I didn't expect to receive a bunch of thank you letter this afternoon. I was over the moon! I couldn't believe how much I had inspired so many of the students. I'm ecstatic that I had also helped them in their story writing. I will treasure these forever!
When I was invited on short notice to visit Grant Union High School as a guest speaker for two classrooms, I didn't hesitate at all. I thought it was my chance as a children's writer to stand in front of a class and inspire younger people to write their own unique story. Fortunately, it turned out to be a very memorable experience. As a first timer, I managed to pluck up the courage to present to teenagers who did not expect me to just read one of my stories to them. I came more prepared equipped with my past experiences and with some knowledge that I learned from the writing course that I took a few years ago. While sharing with the 9th graders my writing and self-publishing journey, I was able to give them some tips on how to write a good children's story and how to self-publish their books if they decide to choose that route.
Did they learn anything? I hope so. Because it was a requirement to attend the class, most of them seemed bored or forced to sit through a 50-minute presentation. It was a challenge to keep talking in front of an unresponsive class, but I appreciated those who showed interest, those who nodded, smiled, or who asked questions and seemed curious about the subject matter at hand. I kept telling myself that If I had inspired just one student, my efforts were all worthwhile.
Here's a brief summary of the second half of my talk as a guest speaker at the Northern California Publishers and Authors monthly meeting last Thursday, September 13.
HOW TO MAKE A BOOK TRAILER
Why do you want to create a book trailer:
1. It helps you reach your target market.
2. It creates excitement and intrigue for your book.
3. It provides a much better insight into what your book is about.
4. It can be shared as a promotional tool.
5. If you learn to make your own, it can save you a lot of
http://ivideoproductions.com/video-book-preview-4/ $25 and up
Guidelines on how to create your own book trailer:
1. Watch other book trailers - YouTube.
2. Write your script – Don’t use the jacket copy. Make sure it is clear and concise. Start with a sentence that pulls in the reader. For example, in the beginning of the book trailer, you can grab the reader’s attention with a question or a quote from the book.
Example: “What happens at Zoobooloo when the gates are closed at
3. Make it simple – Adding too many elements can be confusing. You want the theme to stand out and that everything included is appropriate to your work.
Example: I just added some illustrations from the book and added some
text and transitions.
4. Don’t just summarize the plot – Make it more exciting by dropping hints about the book. It’s supposed to be like a sneak preview of a movie. You want to pique the interest of your viewers and make them want for more. And how do you hold their interest? Here’s when you think about the photos, videos, and music you want to include in your trailer.
Example: To keep the readers interested I added music that was
appropriate for the zoo setting. I found a music with animal sounds and
rather than telling the whole story, I added this texts - “Discover what
Monkey advises them, and if the grand switch-a-roo is a disaster or a
5. Find your photos – You can use your own or photos online. Just google “royalty free photo.” Royalty Free photo or refers to a type of licensing that allows the purchaser to pay for the photo license only once and to use the photo for as long as desired.
iStockphoto (lowest price $12)
Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/
Unsplash - https://unsplash.com/
Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/
Gratisography - https://gratisography.com/ (quirkiest collection
6. Find your music – Choose carefully. Make sure it matches the theme of
Soundsnap.com ($15 for 3 downloads)
300 Monks ($35 per song for a video)
Free StockMusic https://www.freestockmusic.com/
Purple Planet (Free music )
Oleg Gorbunov (Free music) https://soundcloud.com/gorbio
Wil Forbis (Free book trailers)
7. Find your video
Storyblock http://www.videoblocks.com/ ($8.25/month)
Envato Market https://videohive.net/ ($16.50/month)
Internet Archive https://archive.org/
*List of sources for images, music, and video clips
8. Make it as short as possible – A length of about 1 to 1- ½ minutes is about right. If you make it too long, there is a greater possibility that you would lose the interest of the viewers.
9. End with a bang - whether it’s a call-to-action, an appreciative thank you, or a powerful life lesson, your animation should end with a punch.
