H-P Virkki is a stuntman and stunt coordinator who has written a book Stunts, Scenes and Safety about the skills needed for creating action scenes for movies and home videos. The ebook includes not only plenty of tips for aspiring stunt actors, but also actual video footage on planning and performing stunts on a set.
Stunts, Scenes and Safety was published in April 2015. Recently, H-P Virkki realized that people tended to ask the same questions about his book. We asked the author what the most common question was and what his answer was.
The most common question is: How did you find a publisher? Since it’s an ebook, would it have been possible to publish it without help?
H-P Virkki: “Yes, it is possible to self-publish an ebook, and hire an editing service to help with the manuscript. For me, it was clear that I wanted to work with a professional publisher.”
“In the beginning, I tried out Apple iBooks Author in order to see whether a multimedia book would really be plausible, and to see how illustrations, text and comics would interact. When I realized it worked all right, I focused on the content and trusted that when the time comes, I’ll find a good partner. Only after the manuscript and video segments were ready, I really started to look for a publisher. After I was convinced that I didn’t want a combination of a printed book and a DVD, I decided not to approach many traditional publishers, but rather look for a digital specialist.”
“Finding a publisher wasn’t actually very hard because for over two years, I had kept a close look on ebook experts who were active in the field. Klaava was an obvious number one from the very beginning – not least because they published articles about movies, music and other entertainment in the company blog.”
“The publisher quickly understood my vision, and we started working together almost immediately. I think the main reason was that the publisher found the multimedia aspect of the project visionary, and the movie theme was also down his alley. I just remember that we were both pretty excited because we felt we were doing something new.”
“I really should say a bit more about the benefits of having a professional publisher. It is tremendously helpful to work with a person who has practical solutions and helpful suggestions whenever you are unsure of which way to go. It is also important that someone whose area of expertise is outside your own field keeps asking questions about your own industry. Many things that are obvious to you and your filmmaker buddies are complete gibberish to a normal, balanced reader.”
“In a multimedia book, there is so much to do. You have to design the layout for each book format, take into account all different reading devices, and get the text, drawings, cartoons, links and video clips to work together. I think I was lucky to have a balancing teammate in the project.”
H-P Virkki performs an Aikido excercise at a skate park.
H-P Virkki’s book Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts available now.