New Book Trailer Magical Realism

Book Trailers 2016

Each and every book author – whether they are just beginning or celebrated NY Times bestsellers – need exposure, meaning eyeballs on their books – and this on an ongoing basis. Even the most amazing book simply doesn’t exist – at least not in the physical world – if no one knows about it, if nobody reads it. This is why an original book trailer that truly captures the essence and the soul of a story is a fabulous way for any author to convey an atmosphere, a theme, to get a message across and entice potential readers and lovers of fine books to find what they’re looking for and reach out right there and then to get the object of their desire on Amazon, Kindle, Audible or iTunes – without any delay! Still filled with the feeling . . . the emotion . . . the brief glimpse they got from that other world will continue to carry them away!

Book Trailers on YouTube

As we all know, today’s Internet is exploding with a cacophony of ‘information’. Within it all, a mega monolith – Amazon – spitting out new book titles every day like red hot lava from a bottomless volcano, it’s not easy to get noticed or even stand out – especially, if you’re a rather private person . . . as I know many authors and artists are in order to keep their focus and their creative flow.

Besides, one might think that – just because we are so accustomed to those dazzling, blinding and often outrageously costly movie trailers – a comparatively simple and tacit yet meaningful and authentic book trailer on YouTube is too low-key . . . too discreet . . . to be heard or seen and may never be picked up.

However, with YouTube and Google still being a relatively even playing field for all of us who compete on the digital highway – meaning that even a small video has the chance to reach Google Top 10 and be visible to those who search, it may just be that its charm and effectiveness lies exactly therein: In being different!

Does that make it stand out?

One never knows unless one tries – so here goes! If you came this far, please have a look at “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” book trailer on YouTube and give it a thumbs-up and a friendly comment! All that drives the engine, each click counts.

You will find links and details in the description underneath the video. The novel is available in both print, paperback and on Kindle. It was just published as an Audiobook on Audible, iTunes and Audiobooks. I plan to complete Book II of the trilogy “Dance Between Worlds” in 2017.

Can YOU believe that we’re almost there . . . ?


What Readers Said

What Readers Are Saying . . .

Mystical journey, endearing!

“I went up into the mountains
Waiting under the stars
Long before you were born
Long before you were in my womb
You were just a wish in my heart
An idea in my mind
A memory of what should be, I had.

On a night like this
In a state of bliss
I drank from the sacred source
Through time shifting
A dream was drifting
To meet with destiny’s course.

It imbued me
A light of magic Blue
Recalling a distant melody.
Water running through my fingers
Knowing you.”

This is the magic of Bianca Gubalke’s ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’, a gosling Egyptian goose in South Africa. Beautiful prose flows through every page, with the daunting lilt and inspiration of Johnathon Livingston Seagull. Ms. Gubalke paints a canvas with words so enticing that no one can doubt that all she sees is beautiful. Her work is enchanting and ripe with descriptions that defy the imagination. Through it all, we follow the path of PiuPiu, the gosling Pippa raised.

This is a book about love, life’s circle and never ending hope.

~ By Rose Sefton (5 Star Review on – 11 October 2016

Book Review of "The Immortal Life of Piu Piu" on Amazon

Thank you for this sensitive book review of ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”

Visionary Fiction

While “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” is categorized within the genre “Magical Realism”, I would personally prefer to call it “Visionary Fiction”. Unfortunately, however, there is not – yet – a category called “Visionary Fiction” on Amazon.

The novel is available in both print, paperback and on Kindle. It was just published as an Audiobook on Audible, iTunes and Audiobooks.

I plan to complete Book II of the trilogy “Dance Between Worlds” in 2017. I hold my breath at the thought that we’re almost there . . .

New Audiobook on Audible

Recording your first Audiobook

Once my visionary fiction novel “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” was published, both in print as a paperback version and as an ebook on Kindle,  the next step was to add the audiobook version.

Why an audiobook?

Obviously, people who are blind benefit greatly from audiobooks, but there are more and more individuals who like to listen not only to music when they drive or commute, go for walks, cook or just want to close their eyes and relax – but also to audiobooks. It’s still a growing market – and an exciting one!

NEW RELEASE: Audiobook "The Immortal Life of Piu Piu"

How to record your first audiobook

Would you want a professional team to produce your audiobook start to finish – or do you consider narrating it yourself? What are the options?