10. Don’t forget to add your book in the end and where they can purchase it.
Free software programs
Window Movie Maker
IMovie for Mac
Powtoon – Free then you can upgrade $16/month
Masher - $2.99/month (when you pick a theme, it automatically
does the effects for you)
Prezi.com – $7/month
Animoto - $8/month
*Video on How to Make a Book Trailer Using Windows Movie Maker:
If you want me to help you make your book trailer, you can email me at email@example.com
I have a lot of wonderful first times in my writing career and this is one of the most memorable. I have not received any review such as this! This also made me cry because it shows me how much a kid has loved reading my book. This boy is a good promoter!
I am grateful to Norma Thornton, secretary of the Northern California Publishers and Authors, for asking me to come as a speaker at our monthly meeting last September 13. It was an honor and a learning experience to be a guest speaker for the first time.
They said my talk was very informative. Here's a an outline of my an hour and 1/2 discussion on how to host a book launch on FB. My discussion, How to Make Your Own Book Trailer, will be on my next post.
HOW TO HOST A BOOK LAUNCH ON FACEBOOK
1. Why host a book launch on Facebook?
a. Most people are on FB.
b. It’s free!
c. You don’t have to dress up.
d. Guests can pop in and out at any time.
e. You don’t have to worry about not having enough space and food or
2. Guidelines on how to host a book launch of Facebook
a. Know the purpose of your book event
b. Create an account on Facebook
c. Create an event
YouTube instruction on how to create an event:
- Name the event
Ex. My own Facebook Virtual Book Launch of The Bluebird’s Cry
- Set the date and time
Ex. Sept. 3, 2016 at 12 PM – Sept. 4, 2016 at 11:30 PM
- Write a brief description
d. Create an eye-catching Facebook banner to attract more attention.
e. Send out invites by clicking the INVITE button
f. Give a clear instruction on how to join your book party event. Tell
them to just follow the link and just type “interested” or “going.” On
that day, post the link again to remind them and mention the day
g. Have your books ordered on time, at least a week before so you can
mail out a signed copy as soon as possible.
h. Post an introduction and keep it pinned on the top of the page.
video of yourself – what the party is all about and what to expect
picture of a welcome drink
welcome banner or poster
i. Keep the party alive! Entertain your guests by using visual and
auditory aids. Prepare all your materials in advance.
Photos of the book cover, characters, or setting.
Inside look or behind-the-scenes – what inspired you to write the
book, how long did you write the book, what anecdotes can you
What I did at my own Facebook party:
- Provided music by posting my husband’s video
- Interview (8 questions and answered) that were posted one at a
time throughout the day
- Quotes that are relevant to the theme of my book. I made it visual
to catch the reader’s attention
- Behind the scenes
j. Encourage your guests to participate.
What I did at my own Facebook party:
- I asked a couple of friends to post a picture of them holding my
book. Then my other friends did the same. Some posted it on their
- I asked a question.
- Invited them to participate for a prize or free book giveaway and
announced the winners during the event. I have a picture of me
holding the book.
*The secret is to keep them interested until the end.
k. Ask a friend to post on Facebook or Twitter that the party is going
on. Or, if you are not too busy, you can do it yourself.
l. Make sure all guests are welcomed and all questions are answered.
m. Repost the link to your event the next day.
It feels wonderful to receive a review from a seven-year old boy living in UK. "It’s really nice, very entertaining. People at my age would love to read it."
Thank you, Amshuman! :-)
Last June 29, I witnessed the graduation of several Filipino-American students at Eskwela Natin's summer class. I watched them with pride and joy knowing that their lives were now enriched with new learnings about their Filipino heritage.
During the program, they played the maracas which they made themselves two weeks ago.
They performed a couple of folk dances which greatly entertained all the parents and the rest of the audience in the room.
I was also so pleased to present the winner of my free book giveaway. Who else but Ely? In this picture she is now holding her very own book. She kept telling me, "You are my favorite author!" :-)
Some went home with my books, either as a raffle winner or an eager buyer.
