Blood & Soul – The making of a book trailer – Part II

Blood_&_Soul_Frontcover_FinalAGBAnyone reading this can self-publish a book. I swore never to do it because, in my opinion, it labeled the author as vain. Basically it meant the author’s book was below par compared to published authors. This is true for the most part. Paying somebody to print your book was vanity.  Getting published was like making the pros. But it also meant giant publishing companies would not take a chance on an unknown author. Who wants to push Stephen King or J. K. Rowling off the shelf for Allen what’s-his-name? The publishing companies are not entirely wrong. I swore I would not be tagged as self-published because let’s face – most self-published books are awful. I know. I tried to read them. But I changed my mind about doing it myself (but that’s another blog entry). As I moved forward I knew I could not compromise. When I published I promised to myself to do everything I could do to be excellent. The first thing was get the story right. I read a mountain of books on the craft and typed a million zillion words. So what! When people scroll for books on Amazon, they look at the cover. I had to get that right, too.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You’ve heard that before. I don’t think that’s true anymore. You can make some pretty accurate assumptions nowadays about a book by its cover. Probably 95% of the time a cheesy or bland cover means a cheesy or bland manuscript. A good story teller should to be instinctively cognizant of appearance and strives to deliver quality on all fronts. And the first thing that delivers a book to a potential reader is the cover. I can usually spot a self-published book immediately – Papyrus font, poorly aligned cover text with a strange background color that induces a grimace.

As Blood & Soul started to take shape, I started agonizing over a book cover. Self-published book covers were embarrassing. I had made the difficult decision to self-publish (as before, that’s another blog entry) and was not seeing anything that impressed me. I was worried Blood & Soul would be skimmed over for Lumberjack in Love

Mercifully, I removed the author's name.
Mercifully, I removed the author’s name.

Two years ago, and shortly after my father had passed away, I was struggling with the sixth revision of Blood & Soul. I had yet to clearly see the central unifying theme although it was already embedded in the story. My co-worker Mark Skinner paused at my desk. We had discussed my book before and he volunteered to work something up for me. I did not know the depths of his talent. I knew he had a background in graphics.  He asked me about the core conflict of the book. This is how he would discover the best approach for the cover. Mark’s question rekindled my exploration of themes and I found it. The core conflict rose up and slapped me in the face. It was the struggle between two brothers and their colliding destinies. One brother embraced destiny and other who shied away from it. The central question was the fight between two beliefs. Are our lives pre-ordained or do we have a choice. Is life deterministic, controlled by forces like instinct or can we rise above our urges – Blood & Soul.

That discovery ignited other minor themes and the book came alive.  That theme was my guiding light. Meanwhile, Mark and I brainstormed the cover, which lead to the map and the book trailer. Mark guided me through this whole process, mostly out of the goodness of his heart. Together we achieved a fantastic cover, a rustic-looking map perfect for the genre, and a visually awesome book trailer. The trailer, in my opinion is groundbreaking. We never even looked at other book trailers. We went from the beginning with a movie trailer feel. I’ve heard nothing but good or great things about it. I think we transcended the common book trailers out there.  A lot of people enjoy the book because of this book trailer. 

Allen G. Bagby is an American author of fantasy fiction and an experienced blogger. His favorite and influential authors are David Gemmell, J. R. R. Tolkien, Bernard Cornwell, Terry Goodkind and C. S. Lewis. He is also influenced by movies such as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gladiator and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Blood & Soul is the first book in the Creed of Kings Saga. It can be read alone. He independently published Blood & Soul in mid-2014. It hit #1 a couple of times and stayed five and a half months on Amazon's Top 100 in various related genres. He's currently writing the next book in the Creed of Kings Saga, the working title is Out of Oblivion. Website: Twitter: @aspeakinghuman Facebook Page: Goodreads Author Page:

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