Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Trailers and Delusions of Adequacy

Been thinking a lot about book trailers this weekend. For the uninitiated, a book trailer is basically a mini movie an author (or duly appointed agent) puts together to try to sell or hype or otherwise publicize a book.

Thinking about book trailers has kind of got me thinking about books in general, specifically the ones I’m writing.

First, “The Hermit of Iapetus,” the story of a slightly off-kilter guy living isolated from humanity on Saturn’s moon Iapetus, where he reads the story of Roald Admunsen’s journey to the South Pole and believes he sees squirrels running free range on the moon’s surface. For some reason, whenever I hear Patsy Cline sing “San Antonio Rose,” I think of this particular story.

Don’t know why I think of this tune, I just do. It’s stuck in my head as I think about this book. Well, it’s a mere short story right now, but I’m thinking it’s going to evolve. There’s just such a contrast between the music and footage from the Cassini mission to the moon:

And what, pray tell, of “Considering How to Run,” the book for which I have a complete first draft?

Well, the trailer is a bit fuzzy. As is the query letter. Which tells me – rightly – that the book itself is fuzzy. So it’s not ready yet. Oh, the idea may be ready some day, but as for now, it needs more work. So chalk up one for navel contemplation here. I’ve often heard it’s wise for a new author to get a manuscript or two or three or four under his or her belt before they go a-fishin’ but I’ve always dismissed that. Until now. Now I begin to see the sense in it. Percolation is a long process, and perhaps writing that query letter or contemplating that book trailer is a good way to tell if the percolation process has gone on long enough.

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