The afternoon wasn't complete without a photo taken with the former mayor of the City of Davis, Hon. Ruth Asmundson.
I look forward to being back again next year for more book readings and free book giveaways! Hopefully, my goddaughter will be able to join in too.
This was my second time to participate as one of the California authors. Though I consider myself fortunate enough to be included, I have something to comment about the new signage. I think I prefer the signs and posters last year. It was bolder, larger, and more visible. As you can see below you can hardly read the MEET THE CALIFORNA AUTHORS signs. I heard a few people walking by asking what our booths were all about.
We were also asked to make new posters which was smaller than the ones last year. That meant I had to spend again for another poster and my new poster from last year was rendered useless. One more observation - they added library books to the FOR SALE books on display which distracted the attention of the buyers.
These unique ways of stacking books were an attention grabber, though. I saw numerous fairgoers talking pictures of them.
Of course, I will never forget to mention the most important element of the author's booth - the people who admired and/or purchased my books. Even though my sales expectations for 4 days were not met due to the excessive heat (#1 factor for the state fair low attendance), I was still very grateful that several of my books had found their homes.
Here's a collage of some of the loving and thoughtful mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and teachers who bought my books.
And here are some adorable pictures of kids who look like proud owners of my books.
I included those two girls reading The Magic Paintbrush because they both read the book from cover to cover. Thanks to the mothers who patiently waited for them.
It was great to see a familiar face this year. I was pleasantly surprised to see Alena again! She just didn't buy another book but she also came back another day to submit her manuscript. As of the present, we have negotiated a book contract! Yes, this is my second contract to publish another children's books and I'm looking forward to its success. Stay tuned for more details!
Eskwela Natin has been conducting free classes every Sunday on 2450 Florin Road, Sacramento. I was so thrilled when I was asked by Ms. Dolores Diaz to come today and read one of my children's books. "Zoobooloo" was my choice to read to the kids because before that one of the teachers read a Filipino fable entitled "Ang Pagong at ang Matsing" (The Turtle and the Monkey). I had a feeling that they would have a good laugh hearing what happens at night when the gates of Zoobooloo are closed.
It wasn't a mistake! I heard them laughing all throughout my reading! And the biggest surprise was that when I asked what was the moral lesson of the story, a little kid, who raised her hand each time I asked a question, answered, "You have to like you!"
After my storytelling this little kid told me that she loved "Zoobooloo." It made me smile from ear to ear! Little did I know that later on she still had something to tell me and it was the most wonderful thing I ever heard from any kid that had heard me read my book. I had to ask her to say it again so I could take a video and treasure that moment forever! You can see her video on Purple Cotton Candy's Facebook page. Here's the link ~ https://www.facebook.com/purplecottoncandyarts/videos/2175002692745435/
Here she is on the left holding my book. Her name is Ely. As you can see on the right side of the picture, the girl on the right is Aniela. She went home with two of my books. I hope she also enjoys "Another Afternoon in Julia's World."
It wasn't a disappointment to do a book exhibit last Sunday, June 10, during the opening day of Eskwela Natin.
After the program, I was able to interact with several mothers and their children.
I will be back on July 15 for some storytelling time for the kids. Teacher Lilibeth and I will be working together to encourage the kids to write their own books. I'm am really looking forward to that!
Last April 22, I was invited by Susie, owner of Gift from the Heart in Elk Grove to participate in their celebration of Earth Day. I was able to come as a vendor for a couple of hours, but I didn't have extra time to read to the kids. As soon as I showed a copy of my two books and gave a short background about them, I was in a mad dash for my next event, the NCPA Book Awards.
I have nothing else going on on July 15 so I am sure the kids at Eskwela Natin will have ALL of my time.
I’m Christine L. Villa, the creative explorer who eats, sleeps, and breathes everything creative from children’s books, Japanese short-form poetry, to arts and crafts.
To read my Japanese short-form poetry,
please visit Blossom Rain.
To submit your poetry or share your artwork or music, please visit my poetry video journal, Frameless Sky.