Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Video Day!

First up, it is officially Operation Teen Book Drop Day, a wonderful day celebrating young adult literature, in which authors are leaving copies of their books in public and publishers are donating 10,000 books to teens on Native and tribal lands. Check out Cynthia Leitich Smith's and Kiersten White's blogs for more.

Now then. There have been some great book-related videos making their way around the Internet, and rather than cram them all at the end of This Week in Publishing I thought I'd put them in one post. You know: kind of like how when you were in school and the teacher
didn't make a lesson planhad some REALLY EDUCATIONAL videos to show you.

(e-mail subscribers, you'll need to click through to the blog to see the videos)

First up, over the weekend I burned through Major Gap Book The Hobbit (loved!) and am now into FOTR, so I was particularly thrilled to see this new movie trailer mashup, which gives "Shining" a run for its money: Wes Anderson's "Fellowship of the Ring" (via Andrew Sullivan):



Next up, for those of you who still don't believe me that e-books will allow books to get better (or at least more beautiful), check out this book trailer for an Alice in Wonderland iPad app:



If you want to get a sense of what reading a non-enhanced e-book is like on the iPad, TeleRead recently reviewed the new Kobo iPad app:



And, of course, now it's time for the obligatory cat video!! Via Mashable, cats love the iPad:







73 comments:

Dara said...

That LotR trailer made me laugh so hard...especially the little text credits:

"I need to fill this space to make it look like a real trailer.

Or

Released by someone with way too much time.

That Alice in Wonderland book on the iPad would make me dizzy :P And of course any video with cats makes me smile!

Susan Quinn said...

Oh God, the cat videos! Why are they so fascinating?? Kitty Beethoven is killing me.

Ahem.

So, in your endless archives, which I have not checked, have you previously opined on the value of book trailers? Is a cheesy one worse than no trailer at all? Do they make your book website just that much snazzier if well done?

Most important, do they increase sales?

Mandy Hubbard said...

You totally missed the one I blogged here: http://mandyhubbard.livejournal.com/225056.html


We are both in it, along with Colleen Lindsay and Kathleen Ortiz. And it is hilarious and upbeat and adorable.

Nathan Bransford said...

mandy-

Yeah, Emilia's video is great!

Chuck H. said...

Great!! Videos!! And me with a download speed of about 1kbps. I'll get back to you sometime next week.

jjdebenedictis said...

Susan Quinn: I think no one knows the answer to that question yet, but I'm about to embark on a study to find out, which you can look at here:

The Book Trailer Project

I'm ready to go live with the study, but I first need to find some writers with book trailers who are willing to participate in exchange for the free publicity.

Carolyn V. said...

Wow, I'm impressed with the Alice in Wonderland! That is very cool!

Matthew Rush said...

I hope you enjoy The Lord of the Rings Nathan. It's still my favorite story.

Anonymous said...

The Alice book is beautiful, but is it reading a book (there's obviously reading involved, but I'm talking novel reading)? It reminds me of an adult version of Leapfrog.

The next app for an iPad: cat babysitter!

Susan Quinn said...

JJ - thanks for the heads up on the study! I will pass it on to my friends with newly released books and trailers. I'm not sure if I'm going to do a trailer or not, but if so I'll be back for the study!

Thanks!

Stephanie L. McGee said...

That cat video is hilarious. (Except it makes me cringe to hear the claws on the computer screen.) Glad you enjoyed Hobbit. Hope you're liking Fellowship just as much. (I personally enjoyed Rings more than Hobbit, but that could be because I read the former first.)

jjdebenedictis said...

Susan Quinn: You're very welcome, and if you do round up some writing friends who would be willing to participate, I'll be very grateful. Thank you so much!

Nathan Bransford said...

Oh - another good one is Margaret Yang's tribute to Donald Maass

Margaret Yang said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Nathan!

Ink said...

It's amazing. That cat has more musical ability than I do.

Kristan said...

Oh god, the cat video was great! And I'm more of a dog person usually. Apple's marketing team really needs to get on that.

Macie said...

Wowza! The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack really changes the feel of FOTR. Hilarious!