As I have a background in filmmaking, I know what a good narrator, music and the whole technical setup and the production itself costs – and it still does today. There are many reasons for this. Think of your favourite movie. There is no separation between images and sound, meaning, both are equally important. That’s how crucial sound is, respectively, the music or the spoken word.

A very strong consideration for me was – and still is for the future – that the right choice of professional narrators adds another layer to my story through their personal interpretations. It becomes alive . . . it becomes fuller, bigger, grows beyond what it has already been. Yes, I’d LOVE to see that happening one day with “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”!

That’s why I was very excited when reading about Audible on Amazon and the vast online audio production possibilities offered through ACX – from technical expertise to great narrators, including the option of a royalty split. All sounded great – until I understood that this option was not available for those of us who do not live in the US or the UK. Duhh . . . again! Big disappointment!

My journey into alternative ways started. Local productions with actors. Online possibilities. These were soon no option due to escalating exchange rates to the U$ of over 1:15. Various avenues promising to get one’s work onto Amazon that did not really convince me and seemed risky. Long story – and to make it short, I decided to narrate my story myself. Many readers prefer to listen to the author narrating their own work – it’s a way of bonding that I can resonate with. I enjoy listening to authors whose work I love and respect. After all, their voice, their emotions, their breathing is part of them. Frankly, who knows more about the content and finesse of a book than its creator?

Besides, I’ve done interviews and other recordings in the past and, while I’d love my favourite actors to narrate my book for the exact reasons I mentioned before, this beautiful dream won’t happen just yet. So I decided to learn how to record, edit and produce the audiobook myself!

Once that decision was taken, I flew off to the races, set up my little ‘audio studio’ as per instructions, learned how to use Audacity and recorded, edited and converted my Audiobook within about 6 weeks of hard and highly concentrated labour!

Fiction or Non-Fiction

There is a huge difference between recording non-fiction of say 180 pages, or fiction of 358 pages with different characters, suspense-driven moments and times where you just float.  As a narrator, you’re in that other world but you have to ensure that your reader follows you and enjoys the journey.  You want to give it your everything – right from your solar plexus . . .  where you have to carefully control your breathing.  Thank Heavens for my yoga and meditation practice! Then, you have to be energetic all the time – if you’re not, it means a break. You’ve got to stop and refuel. And you do get tired. And you do make mistakes. Everyone does. It means repeats . . . sometimes a whole number of them until it just sounds right. Have others listen into your recording and give you honest and constructive feedback – that really helps, builds courage and confidence . . .  to get through it all! It’s a BIG task!

Besides, to be eligible for Whispersynch on Amazon – meaning that brilliant way where you may read the book on your Kindle and then, later, continue via the audiobook, it will be pick up exactly where you stopped reading before . . . which means that each word has to be exactly as in the book. Utmost perfection, word per word. And no music . . .

NEW RELEASE: Audiobook "The Immortal Life of Piu Piu" Audiobook

Technical specifications of an Audiobook

As you may have gathered, I finally found an experienced and trustworthy audiobook publisher. This allows me to get onto Audible, iTunes and many other audiobook platforms legally while living outside the US and the UK – against a fair share of my royalties. I converted my audio files into mp3’s, which were then mastered – according to exact technical specifications – by a professional sound engineer. After that, all had to be uploaded following a specific protocol, together with the digital bookcover, a description and other details.

After careful quality checks, the book was – and still is – “Pending our review of your content” for various audiobook platforms.

I wondered how long that would take? I was told: “Up to six weeks.” Oh no, that’s almost Christmas then??

The Immortal Life of Piu Piu available on Audible

Imagine my joy when my Audiobook appeared on Amazon (Audible) after just a few days!!! I’m looking forward to seeing it on Whispersynch as well, which means that it would be eligible for Kindle readers at a discounted upgrade price! So exciting!

Pricing of audiobooks

Talking of prices for an audiobook. These differ from retailer to retailer, but the defining factor is the length of the book – in my case a whopping 10 hours and 49 minutes! You really get value for your money . . . including a magical journey into another world . . .

Here are a few pricing guidelines:

  • Less than one hour: U$7.00 and less
  • 1 to 3 hours: U$7 to U$10
  • 3 to 5 hours: U$10 to U$20
  • 5 to 10 hours: U$15 to U$25
  • 10 to 20 hours: U$20 to U$30
  • Over 20 hours: U$25 to U$35.

At the end of the day, a maximum of 25% of the retail price go to the rights holder (the author/narrator). That’s for non-exclusive distribution.

Need Help?

