- November 25th, 2015
- Write comment
Archive for the ‘Echoes of Avalon’ Category
Echoes of Avalon will be free in the Kindle store during the Thanksgiving weekend, starting Wednesday November 25th, and ending Sunday November 29th. Ripples in the Chalice will be discounted during this period as well, starting at $0.99. Various wonderful ebook reviewer sites and blogs will be promoting Echoes of Avalon; a different website almost each day. Even if you’re not up for downloading my books, I’d seriously check these reviewer sites out as they have amazing deals going on all the time. You could conceivably spend the rest of your reading-life without having to buy another book. And don’t forget, there is also a Goodreads giveaway for the paperback of Ripples in the Chalice going on right now through the 29th as well.
Echoes of Avalon will be featured on these sites on these dates:
Wednesday, November 25th — Free Kindle Books and Tips at http://wp.me/p6txNL-7xV
Friday, November 27th — Ebook Hounds (under Bailey’s Daily Deals) at http://www.ebookhounds.com
Friday, November 27th — Ereader News Today at http://ereadernewstoday.com/tag/fantasy/
Saturday, November 28th — The Choosy Bookworm at www.choosybookworm.com
The next couple of months are full of events where I will be promoting “Echoes of Avalon” and “Ripples in the Chalice,” and raising awareness on some great topics as well.
Tales of Avalon will be available for purchase in the dealers room of this staple of Oregon SciFi and Fantasy convention held this year at downtown Portland’s Marriot Hotel.
Through the Black Friday weekend “Echoes of Avalon” and the Tower will be free as kindle ebooks, and starting Wednesday the 25th “Ripples in the Chalice” will start out at $0.99 and slowly increase to its full price by the end of Sunday the 29th.
I’ll be the first featured author of the evening to read from his novel for the joint venture between Willamette Writers and Barnes & Noble for their “Books for Kids” program.
Echoes of Avalon can now be found on the shelves of a wonderful store in Northwest Portland near the corner of Killingsworth and Interstate Avenue. Even if you don’t need my book, you should still check out the ones you do at this neat store, complete with indoor tree for kids to climb on.
Another Read Through
1435 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217
503 208 2729
Before you can build a house, you must first have a plan. Once you’ve conceptualized, identified, and assembled all the components that you want to present in your trailer, it is time to map out your “movie.”
This really isn’t any different than what directors and producers do for actual movies. They make scene-by-scene drawings, complete with arrows and notes, beginning to end. This is not only to reduce the amount of time and effort once the time comes to string it all together in your video making software, but should also eliminate most problems that may come up.
There are fancy organizing programs and apps out there that facilitate this (there is an Apple Pages story boarding template, for example, and I hear Scrivener has a similar function), but basically all you need is a pen and paper to draw out your vision in an orderly fashion.
You want, in chronological order, your principal images/scenes laid out with notes that describe what action you want to take place. Ideally, you want the notes so detailed that a stranger could see them and visualize what the scene should look like when it goes “live.” Each scene should have at least 7 elements:
Scene title and Scene/Slide number
General description of what happens in the scene, including zooming, panning, and any effects that take place.
Music/sound effects used in the scene, complete with title of music/sounds and the time index (moment) you want the sound to begin and end. This includes any audio voice over you might use.
The complete text of any words or phrases you might use.
What the transition from the previous scene was and what the transition to the next scene should be.
Any useful notes, either in a list or in the margin with arrows pointing to the pertinent area of the image.
Do a rough draft in pen or pencil on paper, then clean it up and commit it to digital hardcopy of some sort. If you’re certain you’re going to be the guy behind the mouse when making the video you’re probably don’t have to go to that length, but if somebody else is going to use your roadmap to make the video, it’s best to make it as clear and readable as possible.
You may or may not want to have sound in your video. You can make a perfectly eye-catching and powerful presentation without sound, but in my opinion mood music goes a long way. I decided to use sound in my trailer and I discuss the process in finding the perfect music here.
Either way you’re ready for the final step: Making the magic happen. There are many free software packages out there that come with operating systems that do a good job (Moviemaker in Windows, iMovie in Mac), and you probably could even get away with doing it in powerpoint if you’re a wiz at the program. If you’re a beginner, they’re simple enough programs that you can easily teach yourself by using either their help function or any number of a gazillion un-official (but often more helpful) YouTube tutorials. Going through the training process or the actual video creation process is worthy of a series of blogs unto themselves which I will not go into.
I personally didn’t have the time to teach myself a new software, so I extended my image artist’s agreement to include the video work, in which he also does fantastic work. His software of choice is Adobe Premier, a powerful program that made all the nuances that I wanted to accomplish in my trailer much easier (though still possible in the simpler Moviemaker or iMovie).
So, the final result of customized still images, fitting mood music, story boarding, and a deft hand at video manipulation resulted in a (I hope, anyway) powerful and memorable movie-like trailer for my book, Echoes of Avalon which you can see at the end of this blog. What do you think?
Depending on your personal skills, who you know, and what access to resources you may have, you can probably do a better job and for less money than I put into this project. Drive and commitment knows no bounds. Good luck!
Though you can make fantastically effective trailers for your book with free stock images, simple slide show animation, some text, and no sound, you’re better off having a little bit more than that. Naturally, the quality increases exponentially with the amount of money your throw at it.
Such is the case with sound. Mood music is what makes your nerves tingle, your hair stand on end, and goosebumps rise on your skin in the theater during an exciting trailer, or have your emotional heartstrings tugged during a dramatic one. Music is where it’s at, baby!
