There are people out there who don’t write. Or read. I know, weird, isn’t it? As authors we tend to look towards the people who move in our circles; to publicise or help with a new project. Reviewers can be our bread and butter as can the main-stream media outlets. The routine seems to be fairly typical: stalk the big bloggers or the famous people on Twitter. Go down on bended knee to the established authors, in the hope, they pluck our book from the crowd of aspiring authors. If you’re lucky or talented enough to be signed by one of the big publishing houses, well, life becomes a little easier. They have the resources, the media contacts and the muscle to push that book to the top of the mountain.
But with the advent of social media there are so many other resources that we can tap into. Sometimes a short video can summarize thousands of words. There are powerful videos populating the platform of YouTube and some of the creators have shot to super-stardom. You need only look at the new generation ‘YouTubers’ who are super stars in the virtual world.
Like most writers, I grafted to get recognition for my book. The Takeover has had a few lucky breaks, nothing that has sent it hurtling into the stratosphere; but, hey, that’s the business we’re in. As all authors know, publicity is probably the toughest racket of them all. If you think getting your manuscript published is hard, try to deal with media outlets who are smacking away requests like a batter on a baseball plate – that is unless you’re paying top dollar!
So what are the alternatives? I began by posting reviews to my Facebook page and uploading radio interviews to YouTube. And here’s the thing, I used YouTube because I didn’t know how to do anything else. There are various platforms that can host audio interviews and podcasts – but what did I know? And then dumb luck struck; I have a friend named Marcin Golik who is as passionate about producing music as I am about writing. He is signed by a major label and spends hours upon hours every day, producing new tracks. In order to host these tracks – he is a consummate user of YouTube and musical platforms. Here’s how our first conversation went;
‘Where’s the video for your book?’
‘It’s not a film, it’s a book?’
‘I know it’s a book. Where’s the trailer?’
‘You haven’t used sounds, moving images to outline the narrative?’
‘You haven’t used YouTube?’
‘Idiot!’ he says with a shake of his head. (Yep…he can be a bit blunt)
So, despite my naivety, he decided to put together a video for The Takeover. From his own portfolio of music he produced a track that is compatible with a gangland book. Then he found a number of websites that offer up free images, which can be used to add content to your ‘mini movie.’ There are sites like www.freeimages.com , www.morguefile.com , and many others. You can also compile a video using Vimeo – which can also be found online. Or if you want this done with tender loving care, there are many professionals who do this for a living. It’s not hugely expensive – and if it is – do it yourself; but be warned there are copyright issues, littered like landmines all over the web. So help from a professional may be a big plus.
The Takeover has definitely benefited from the YouTube clip and it’s climbing higher each day. In the minute and a half clip, I’ve managed to throw in a few lines from reviewers as well as summarize the theme of the novel. As you probably know, it can be difficult to articulate your entire story, in a short time period.
The simple fact is this; there are resources we, as authors, are not using and many are free. We have the capability to create alternate worlds, yet many of us stop creating when we pen ‘The End.’ Surely this should only be the beginning.
Social media has offered us a labyrinth of opportunities and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve stuck to the most familiar path. So if you find something that works for you, super…if not a venture into the unknown should be welcomed.
(c) Jonathan Dunne
About The Takeover
Dublin’s underworld is run by the Doherty family, a clan of brothers harder than the Rock of Cashel and darker than a pint of Guinness. The head of the clan, Malcolm Doherty, has infiltrated all levels of public office and rules the city’s criminal landscape without mercy or compassion. Gerald O’Brien is the incorruptible cop on the Dohertys’ trail, obsessive and indefatigable, yet unable to bring them down. Nathan Corbally is a neglected and abused youngster. Raised by a monstrous father, Nathan steals to survive. When he steals a piece of clothing belonging to the Dohertys, he sets of a chain of events that will pit him against the rulers of Ireland’s underworld. Three lives, steeped in violence, are about to clash in a violent grab for absolute power.