Last week I completed the book trailer for my new sci-fi novel, Compile:Quest. A large portion of this process involved listening to audio tracks and watching video clips to get the right look and feel for the trailer. I wanted dark, creepy, ominous and sci-fi. Not too much to ask, I thought.
Anyway, the only reason I’m mentioning this is that when I was invited to join the Booktrack website, I was like, meh, soundtrack for a book, whatever, I’ve already done a book trailer, big whoop.
Except it was a big whoop.
Bigger than a whoop.
It was awesome.
Sleek & Intuitive
First off, the website was sleek and easy to use. the interface was intuitive, which is something I love. The minute I have to go hunt for a tutorial just to accomplish basic actions then you’ve lost me as a user. But I didn’t once have to refer to any help text, or send out a support ticket to find my way around.
And since the online app is so sophisticated, this is quite an achievement. Well done, Booktrack!
Creating (More) Magic
So what’s this all about? Well, Booktrack allows you to take your novel and, chapter by chapter, line by line, word by word, you can add music, ambiance and sound effects to your book. It might sound pretty meh, but believe me, it’s worth it.
For authors, adding sound to your book lets you see your writing in a whole new perspective. I suddenly realised just how tense a scene was, and how more tense the following scene was in comparison. I found all these ebbs and flows within my own work, which was both surprising and enlightening.
I also found a few irregularities in work I’d had proof-read, beta-read, parent-read and self-read countless times. Also, I was envisioning the story from the reader’s point of view for probably the first time. I know that sounds kind of selfish, but I tend to write for myself first, and then smoosh the work into something more palatable after. Seeing my work from the reader/listener’s point of view made me realise just how they (possibly) view my work. Well, sort of. I do have an imagination, so I suppose some of what I said can hold up in a court of law.
So Few Gripes
For the techies, there were really only two suggestions I would make for the general improvement of the site. And usually this list is long and filled with expletives, so Booktrack, again, well done.
The ability to tag songs or put them into a folder for easy access later would be fantastic. What I found happening to me when I was busy adding tracks was that I would play a piece of ambiance or track and then think, this is perfect for scene X where this person and that person do this thing. And then I had to scribble the name down on a piece of paper (the poor trees), and I know I probably won’t remember why I have a list of weird sounding names like “Trespass”, “Tetanus”, “Simple Message” and “Devil Runner” written on my scratch pad. I might just get arrested for terrorist activities or become part of a witch hunt. The more fiery, death side of the hunt.
I did have one person I sent the Booktrack link to mention that they couldn’t turn the page. They also tried it on different browsers. Don’t know how technical that problem might be, but I must admit I took a few seconds of frantic mouse movements to figure that out myself. I probably should have paid more attention to the help overlay when it popped up, but I have a bad habit of clicking too quickly, and there seemed no way to get that overlay back again.
A Novel Way to Experience a Novel
So just what does the reader get out of this? After all, this is why it’s in place? It’s definitely not for me to mess around with for hours while I get just the right sounding giggle for my heroine.
Let’s just say… it’s an experience. Either they love it, or they don’t. But I’m pretty sure more love it than those that don’t. What’s not to love?
- Free e-books.
- With music and sound effects.
- Oh, and did I mention they have a mobile app? Hell yeah they have a mobile app!
Also, all the books on the site are free, so readers can pick and choose from every genre, with tons of selections for each one. There are some high quality reads in there, with authors like Hugh Howey having put their work up. So, if you’re an author, why not give your work a new perspective?
And readers… what are you still doing reading this blog post? You should be on the site already, reading your favourite novel with a soundtrack! Get to it!
So, in conclusion, Booktrack is awesome. I loved the process, which was effortless and well thought out, and I loved the final product, which you can find right here if you’re interested.
This is definitely one for the books.