Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Booktrailer Tech Tip: What do I write?

What you write in your booktrailer is completely up to you...it's what makes a trailer unique. But here are some tips to get started:

1. Use quotes out of the book. Did you read something that make you stop to read it again? Use it in a quote with an image to reflect it!

2. End with a rhetorical question. It'll make the viewer ask him/herself, "What happens next?" That's the response you're wanting. I usually put mine at the end of the trailer

3. For a more polished trailer, Do NOT add wording to every single slide! Your images should tell the story as much as your words. Putting words between every single slide takes away from a more elegant trailer.

4. Say it simply...and yes, use two word slides together if you need more room.

Monday, June 28, 2010

After by Amy Efaw

Devon sits wrapped up tight after IT went away. Even when her mother gets home, Devon continues to wrap herself up tight emotionally and physically. But when the police come into the apartment, her blankets are ripped away and what is exposed is what happened to Devon, what she did….

For most of her life, Devon felt like she was control of her world. Soccer was the center, but her academics revolved around that. She had her coach, her best friend Katie, and her mother, with no on else allowed into her world. But one summer she met him….the one who took her breath away, the one she let her guard down for. And that one time left Devon punishing herself for letting her carefully orchestrated life go. That was nine months ago. Today, the police found the baby in a trashcan outside of the apartment. Covered in trash, with the plastic bag tied shut, it was barely alive when they took her to the hospital.

Now Devon sits in a juvenile facility for criminals, awaiting trial to determine whether she should be tried as an adult or not. Her only hope is to divulge in detail what eve she denies to a lawyer she doesn’t quite trust.

Amy Efaw has written an emotionally charged novel about one fifteen year old’s experience. Horrific to imagine is the act of what Devon did herself, but what makes this novel even deeper is the psychological and emotional layers that Efaw writes about as well. Those teen readers who enjoy reading realistic fiction will devour this novel. Includes a short afterward about this topic that has made headlines in national news.

Trying to keep up....

To anyone following this blog, please forgive my lack of posts. I've been going going going online and offline since summer started. Traveling for workshops and moderating a 23 Things as well as representing our state's school libraries is slowly cathcing up with me. I'll be back up soon with plenty of reviews, a new trailer in the works, and some more tech tips. Going to start working on those today before heading out the door tomorrow for more workshopping : )

Besides all this, I have to say there is payback. Seeing how the librarians who've gone through the workshops come out with new ideas and products they've made during our time together; me learning tricks and tips from them as well; sitting with librarians from all over the country looking at the issues facing them and how it reflects our profession as a whole; getting to visit our nation's capital and some of the best cities in our state; meeting up with old friends and making new acquaintances; working side-by-virtual-side with my fellow colleagues in my district and seeing the AMAZING work they've done with this pilot program....all worth it...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Trailer Tech Tip Monday: The TRINITY...

I'm in San Antonio doing a booktrailer workshop with some wonderful librarians from all over South Texas. Linda Holder (of TLC listserv) and Pat Strawn are even sitting in on this one too!! : )
As I was talking about booktrailer tips, I remembered I haven't done one today, so here it is.

Like video transitions, title transistions work the same way. Simple is better. The three title transitions that should be the most often used are:
zoom in
zoom out
fade, slow zoom

Of course other transitions could be used depending on the book, genre, theme et al, but there are the "Coco Chanel" of the lot...timeless, beautiful, and never out of style.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Trailer Tech Tip: Less is More

One thing that really bogs down a trailer is adding TOO MUCH...too many transitions, too many effects... Simple is better by far. Here are the three transitions on moviemaker I use the most because they're hard-working and do the job everytime:
1. fade
2. dissolve
3. page curl (for multiple images in a row), and
4. shatter in where the denouement is revealed.

There are lots of other transitions, but the ones the are simple are the ones that seem to make the trailer more polished...
Next week I'll talk about effects : )

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Need to laugh today?

Even if you don't, you have to try this. A fellow librarian in my district shared this with our group.
Type into Google "Things Librarians Fancy" and be prepared!! Hilarious stuff!!!

The Gardener by S.A.Bodeen

Living in Melby Falls surrounded by the almighty corporation TroDyn can change the way you view your future, and this is especially true for Mason. He sees what the corporation has done to his mother and wants no part of it. Mason plans to attend Standford and get out of town, but there’s a catch….he doesn’t have the money for Stanford unless he gets a scholarship that requires him to work for TroDyn. Mason is in a catch-22. But one night changes his entire life….

