I know I’ve been absent from this blog recently, but that’s because not a lot of stuff has been going on in my publishing life recently. Sad pancakes, I know. I believe these lulls between steps are traditional, and things sort of slipped out of my hands for a while. Copy edits are done, but I haven’t gotten my first pass pages yet, or my ARCs. Except! ARCs should be arriving next week, and I’m sure pass pages will come swiftly upon their heels (or before–I hope before, because if they come next week I’ll be in California).

I’ve been spending most of this time getting ready for the next phase, which is the build-up to release. I’m really trying to get prepared beforehand, so that January 12 doesn’t sneak up on me, especially since it comes right after the holidays, which go by in a flash. I’ve got my website up, and my designer and I have been working on hidden content–there are a few things up already and more will go up in time.

I’ve enlisted my brother and sister to help me on a secret project while I’m in California, which will be a piece of hidden content when it’s ready, I’ve bought some things to include with giveaways, had Eric design me a bookmark (it’s beautiful, although it will change a little, and I’ll get better quality bookmarks, having seen the gorgeous ones Sarah Cross was handing out at BEA), and now I’m starting to think about my book trailer.

I decided early on that I wanted to have one, but that I didn’t want to pay someone to make it. I’ve discovered throughout this process that I like having my hand in everything; partly, it’s about control, partly it’s about saving money, but also it’s because I like DIY projects and also I have many talented friends and family members who are kind enough to help me with projects that teach them new things or utilize their hard-earned skills in some way.

My author photo was taken by my good friend and coworker Marisa; Eric, my designer, is also one of my best friends; and my sister, who’s going off to film school in the fall, has agreed to help me with my book trailer. I’m really enjoying doing things that way, because it feels like a group effort, and I know that these things are the better for people who are invested in me and my book.

Okay, so here’s the problem with the book trailer: I don’t know the first thing about making one. I really like the one Courtney Summers made for her EXCELLENT novel, Cracked Up to Be. It’s simple and interesting and I love the fact that she made it herself and it cost her no money. Those are some things I can get behind! Thankfully, Courtney recently posted on Dannette Haworth’s blog (Dannette is the author of Violet Rains Almost Got Struck By Lightning) about how she made her trailer.

I want to do something similarly simple and homemade. I’m following Courtney’s steps: 1.) Come up with a concept, 2.) make a script, 3.) find the music, 4.) collect the visual cues. I have the concept, and I’m working on the script. I’m pretty sure I’ve found the music. I searched all over the Internet for something free (or at least royalty free) to use, but nothing had the right feel. A lot of the instrumental stuff was woefully out of date (OMG, eighties action movie music? Woof), and I was getting a little despondent over it. I considered making a trailer with the most basic music I could find, sort of like the new one for Catching Fire (which I read, BTW–it was excellent).

But then I was on the train and listening to my AUT playlist, which I do sometimes even though I’m not writing it anymore, and a specific song came up by an artist that I personally know. She’s not famous or anything, but she’s a friend of a friend who made music way back when and put it up on MySpace. I downloaded a track, loved it, and put it on the AUT soundtrack. Now her MySpace is down, but I’ve dispatched my friend to ask her permission to use it in the trailer. I think it’s going to work really, really well.

Courtney also recommends becoming familiar with the editing program you’re using before you have to make the trailer. Good advice, except iMovie is SO HARD! I can’t even figure out how to import anything, let alone actually make a movie that looks good. This is where my sister comes in–hopefully she can teach me how to use it, or Final Cut Pro, which seems a little too drama for a little book trailer but maybe it’ll be easier.

Anywhere, that’s where I’m at, getting ready for the big day, which isn’t even that long from now, and trying to create awesome new content for readers. Definitely time well spent.