The making of a Walter Payton book trailer (aka: your chance to win an advanced, autographed copy of Sweetness)

So it’s the year 2011, and authors have book trailers.

It’s a strange thing; certainly a sentence I never envisioned writing, oh, six months ago. But here I am, my Walter Payton biography due to come out in early October, and I’m working on a trailer.

Enter: You.

The video above is my very, very, very, very rough attempt at doing this. A close friend of mine, who actually, ahem, does this sort of thing for a living, has agreed to help. But I told her I’d start with my own version, just to piece together some sort of an idea.

Anyhow, here’s the thing: I’m well aware my version isn’t very good. It’s choppy; you can see the edge of my TV in the video clips; the audio quality needs to be improved (volume, mainly). So what I’m asking is for advice. Please e-mail me at with book trailer ideas. I’m talking what should be in them, how long should they last, font quality, wording, etc.* People might not think about this, but marketing a book is second in importance behind writing the dang thing. If a biography is released, and nobody knows, well … poof. Gone, like that.

I will read absolutely every bit of criticism/advice/wisdom offered, and the three entries that I deem most helpful will receive advanced, autographed copies of Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton.

And please, good friends, pass this one around. My plea for assistance is sincere.

PS: The rap—done by a very close, very talented friend of mine, DJ White Owl. Formerly the lead rapper for Bad Ronald.

*PPS: The one thing I can’t include are video from his playing days with the Bears. The NFL owns that footage, and it’s crazy expensive.