or read about it from different sources to put aside my prejudices. (Hint: I’m an avid reader.) If I make a charged statement that people disagree with, I talk about it. Maybe I was being intolerant and said something I didn’t mean. No one’s perfect and, especially on the web, semantics can complicate matters.

In my mind, your personal efforts to be tolerant are only one side of the equation. What happens when the other person isn’t being tolerant? If you’ve gone as far as you can go, then you walk away. Just like it’s your decision whether or not you’re going to be tolerant, it’s theirs, too. If someone is intolerant, pissing them off will make matters worse, not better.

Of course, tolerance sounds great in a vacuum. However, people are people and it’s a miracle we agree on anything – especially when you have over six billion people on the planet and counting. Phew! BIG number. Right? Can you tell me how many of those speak English? Have slanted eyes? Are broke? Don’t need to use a calculator? Live in caves? Like the color blue? It’s statistically and logistically impossible to think that everyone associated with one identifying trait believes, thinks and acts the same way at the same time. Just like you have your own thoughts and can’t agree on everything with your husband/best friend/cat/dog/priest/lover/whoever, there’s no way that anyone else does either. Here’s a frightening example: How many conversations have you had about what to eat or where to go for dinner?

Yes, people can have tendencies if they’re in a particular group because of the company they keep, but a tendency is not the same thing as a guarantee. Any person can always choose to act according to what is going on in their own mind. That, in my mind, is where many people lose sight of tolerance. Doesn’t it always comes down to the choices we make and the consequences that occur as a result?

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to open the discussion to hear your thoughts. Since this is a very heated topic for many people, I will screen out comments that use profanity or spout racial epithets. My goal here, is to encourage tolerance by listening to your thoughts and hearing what others have to say.

What do you think tolerance means?

It’s Nice to be First Sometimes

The Queen of Crows by Monica ValentinelliYou’ll have to excuse me, dear readers, for I’m allowing myself to be happy with something I’ve done. It’s an unusual feeling, as I tend to shy away from self-promotion, but right now I’m basking in the originality of THE QUEEN OF CROWS.

As several of my reviewers pointed out, no one had ever seen an e-book like the one that Shari, Leanne and I had put together. It’s a nice feeling to know we were one of the first enhanced e-books out there. Admittedly, I didn’t really plan on being one of the first authors to embrace a unique format for THE QUEEN OF CROWS e-book. My goal, simply, was to develop readers who would be interested in the setting and the genre. In my mind, that ended up being a huge success because readers have come forward explaining that they haven’t read a lot of native american horror and they enjoyed the attention I gave it.

Just yesterday, I started to notice other authors and publishers chatting about ways on Twitter to enhance their e-books. I suspect we’ll see a lot more unique e-book formats coming out in the months to come. In my mind, that’s a good thing.

To me, the reader always takes the crown. For without readers, an author’s stories would never get read.

If you’re interested in reading more about THE QUEEN OF CROWS, be sure to check out On Writing a Historically-Accurate Paranormal Short Story and the video trailer for THE QUEEN OF CROWS with music composed by James Semple (TRAIL OF CTHULHU, HOUSE OF HELL).

If you have, I thank you from the bottom of Mahochepi’s cold and rotting heart.

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Monica Valentinelli > 2010 > September

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