It even has a pre-YouTube book trailer starring a friend who thought the idea was fun. Here it is in all it’s 1999 glory: The Book of Bertrand
It’s so antique it’s quaint. I built the site as a marketing tool aimed at publishers and agents, thinking they’d like a quick and easy way of finding out more about my novel. I didn’t know back then that the publishing industry is extremely conservative, and I’m referring here to the Webster’s definition of conservative: “tending to oppose change.”
I kept track of the page views of the site, expecting that some agents or publishers might visit it a few times, perhaps impressed that I was ready with such a great marketing tool. Guess how many even looked at the page? You guessed it. A big fat zero. In hindsight this should have allowed me to predict how the publishing industry would react to eBooks. The internet is something that even back in 1999 a lot of people wished would just go away.
I even wonder now if having a website hurt my chances of publication. The internet is a big and scary place if you’re resistant to change. I love the internet because it’s changing all the time. Imagine if I’d had Youtube back in 1999. I wouldn’t have had to put up a tiny low res video trailer under the assumption that some people might still be on dial-up with a 56k modem. Yeah, remember that?
I’ll work on a new book trailer with apologies to my friends Mark (who helped shoot it) and Gord (the star). But the times, they are a changing, and they’re going to change again. Who knows what the internet will bring in another decade? My bet is that it’ll be fun and very cool.
Oh, and that very unprofessional voice over: that’s me.