Now, you can’t just use music from your favorite artist in your promos. There’s this pesky thing called rights and royalties that prevent that from happening (well, with enough money almost anything is possible, but I’m going to assume that’s not the case here), so you won’t be using a Rolling Stones song anytime soon.
But there is plenty of free music out there or you can get some for, well, a song (yeah, I know, terrible pun).
Where do you find such music? A simple internet search “free stock music” will give you an adequate list of sites, but your are always best querying those in your community who have personal experience with such things. I posted a question on the forum of my writers group, Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). I was certain that many of the authors there had previously used music in promos and they didn’t disappoint by the skads of suggestions they gave. Some of the more useful ones included:
Freestockmusic.com: A decent collection of quality works in a variety of genres. As the name of the site implies, it’s all free. A common quote for each sample often says, “100% royalty free license that allows you to use the music in all types of productions, for worldwide distribution, forever. There are never any licensing fees.” It’s hard to beat that.
Soundcloud.com: A ginormous collection of music and sounds showcased by a community of talented artists. If Facebook and CDBaby had a love-child it would be Soundcloud. The challenge of this site, however, is sifting through the shear volume of awesomeness and trying to narrow it down to what you are looking for. It seems to cater mostly to up and coming performance artists (heavy in R&B), but there is plenty of other offerings as well. I didn’t spend enough time to figure out how you download the music, how “free” (if at all) it was, or what the licensing agreement was. But I did hear mostly good things about it.
Incompetech.com: A one man extravaganza of music by artist Kevin McLeod. He offers a substantial collection of a variety of music and sounds of great quality. Though he asks for donations, music is free so long as you credit him in any work that uses his music. If you can’t or don’t want to credit him, then there is a “Non Attribution” license you can download starting at $30 for one piece, and then incrementally increases for additional music. There is a list of similar artists on Kevin’s website.
Purple-planet.com: Probably the smallest collection (that I could tell) of the sites listed here, but still good. It’s a free collection of royalty free music available for download, composed and performed by Geoff Harvey and Chris Martyn. All music can be used free of charge for web-based projects e.g. YouTube in exchange for a link to their site. Donations are welcomed. They specialize in music production and sound services for games, multimedia, TV and film. Specialists in Surround Sound 5.1 production. Large additional track catalogue available for licensing.
Stockmusic.net: A huge library of royalty free, diverse, and pro-grade music and sound effects for all occasions. You do have to pay, though. Depending on your needs and the depth of your pocket book, you’ll pay anywhere between $29.95 (individual pieces and small collections of sound effects) and thousands of dollars (for huge libraries of entire genres). This isn’t as scary as it sounds. I found the most perfect music for a project, a collection of 18 works, for $129.95. Each work alone otherwise would have cost $39.95. A relatively easy to understand blanket-license agreement accompanies each purchase for use in personal projects (TV, film, podcasts, etc), or you can license for more public use (restaurant background noise, elevator muzak).
I spent many a night just sitting with my laptop with headphones, sampling what was out there. I found lots of cools stuff, much of it free, but purely by coincidence or fate I found a collection at Stockmusic.net that fit like a glove. Every element I was looking for was in the package. It was too perfect to pass up, so I didn’t mind paying the fee, and the fruits of which can be seen in the movie trailer for my book, Echoes of Avalon.
Here is a sample of the intro to the trailer: FilmEdge2_Epic_Z262-TheWorldAwaits-Schatz
Echoes of Avalon is now available in Silverton’s “Books~N~Time”, an eclectic mix of old and new books, and old and new clocks. It is full of the all genres of books, from children’s to historical non-fiction, from best sellers to romance, from Sci Fi to fantasy and beyond. If you are a collector of vintage magazines, Reader’s Digest, and the classics, you’ll love “Books~N~Time”. If you love Grandfather clocks and all manner of time pieces that run on brass gears and go “bong, bong” on the hour, you’ll really love this store.
210 N. Water St.
Silverton, OR 97381
Coffee houses are refuges for relaxation, watching the world go by, or
delving into a new world by kicking back with a good book while sipping your favorite concoction to sharpen the mind. Such is the goal of Vancouver’s Savona Coffee House, a quaint little corner shop across from McMenamin’s and Beaches on the waterfront. They offer a calm ambiance, a wide assortment of brews, ice cream, and other tasty treats.
If you didn’t bring your own book in which to disappear, you can find my very own “Echoes of Avalon”, a novel of epic historical fantasy with a touch of romance, to help get you started on your journey of diversion and entertainment.
1898 SE Columbia River Dr.
Vancouver, WA 98661
For a limited time this weekend, March 2nd through March 4th, my novella The Tower that appeared in Chaos Theory Magazine will be available on Amazon as a free Kindle eEook ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Tower-ebook/dp/B007DMIK7I ). The Tower came about as a need to give substance to the villain in my novel Echoes of Avalon. My wise editor, Sarah Cypher, insisted that my villain was two dimensional, a card board cut-out and stereo type of bad guys. She said he needed motive. A history. People needed to understand him and find him believable. Thus was born The Tower, a flash-back sequence on the life of Loki. The eBook novella ends with bonus material, the first chapter to Echoes of Avalon, and a fantastic piece of art work by artist David Greene. And if you miss the free promo it is only $0.99. Also, you can find it in Amazon’s Lending Library.