Mason knew his mother was keeping secrets, but he didn’t know how big those secrets were. When he opens his mother’s private documents, the secrets she’s been hiding from him confuses him even more…and they all involve TroDyn. Mason decides to confront his mother at work, and when he gets there he sees something very creepy. Accidentally, he awakens one of them and when she begs for help, he takes her, one of TroDyn’s best kept experimental secrets, with him. And the chase begins…

I’ve been wanting to read this book, and it was a pleasant surprise to see it on my front door when I came home one day. Combining science with fiction, S.A. Bodeen has written another great YA thriller. The topics this author has taken on are not in the regular norm of topics, but that’s what makes her stand out in the crowd. She takes the bleak scenario of the world food bank vs. the world population explosion and creates a fictionalized scientific way to combat that, but then continues to explore what would happen if could be used in an ulterior way the experiment was created for. Students who’ve read The Compound or enjoy YA thrillers, will want to pick this up. Perfect for all middle and high school readers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday tech tip cancelled...just for this week

Graduation, baby!!! My foreign exchange student is walking the stage and going to leave us soon, and my daughter is going to be in high school next year...where did the time go?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Gemma Toombs remembers her old life. She hung out with her friends in the park, took the double-decker bus to school everyday, came home to parents who wanted only the best for her, which she didn't see as in her best interests. She traveled with her parents because of her mother's job and this is where her old life slammed to a halt - in an airport in Bangkok.
She was irritated with her parents and needed a break. It was just one cup of coffee...just one cup of coffee with a stranger she felt like she knew. His ice blue eyes, strong body, tanned skin. It was just harmless flirtation with a guy older that what she'd ordinarily flirt with. When he brought back her coffee, it was only a matter of minutes before she started feeling lightheaded, disoriented...then the world blacked out.
And she woke up in hell. Outside of the shack he took her to, all she could see for miles was red sand and some giant boulders. No one else in sight. No movement. No sound. And then he told her, "I'm keeping you forever."
This is Gemma's story, told to the reader through a letter she wrote to Ty. Her letter shows the duality of Ty's role in her life, past and present - when she didn't know he was there and when she is only too close to him. All Gemma wants is to leave, but how?
For a first novel, Lucy Christopher brings out the best in white-knuckled reading. The reader can only guess what will happen between Gemma and Ty and the ultimate ending of their relationship. Along the way, Gemma describes her eventual psychological breakdown, not realizing it for what it truly is until it is named at the end of the book. This is one that will capture the YA audience within just a few pages. If your teens liked Feathered by Laura Kasischke, they'll equally enjoy this one. Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Summer Reading List

I'm shooting for at least twenty books read over the summer, but it's like losing weight...sometimes the intentions are better than the outcome. But at least books aren't calories!! So here's what I'm reading and/or going to read:

1. Stolen by Lucy Christopher (halfway done, so consider this my cheat!)

2. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (1/3 done...this is my "challenge" book - not a genre I read too much but the kids love it!)

3. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green (I've heard the premise, want to see what it reads like)

4. Nicholas Dane by Melvin Burgess (he's gritty, gutsy - wonder if this is another great Burgess novel)

5. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (okay, I admit it...cover looked good)

6. My Invisible Boyfriend By Susie Day (I need romance sometimes to cut through the taste of the stark reality and/or dark romance that permeates YA fiction)

7. Fallen by Lauren Kate (got to read a fallen angel book....)

8. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (followed by a werewolf book)

9. Zen & Xander Undone by Amy Kathleen Ryan (love this author and am hoping for good things with this one - it's a short read too!)

10. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (murder mystery)

11. The Poison Eaters and other stories by Holly Black (short stories)

12. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell (saw the second movie, and this book got rave reviews by the girls who read it in the library)

13. After by Amy Efaw (this is a TAYSHAS nomination...I want to stay on top of that incredible list)

14. The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford (this has been sitting in my "to read" box long enough - time to read it)

15. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern (the subject of some excellent reviews. I can't help but want to read it too)

16. The Read Leather Diary by Lily Koppel (historical fiction...yes!)

17. Me, The Missing and the Dead by Jenny Valentine (can she top her amazing Broken Soup novel?)

18. Jane: a modern retelling of Jane Eyre by April Lindner (this time I hope Rochester GETS IT!!)

19. Procession of the Dead by Darrern Shan (boy book, boys, come on...it's Darren Shan)

20. Hold Still by Nina LaCour (realistic fiction I've had in my "to read" pile since October)

Of course, this is a static list - things can come and go, but it's a beginning. A lot of these are arcs, and I can't wait to see what else comes in, but I'm set!! So, while teachers are turning in their grades, I can turn me some pages. Let summer begin!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Booktrailer Tech Tip: Easiest Way to Save Your Sanity

This is a small, simple, easy-to-do tip and one you should do often. It will save countless minutes (or maybe hours!) of frustration. Say it like a mantra, especially if you're using Windows XP...

XP has a little kink in it where you'll freeze up. Then you have to do an alt-control-delete to shut down the program and bring it back up again. And if you didn't save, you'll have to start from the beginning again! So remember...


If you're using Windows Vista, the kink isn't there - they must have fixed it. But from past experience, this one tip will make you happy : )