Trailer Time: Basic Stimulation

Now it’s time to go back to some basics:

The trailer itself is fairly simple, including music and “plain” text displayed with stimulating visual effects.  The only picture is the book cover.  Quotes are selected to provide the trailer with more authority.  The overall effect is appealing and affordable.

The only thing that I’m wary of is this:

“It’s a cross between Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of OZ where you will be swept away into a magical land of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.”  —Brae Wyckoff

I’ve never been a big fan of describing books based on other books.  When you add something so unique to one classic, like Halflings, then it borders on plagiarism, which isn’t a good sign.


About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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9 Responses to Trailer Time: Basic Stimulation

  1. acflory says:

    Comparisons can be good as they provide a thumbnail view of the general content and feel of a book. For me the problem occurs when the new story is too much like a much loved original – that is fan fic, and horribly derivative. The inclusion of Halflings just adds to that sense of rip-off. Sadly an awful lot of new stories in all genres are either derivative, or just plain formulaic.

    All that said, however, the chance that Orb of Truth /might/ actually provide the feel of Tolkien while still being ‘new’ would probably make me give it a try. I don’t know… :/

    • I’m undecided. Tolkien was such an original that anything truly derivative is likely to be a disappointment. You just can’t fake what Tolkien had. And for the author to make the claim…

      I’ll put it this way. The first time I heard the Wheel of Time series compared to Tolkien, I thought it was bluster on the part of the publisher. It turned out that the moral complexity and the world scope were true to the comparison, but that’s one out of hundreds.

      So, I’m still inclined to assume it’s bluster. When I was younger and more naïve, I read stories based on the comparison model. But I’ve never been satisfied with a single story I started due to an author’s claim of comparison. When authors sets themselves against the masters of their genre, they more often than not set themselves up for failure.

      • acflory says:

        “When authors sets themselves against the masters of their genre, they more often than not set themselves up for failure.”

        That is very true. The thing that makes one work exceptional is the way the whole package hangs together, and that is next to impossible to duplicate.

        However…. As a marketing ploy I have to say it works because I bought the book. 🙂 I’ve only just started reading it but I can already tell you Tolkien has nothing to worry about. The story isn’t /bad/ but having just met the Sauron-like evil character I know I may not finish this book. But I did buy it.. -shrug-

        I guess comparisons have a short term gain but may backfire in terms of repeat business. I’ll let you know. 🙂

      • “Ploy” is the key word there. Marketing ploys are rarely a good idea. Publishers use them because they create initial sales, which means better ROI. They do not, however, build long-term careers, which is why so many authors get stuck in midlist hell.

        Building an audience takes time and it takes honesty and it takes converting readers to your work, not by selling them on someone else’s.

      • acflory says:

        Just thought I’d mention that I bought that book and started reading it. It’s not horrible, but… I’ve put it aside for the day I find myself completely bookless…

      • *gasp* May THAT day never come! 😉

        Well, at least it’s not horrible. That’s something. 🙂

      • acflory says:

        You know this incident has started me thinking about the whole concept of originality. And whether most readers actually /want/ it. You and I obviously do, but the other day I came across a post that really made my jaw drop.

        Essentially, the author of the post had been writing original books for a while, without much success. Then they had a look at what was selling in a particular genre, ‘deconstructed’ it, wrote a book following what they called the rules of that genre, and made huge sales. 😦

        To me that’s writing to a formula, pure and simple – much like the book we’re talking about. So what gives?

        I can sort of understand readers liking a particular /genre/, and looking for more along similar lines, but…but…

        -sigh- I am never going to become rich and famous Stephanie. My stories may catch on, long after I’m dead, but that’s no consolation to starving in a garret for the rest of my life. Okay, okay, bit of dramatic flare there, but you know what I mean.

      • Unfortunately, there is a degree of formula to marketable fiction, particularly within a given genre. To write successfully in a genre, you do have to know the rules and you do have to follow them, or at least break them respectfully. There’s also a formula, to some extent, to story telling itself: beginning, middle, and end, with certain emotional and plot points you should reach along the way.

        Within those limits, however, is worlds of possibility. These “formulas” aren’t necessarily a bad thing for the writer either. For example, I’ve mentioned that, in planning my novel, I got to the point where I realized that the ending I had had in mind didn’t provide enough payoff and complication for what came before. The reason I know that is because I know how stories are “supposed” to work.

        On the other hand, some genres–romance comes to mind–can have, at least with certain traditional publishers, very stringent formulas that really do sell, but are really binding. Neither of us would ever be able to do work like that. But the other kind is something we have to learn to succeed. Following those formulas–genre rules and storytelling patterns–doesn’t limit our originality or our creativity; it aids it.

      • acflory says:

        I have to admit I’m uncomfortable with rules about content and structure. I have a vague idea of what works from having read so much, however I also know that many of the very best books I’ve ever read have deliberately stepped outside those ‘rules’. For example, there would not have been a Left Hand of Darkness if Ursula Le Guin had stuck to the traditional sci-fi tropes.

        That said, just because some authors succeeded doesn’t mean that I will EVER manage to break the rules and be applauded for it. But… I have to keep trying. Or at least, I have to keep writing the stories that come to me, whether they obey the rules or not. 🙂

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