Ben Campbell said...

Great. The book vids are smart, and the kitty one is entertaining, but for me it's the iPad that I'm questioning. Will I get it? When I see the demonstrations and diversity of the iPad I will consider getting it.

T. Anne said...

LOVED Alice for the ipad. Now I want all my regular fiction books to have pictures in them as well. ;)

T. Anne said...

Margaret, That was hysterical! You summed up his books quite nicely. Plus bonus points because I heart Lara. Too funny.

Bane of Anubis said...

Steve Jobs, super cyborg, continues his climb to world dominance

WriterGirl said...

while the alice illustrations are beautiful the moving parts are a bit gimmicky.

D. G. Hudson said...

Congrats on reading the Hobbit! It was the first fantasy genre book I read. I also really liked the cat video, especially the piano solo.

Great idea to encourage kids of all cultures to read, and I hope they included some young literary titles with all the YA (i.e., I'm hoping the choices are not all Twilight related as I see in the YA section of the bookstores.)

jjdebenedictis said...

I can see the interactive stuff being fun for kids, but it distracts the reader from getting their head into the world of the novel.

The imagery in books is supposed to be DIY.

Nathan Bransford said...

jj-

I don't know, books have been illustrated from the start. Isn't this the extension of that tradition?

D. G. Hudson said...

Margaret Yang - I'm a big Donald Maass fan myself, and have both his books. The video was great!

The Editors said...

1. I would suggest that Apple makes a cat stylus, but either the cats will hate it and we will be watching videos of them trying to kick them off or they will take over the world.
2. I read both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy first as an adult and I agree the trilogy is better. The story is more complex and The Hobbit is more of a kid’s story where you know that everything will turn out fine in the end. (That and knowing that the main characters need to survive for there to be the trilogy.)

mkcbunny said...

Great videos. Alice looks great. I suppose the form of such embellishments can vary a lot to suit the book in question. For example, kids' picture books might have a lot more moving parts, whereas a book like Fellowship of the Ring might have interactive maps. Or Hidebrandt illustrations. That would be cool.

iPad: World's most expensive cat toy.

Enjoy LotR, Nathan. Have you seen the movies? Not that you need to be surprised by what happens, but I always have trouble not picturing the movie actors when I read books I've seen on on film.

Scott said...

I can see some great applications for graphic novels with e-books. Very cool. As for actual books, I love what Tartarus Press are doing.

ryan field said...

The Alice video is excellent.

Margaret Yang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily White said...

Ahahahaha! "Hobbits truly are amazing creatures...there's a great big root stuck in my back...perhaps not."

Love it! That was great.

Enjoy FOTR, by the way. :)

Timothy said...

I wonder if the Alice app comes without the book text. Just gets in the way of the fun graphics! :)

Anonymous said...

I prefer my old-fashioned edition of Alice. It's got lovely color plates, thick pages, and leaves more room for one's imagination. Who needs this hyped-up version.

Other Lisa said...

NOW I can rationalize an iPad purchase. The cats want it.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Your old fashioned version was new at one point, and I'm sure someone said, "Who needs these color plates? I prefer my black and white version that's nothing but text."

Dana Fredsti said...

Other Lisa, I was just thinking the same thing... but I'd have to get a couple so they don't fight over them...

Anonymous said...

I know you're very pro-iPad, but the Alice-in-Wonderland demo gave me a headache.

Kourtnie McKenzie said...

I watched that cat iPad video yesterday and choked on my tea at work.

I need an e-reader and I have 3 cats. I think I'm sold.

holly said...

that looks cool, i like the alice in wonderland one!

Kristin Laughtin said...

I appreciate video day!

I'm a bit surprised that I haven't heard about TBD Day before, even though I work in a library. Then again, I work for an academic library, so we don't generally know much about anything in the YA world...but I was working in conjunction with the local public library system on a literary festival that took place last weekend, and I would have expected to hear mention of it there, since we did have panels on writers for younger readers.

Wes Andersons' "Fellowship of the Ring" is tripping me out in a different way.

