26 November 2016

Missing... Presumed at FantastiCon

Yep, last weekend (19-20th November) was spent at Hull’s Guildhall for FantastiCon, which bills itself as A Doing, Not A Buying Con, though there were plenty of books purchased, including some of mine. The paperbacks of the Horror anthology ‘666’, to which I’d contributed a 666 word story, completely sold out.

FantastiCon started three years ago as a multi-book launch event by Fantastic Books Publishing for licensed novels set in the SF computer game world of Elite: Dangerous and has now become a fixture in the SF/Fantasy/Horror Con calendar.

There were SteamPunk traders – I bought myself an interesting miniature fob watch on a chain – and plenty of Cosplayers of both graphic novel/comic and Hollywood movie types, as well as a very realistic Tardis and an even more realistic 'Doctor Who' impersonator - the accent and mannerisms were spot on - plus a phalanx of full-size Daleks which punters could drive. I decided it looked a bit too claustrophobic for my liking so passed on that one.

However, a convention aimed at an international SF gaming community would be lacking without banks of computers, and banks there were, some set-ups a little more encompassing than others. Don't just look at the four screens  and joystick in the left image, also note the foot-pedals.

Considering I was forever clipping the conning tower of the aircraft carrier with my jump-jet in Harrier Attack [a brilliant 1983 9kb game for the ZX Spectrum – no joystick, just rubber keys] I decided not to humiliate myself in public. Watching over shoulders was enough.

Apart from the mind-boggling coordination skills on show, I found the holograms fascinating, and like a wally took a still photo instead of video - how analogue can I be?

Suffice to say the Millennium Falcon shown is a model from which the hologram lifts and flies to the Death Star as a nearby planet rises in the distance and then... if you've seen the Star Wars movies you'll already be ahead of me.

I was engrossed in trying to calculate how it worked when one of its minders came up and insisted on explaining. Er... I think it might be a bit lost on me. No, he insisted, the Victorians discovered it; it was simple. And I was lost after the third sentence. Perhaps I'll stick to writing fiction.

12 November 2016

Book Trailer Anyone? #3 - Result!

After months of drooling over book trailers on YouTube I decided to have a go at creating one for my Horror Short Scent of a Böggel-Mann. Catch up on my tentative steps – and coming to my senses – in Post 1 and Post 2.

When an expert is needed, an expert should be researched. One of the best places to start is on Fiverr.com. Jobs, "gigs", begin at US$5, but I’d already discovered how much work is needed to create a book trailer, so surely not? Well, Yes and No.

Offered services are explained and each provider has samples to view. From this I drew up a long-list, which became a short-list, which became a choice. For me that service provider was yourbooktrailer. The requirements included 3-4 phrases, 4-6 high quality photos... the sort of thing I’d been practising. So while I was searching for another couple of images I practised some more. It paid off.

These are some of images I sent. See how they were utilised in the trailer via this Blogpost or direct on YouTube.

Not only were the text font, effects and music sourced by the provider as part of the gig, I received a draft to review. I had the temerity to ask for tweaks, and received them almost by return. I doubled the fee by way of a tip. Why wouldn’t I? For a trailer supporting a title that retails at 99p, it remains a bargain.

Now all I have to do is utilise it as a marketing tool. Any suggestions?

NOTE: prices and requirements have adjusted a little in the four weeks since this gig was actioned, but it remains amazing value.

5 November 2016

Speculative Fiction #99c PROMO!

This weekend – 5-6th November – I’m taking part in my first joint 99p/99c promotion for Science Fiction and Fantasy full-length novels. Torc of Moonlight, Book 1 in the trilogy, is my test title. Should you be interested?

Of course you should. There’s a choice of 180+ titles. For ease they’ve been split into groups: Science Fiction; Dystopian, Apocalyptic & Horror; Fantasy (where Torc of Moonlight sits); SF/Fantasy Romance; Boxed Sets & Collections – yes, for 99p/99c.

The titles are spread across the main five retailers: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Smashwords & GooglePlay. Visit the promotion site www.pattyjansen.com/promo and click on your preferred retailer below the welcome image. It’ll jump to the list for that retailer. Clicking on a title takes you to its page where you can read its blurb in full, look at reviews, and purchase. Stock up for winter reading.

The promotion is organised for writers to find new readers, and for readers to sample new writers or sub-genres. Each writer is doing their bit to publicise the event during the weekend. If you could give me a tiny hand I’d appreciate it: just click HERE to go to my Twitter feed and RT the pinned Tweet. Or share this post via the Share links below. Many thanks!

Enjoy your chosen books.