I’m one of those people who refuse to move with the times. When the hole in the wall came about I said it wouldn’t last and continued to write cheques and queue up in the bank. When mobile phones came in I looked on with mirth. When word processors arrived I clung to my typewriter. I remember being at an SAS meeting years and years ago when Dave Belbin was talking about the importance of the internet and I let my mind wander. These new fangled things had nothing to do with me.
In the end (a while after everyone else) I got the word processor, computer, mobile phone. I even got a web site.
When I first heard of Youtube I was frankly amazed. What use could it be? I thought. Then my creative team (my sister, my brother and brother-in-law) made a film for me about my new book THE DEAD HOUSE. They put it on Youtube. I was excited. I was thrilled. I was –for once- able to really contribute to the marketing of my book, in my own way.
It got me thinking and wondering why more authors don’t make more use of film. Kids and teens love film. They especially love five minute ‘bites’ of film. Ever since Youtube came on the scene my son sends me links to odd little films that he has enjoyed. I watch them. We talk about them.
A short film where you talk about your book and maybe chuck in a few images (photographs, artefacts, cover shots). You don’t even have to appear. You could have a slide show of stills and talk over them reading out a good bit from the book. It’s a perfect way of reaching a wider audience. And the film can go on your web site forever.
You have to find a camera supremo. No mean feat. But in this day and age of easy access to this high tech equipment there must be someone in your group of friends, relatives that could be leant on (in a nice way).
A year ago (or thereabouts) I read an article on the Bookseller web page where a writer wondered why more writers didn’t make use of blogs. It set me thinking and together with some other writers we set up The Awfully Big Blog Adventure. We’ve been going for nearly a year and the blog changes daily and is a terrific place to find out what’s occupying the thoughts of a motley group of children’s writers.
Likewise children’s writers need to be brave about putting themselves and their work on film. Next step Cannes. Watch out Scorsese.