Forwarding iPad kitty to every cat lover I know!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Very interesting video links! I loved the FOTR trailer mashup.

The Alice for Ipad reminded me of when, as a child, if I asked to watch more TV my parents used to answer with, "TV rots your brain." I find myself saying this same thing to my kids now, and it stems from the belief that the more your toys do for you in the way of sound effects, moving parts, moving pictures, etc., the less you have to work your imagination and the more lazy this part of your brain becomes. I know you like eBooks, but for me, the transition from a printed picture book to an electronic, interactive picture book brings the "book" experience too close to that of watching TV or playing a video game (which I do not let my kids do - my husband and I prefer to follow Maria Montessori's school of thought in which the interaction with real, 3-dimentional objects throughout the first 9 years of childhood is crucial to the development of an understanding of the fundamentals of physics, mathematics, etc.). I thought the Alice for iPad app was beautiful, but I'd rather my kids use their own brains to imagine that stuff.

The Kobi iPad app was also interesting. I have to admit that it is the most attractive one that I have seen so far, and I like the bookshelf layout. I am wondering how the "free eBooks" play out in terms of author royalties: are there any? And it made me laugh when he said, of the books in the Kobi store, "You can read them on virtually any device, except for a Kindle." Way to stick it to Amazon!

Thanks again for the post. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's offerings.

Ishta Mercurio said...

An addendum to my last post: I do let my kids watch TV. Just not very much, and not very often.

Word verification: mulurlin. After that FOTR trailer mashup, how appropriate is that? I can imagine this as an actual word in Frodo's world.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Speaking as a writer/illustrator, I just finished my first attempt at Digital Painting, (still learning the program)... see here,
http://www.jacketflap.com/profile.asp?member=PYXX

(It's the candle and mouse pic)

I used Corel Painter 11 and a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet (L)... I'm excited about the possibilities of digitally uploading my words and illustrations for my own ebook!

Exciting times, exciting times!

Haste yee back ;-)

Haste yee back ;-) said...

What I want to say is... there's never been a time in my creative history when the cards were more in my hands.

I will rise or fall on the merits of my stories and pictures... I'll live or die at the behest of the masses. You can't ask for more; a chance presenting itself!

Haste yee back ;-)

Marilyn Peake said...

Glad you enjoyed THE HOBBIT. I think it’s an awesome novel.

J. T. Shea said...

I read Marilyn Peake's forum comments about I-Pad spying and censorship and control freak Steve Jobs and think Apples are as bad today as they were back in the Garden of Eden. Then I read Nathan PUSHING a cool I-Pad ALICE app! Does that make Nathan a latter-day Devil?
The Kobo monkeys are nice, though. BUT NO! I must not yield to temptation! And that cat was just feeling for the OFF switch, Nathan. Meanwhile the Curtis Brown movie rights department can have fun figuring out where print rights end and performing rights begin, E-bookwise.

Sissy said...

Love the cat video!

The husband and I checked out the iPad this weekend at our local Mac store (which only came to town last year and we were there on opening day) and had fun playing with it. He wants it, because it is a Mac product. I want it to read books. Of course, he wants the $800 version, so it may take awhile.

J. T. Shea said...

Don’t encourage Donald Maass! He’ll just build a themepark in Florida and then every agent will have to have one. And we’ll all have to learn and sing that song. Quite different from the last movie I heard the Mouseketeer song in, FULL METAL JACKET! Now let’s hear the I-Pad cat play/sing it.

Marilyn Peake said...

J. T. Shea,

Whoa. I’m assuming you were kidding around, but I just wanted to make it absolutely clear that I don’t feel that way about Nathan or anyone else who buys an iPad. The iPad’s shiny. Lots of people will fall in love with its shininess. Before I buy a product, I personally do lots of research to make sure that that product is exactly what I want. The iPad in its presence version isn’t for me. As similar products with equal shininess come onto the market, I’ll probably buy one of those instead. I think we’re in an era in which lots and lots of new technology will come into existence. I’m delighted that I’ll get to choose exactly which versions I prefer. At some point, I definitely hope to own a 3-D TV. Those look exceptionally cool. I won’t buy first generation, though, because first generation technology usually has problems. I’m very happy I bought the second version of the Kindle rather than the first.

