Monthly Archives: November 2013

How I Created the Tulsa Series Book Trailers

Love the Dramatic Effect

Like many novelists who are taking the self-publishing route, I had looked longingly at other author’s book trailers and wished I could do the same thing. I am aware that YouTube (and other video sites) rank high on search engines. But aside from that I loved the dramatic effect of a book trailer. It’s so much greater than a static book cover.

My goal was to create a book trailer for all four titles of my Tulsa Series. I was facing a bigger  challenge than other authors who begin with one title.

Also like many other novelists, I’m not the most technologically-advanced person clicking a mouse. I needed simple steps and simple programs. Here’s what I did.

Tulsa Tempest Trailer

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I Wrote the Script

I began by writing and editing my script.  I knew it had to be short and yet strong enough to hold the viewer’s attention.

After I was happy with the scripts, I separated sections into scenes and searched for still photos to depict each scene.  Because the Tulsa Series are historical novels I was able to use historical photos which helped.

Tulsa Turning Trailer

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I Recorded the Script

Next I needed to record my script. For this I used the program called Audacity.  I am not an affiliate for this program; don’t even know if they have affiliates, so I’m not trying to sell it. I chose it because it was a free download and also the easiest program I found.  It did take me a while to learn to use it, but I don’t give up easy.

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I had already purchased a professional headset with attached mic. I actually found it on eBay for a reasonable price. It’s important to have the more professional type. Mine happens to be Dynex DX850 — if that helps anyone.

The next thing I learned is that in order not to have the “p’s” popping when you talk, the mic needs to be up near your nose. I researched to learn that little lesson.

Tulsa Trespass Trailer

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I Sought for Help

This was as far as I could go on my own. Now I needed help. I bartered with a young man from my church. One who I knew was tech-savvy. I sent him all my files and he went to work. He found my background music. He created the lead-in icon. He put the music, my audio, and the graphics together via my scene breakdown which I sent to him. The resulting trailers are in MP4 format.

Because the files were large and unwieldy, we used DropBox as the place for him to upload. We created shared files. I then uploaded the completed videos to YouTube.

We did hit a few bumps in the  road along the way, but mostly due to my lack of tech knowledge. But we smoothed them out and created four trailers together.

Return to Tulsa Trailer

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If you are reading this and you are laughing because this sounds like kindergarten talk (you could have done all this with one arm tied behind your back) then please cut me a little slack. Because I hear from novelists all the time who are great authors, but a bit short on the technology end of things. So this is for all of you who are in the same boat.

Hopefully this helped you.  The main things to keep in mind are this:Be A Novelist

1. Book trailers will multiply your exposure exponentially

2. You can learn most anything on the Internet  if you put your mind to it.

3. If you don’t have a friend like I do to help out — turn to and find a talented provider who will work with you.

Let me know if you have any questions. Most authors would rather undergo a root canal than to market their books. But market we must. It is our responsibility. If you feel your book is of value, it’s up to you to get it out to your reading public. Videos provide one more avenue in which you can do that.


Be A Novelist

Be A Novelist

First title in the Norma Jean Lutz Classical Collection

Now available on Kindle.

Clean reads for teens, because teens deserve a choice!

• Clean teen reads
• Timeless story lines that never grow old
• A choice for readers in reading materials and themes
• Classic reads from a more innocent era

Conversation Vs. Dialogue

When writing my novels I love to write dialogue and I have from my earliest days of writing. I feel that dialogue is almost like holding modeling clay in my hands as I use it to make my story and my characters come alive.

Be A NovelistWriting Assignment

I once gave a writing assignment to the students of one of my adult fiction-writing classes.  I challenged them to write a scene depicting an altercation they might have had recently. I stated that the altercation might have been with a mother-in-law, or a washing-machine repairman. The who did not matter. The prerequisite was that it be an incident where there was a strong difference of opinion.  I then instructed them to use plenty of dialogue in the scene they created.

The resulting assignments that I read through gave a clear indication that my group of fledgling authors had not yet grasped the difference between conversation and dialogue. Many of the assignments turned in were verbatim replicates of conversations that had taken place.

“That’s How It Happened”

When I pointed out that fact, the general responses were something like: “But that’s how it happened.” Or, “I wrote it just as it happened.”

This then provided the perfect opportunity to remind them that the assignment had been to write dialogue not exchanges of conversation.

Conversations whip around us like little whirlwinds every day of our lives. Either we are involved in those conversations, or we eavesdrop on those conversations.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.”

“That’s good.”

“What’ve you been doing lately?”

“Not much.”

This is conversation, but it’s not dialogue.   Conversation is merely an exchange of information.  For instance:

“Where do you live?”

“I live at 312 Boston Street.”

Dialogue, on the other hand, brings in an added dimension.

“You live around here?”

“Yeah, if you call this living.”

Functions of Dialogue

The key to writing good dialogue is to always remember that any and all dialogue must contribute to the story itself.  Empty exchanges that go nowhere and tell nothing will suck life right out of a novel.  Dull conversation will bring all action to a grinding halt.  Dialogue should serve as your tool to build reader interest and apprehension.

Below are the six main functions of story dialogue.

  • Moves Story Forward
  • Adds to the Mood
  • Builds Tension
  • Gives Life to Characters
  • Identification
  • Establishes the SettingBe A Novelist

Once you know these purposes and begin to integrate them into your use of fiction, your style of writing will begin to take on a life of its own. Do a check today on the dialogue in your novel-in-progress. How are you doing?

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Be A NovelistFirst title in the Norma Jean Lutz Classical Collection

Now available on Kindle.

Clean reads for teens, because teens deserve a choice!

• Clean teen reads
• Timeless story lines that never grow old
• A choice for readers in reading materials and themes
• Classic reads from a more innocent era