It takes courage to go on this journey alone – so it’s great to have advice from experienced authors or guidance from experts in the field. Yes, I know – it’s a jungle. I’ve been there. If you need that help or some orientation, do leave a note for me in the comments box. I gladly help!

And if you enjoy a special story, consider my debut audiobook and leave a review! That would be sooo special!






What readers said

Book Review “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” :

Adding more light to the world

Book Review of "The Immortal Life of Piu Piu" on Amazon

A truly magical and enchanting ‘fairy tale’ – taking the ‘ordinary’ and making it quite ‘extraordinary!’ The adventures, heartaches, surprises and unquestionable love take us on a journey of greater awakening to our inner heart connection with all life on our beloved earth! It is a precious book – brilliantly conceived and lovingly given to the world to add more Light. Thank you Bianca.

          ~ By Anthea (5 Star The Immortal Life of Piu Piu by Bianca Gubalke) – 9 October 2016

About Amazon Customer Reviews

 ‘Word-of-mouth’ is known as the most effective – and, probably, the most honest as well as intuitive and innocent – way of ‘influencing’ other people, especially people we care for. If I go to the movies and love the film, I’ll tell my friends about it, so they have that wonderful experience as well. If the food in a restaurant was awful and the service sucked, I’ll make sure my close friends and family are at least alerted to it so they don’t have that same experience. It’s in no way forcing a decision onto anyone. We alert, Warn. Advise. It’s a good, well-meant tip we share so that others can enjoy equal benefits or avoid pain, disappointment or traps.

Of course, indirectly, it’s also a way of ‘marketing’ . . . and online giants like eBay, TripAdvisor and Amazon – to name just a few – have recognized the opportunity early on and cleverly integrated this helpful human trait and behaviour into their marketing strategy.

It’s nothing new. It’s proven. And it always works.

The eBay Customer rating system shows which vendor is reputable, trustworthy and reliable – like a good friend advising us where to buy, who to avoid.

TripAdvisor’s rating system benefits from travellers and holiday makers around the world rating their accommodation – like a good friend telling us where to go, which places to avoid and why, even with photos as proof. That this can also be manipulated and abused is true but I won’t go into that in this article.

And, finally, in the Amazon bookstore or in the Kindle Shop potential readers who browse the digital shelves, not knowing exactly what they want, aren’t only influenced by shiny bookcovers and sexy titles and descriptions, but also by customers who reviewed a book or simply posted comments about what they liked or hated. Not to forget the star rating system! If a book only has 1 star Amazon customer reviews, we probably continue to look for another title with at least a few 5-star reviews, to make an informed decision.

If I know what I want, reviews may offer me different insights, which I may find interesting, but they wouldn’t normally influence me in my decision to buy.

So it becomes clear:

From an author’s perspective – and bearing in mind the huge competition in this book publishing arena today – it is crucially important to have as many good Amazon customer reviews as possible to attract potential and spontaneous buyers to our oeuvre – whether we’re traditionally published, self-published (indie authors) or hybrid authors (i.e. doing both). Simply put, reviews mean readers.

The growth of our list of reviews has an immediate effect on the Amazon search algorithm and will result in showing our book more often, like in ‘More items to consider’ for instance. This means more visibility for a book – ideally resulting in more sales.

A prodigious author phenomenon like J.K.Rowling can literally blind us with thousands of reviews due to a huge international following and a massive social media platform. All this is based on astronomical marketing budgets and strategies around the world, which even capture our little dreaming village down here at the end of the world at times and hold it in its firm grip for a week or two. Brilliant – but certainly something any new and/or aspiring author can only dream of!  But dreaming is good! J.K.Rowling did exactly this. She had a vision . . . before she became who she is today. And you become what you think . . .

How to get book reviews

However, any ‘normal’ author knows that readers love to read but they seldom take the time to leave a review. Without at least a few book reviews any form of marketing makes no sense as potential readers and buyers want to see at least some reviews.

It becomes even trickier for those of us not living in the US or the UK: When readers buy books on Amazon in say France, Britain or Germany AND leave honest reviews, these only show in that specific country as Amazon cannot synchronize them yet. So they don’t count! It’s a bitter pill to swallow.

There is a slight remedy as they can be integrated as Editorial Reviews – but that doesn’t up the numbers – and it’s the numbers that count. Whether it’s 10 reviews. Or 56 reviews. . .

So where do we get more readers – and readers who not only love reading but also leave book reviews?

Let’s talk about that in another article . . .