Marilyn Peake said...

J. T. Shea,

Oh what the heck, here’s another fascinating article about Steve Jobs, the iPad, the struggles within the publishing industry itself, and Steve Jobs when he was young: Young Steve Jobs and why 2010 might be like 1984. The video of Steve Jobs when he was young is really fascinating to watch – also, kind of sad since we now know he’s suffered pancreatic cancer in later years.

J. T. Shea said...

I was indeed kidding around, Marilyn. But I am concerned about the lack of interoperability in modern gadgets. Communication devices should communicate. I am much impressed with the thoroughness of your research and indeed Nathan’s.
I see that Jeffrey Katzenberg and others are predicting 3D handheld devices without glasses very soon and small 3D TVs without glasses in a few years. But I’m waiting for the I-CAT, which won’t print or have a camera but will have free fur-balls and run on sardines. Mouse operation could be a problem though...

Trish said...

That cat is a hoot! Loved the video.

Marilyn Peake said...

J. T.,

Thanks. I love doing research.

Ha!Ha!Ha! I love your description of an I-CAT.

Wow – 3D handheld devices and 3D TVs without glasses? That’s fascinating. How would those work?

jjdebenedictis said...

Nathan: Illustrations are very different from something that moves and which you can play with. As I said, this would be great for kids, but if a typo or a clunky sentence can jar me out of a story, how distracting will an illustration that keeps wiggling its ears be?

I think the multimedia stuff erodes the reading experience. It's pretty, and it's cool, but what I love about books is submerging myself in the story, not playing with the cover art.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Katzenberg also says Hollywood has about six to eight months to figure out what it's gonna do with 3-D... Point being, THE TITANS opened to good box office, but it was shot in 2-D and then run through a 3-D process... Katzenberg calls this the cheap method in contrast to AVATAR which is state of the art/ART.
Katzenberg's conclusion - if Hollywood keeps throwing out the cheap 3-D, audiences will walk, whereas, if Hollywood goes the extra mile, AVATAR style, 3-D may be the biggest cash producer since color!

So, wait a year, year 1/2, before you buy 3-D TV and glasses -- you just may not have anything to watch!

Also, there now exists HD Digital hand-held cameras that produce Big Screen quality images, (movies) in ambient light that cost under 10K...

Question, how far behind is a revolution in indie film making comparable to ebook self publishing?

Relevance to this discussion... another Digital breakthrough which could change entertainment as we know it!

Haste yee back ;-)

Mira said...

Terrific stuff, Nathan - very fun. Love the cat video - too adorable.

The possiblities shown by the Alice video - wow. A whole new art form is about to be created. I'm with Haste Ye Back - this is an amazing time.

New collaborations, too. Authors and artists and actors will come together to create this new type of book. It's exciting.

And isn't the Hobbit wonderful? I hope you love LOTR - it's not quite as loveable as the Hobbit, of course, but it's a story of true courage and sacrifice. Frodo is the real hero in the books, unlike Sam, who is the hero in the movies. It's worth reading for that perspective alone, I think.

Well, what I really think is that in the movies - Frodo was robbed.

Marilyn - have you considered academic publishing in addition to mainstream. I think alot of journals could use your intelligence.

Marilyn Peake said...

Haste yee back,

I’m definitely waiting to buy a 3D TV. The first ones are very expensive, and they’re bound to improve. I think the different ways in which 3D movies are made is really interesting, and I’m fascinated to learn here on this blog that we might soon be able to watch 3D without glasses. AVATAR was beautiful. I saw a show with James Cameron and the AVATAR actors, and they talked about how James Cameron actually invents some of his own cameras. Apparently, Martin Scorsese will be shooting his next film in 3D. A filmmaker friend of mine has one of those HD digital handheld cameras, and it is truly awesome. The RED ONE camera – which can be rented – is even more awesome for making indie films.

Marilyn Peake said...

Mira,

Holy camoly, you just made my day! Thank you! And here I was afraid someone might soon tell me, Just shut up already! Thank you.

terripatrick said...

Glad you loved The Hobbit. TLOR is awesome. I remember The Two Towers feeling like a long read the first time through, don't worry it's sooo worth it. Of course I've read them all about 7 times over the paste decades.

Every read gives me something new and only when you've read the books do you really appreciate the mastery that was brought to the movies.

J. T. Shea said...

Marilyn, AUTOSTEREOSCOPY is what they call 3D without glasses, apparently. Wikipedia has an entry about it.

GerriB said...

Here's an IPad story for you...

Jens Stoltenberg, who was in New York for President Barack Obama's nuclear summit, is running the Norwegian government from the United States via his new iPad, his press secretary Sindre Fossum Beyer said.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/04/15/iceland.flights/index.html?hpt=T2

Ted Cross said...

Yay! Nathan read The Hobbit and is starting LOTR! I know it makes no sense, but it makes me feel I will have a slightly better shot at getting you as my agent once I am ready to query.

Kate Evangelista said...

Since you're reading FOTR, you may want to check out the History Channel documentary Clash of the Gods: Tolkien's Monsters. It looks at how Tolkien actually put together his books and his inspirations for the mythology.

Liberty Speidel said...

The cat/iPad video is enough to make me want to get an iPad just to torture my cat!

Good luck on your LOTR reading... I had to get through the trilogy in unabridged audiobooks--each book was between 22 & 26 hours! Yikes!

Ivan said...

"those of you who still don't believe me that e-books will allow books to get better "
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO - not better or more beautiful. Maybe, just maybe, more interesting in certain circumstances (like if you're a ten yr old with ADD).
It reminds me of that time just before everyone started to take the Web seriously, when CD based multimedia was considered to be the future and everyone was furiously adding stuff like this to texts like that. It was awful then and it is awful now. It is in the interactivity and the creativity and the extension of the everyday that technology adds value, not really in pissing about with bells and whistles, especially when the text is already near perfect (by text I mean words and pictures as in, every text is an intertext)

Sara said...

A relative just showed me his Ipad with Alice in Wonderland on it - it was much more beautiful than the lovely old monocolor book I have of it, though the thrill of turning the pages would no doubt wear off. The potential for children's books is huge.

And, I would not take my nice old paper/board/cloth copy into the rain, or the bath. I can put the Kindle in a good ziplock bag. Touch-screen technology not so great with ziplocks, but I imagine they can waterproof (and dustproof) these things, in time.

lotusgirl said...

Bring on the progress.

Keefieboy said...

God, I hope the cat's claws stay in!

Rowenna said...

I have to question e-books making books more beautiful--perhaps the average book will be prettier than a plain paperback, but is anything more lovely than antique books with finely stamped covers and engravings? Or illuminated manuscripts? Because I don't think any format for our literature is lovelier than those.

But combine reading LOTR with that hilarious mash-up--that's what I call epic :) And only possible with a multimedia device like ye olde ipad, certainly.

Marilyn Peake said...

Thanks, J. T., for information about the name AUTOSTEREOSCOPY. I wondered if 3D without glasses would have to be made with only one camera rather than two cameras. It looks like that might be true, and that it might involve a revolutionary type of camera that captures images from multiple perspectives. I found a patent advertisement about it: here. Thanks for telling me about this. I definitely don't understand most of the technical aspects behind this, but I find it fascinating.

Sommer Leigh said...

I think that e-readers are going to give authors and storytellers a new avenue for experimenting with storytelling. Whether it becomes the norm or not, I don't know. I think that creating multi-dimensional book experiences could be quite pricey though.

It reminds me of the possibilities that the internet and other multi-media have given rise to in storytelling, like:

253 Geoff Ryman (http://www.ryman-novel.com/)

Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson (http://www.eastgate.com/catalog/PatchworkGirl.html)

Paranoland by Patrick Boivin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGo0UWNe2nU&playnext_from=TL&videos=u53e_lxRu34)

Tambra said...

Thanks for posting the link to the iPad cat.

The dog video was funny, too.

Best,
Tambra

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