Videos for writers? Should they be part of your author brand? Will they help you market books? Yes, yes they will. You’ve heard the phrase “content is king” right? Well, these days Video is king.
- By 2020, EIGHTY PERCENT of consumer Internet traffic will be video.
- 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- Users watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, more than Netflix and Facebook video combined
- On average, there are 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day
It behooves the writer to understand these trends and stay ahead of them. Some writers use fancy video companies to make their videos, or book trailers, I think you can make a perfectly fine video right at home. And here’s how:
1- How long should the video be for an author brand?
Average length of YouTube videos are 4 minutes 24 seconds. The most-watched videos on Facebook are less than a minute long, because let’s face it, nobody has the attention to read War & Peace anymore. Facebook’s algorithm shows Facebook Live videos first and more often. Instagram too. In addition, Twitter videos are more likely to get seen than any text-only tweet.
2- Do I need a huge video camera?
No, a smartphone will do. I would invest in a small microphone to go on your phone but it isn’t necessary. You can get a decent one for $20 on Amazon.
3- Where should I make the video?
It doesn’t matter where. You can be anywhere. The most important thing is sound quality. If you’re outside and the wind is blowing, that’s not gonna work. If you’re inside at the kitchen table while the kids are playing, that’s probably not going to work either.
4- I’m indoors but what type of background?
The less busy the better. You want the listener concentrating on your words, not on your busy background. But a stark white wall will wash you out. A living room, kitchen, or other main room in your house works great as long as it isn’t cluttered. A bookstore, coffee house, museum also work great as long as they aren’t cluttered and noisy.
5- What should I video about?
This is the best part!
Here are five ideas to start incorporating video in your author brand:
1- Who are you? Introduce yourself, your background, your writing. Why you started writing? And why people would want to read your books? Do you have a platform with a message? Put that message out there.
2- Where are your books set? Are they a place you can take video of? How about just part of the setting? Mine are set in a little made up town in Alabama, but based on the town where I grew up. We have two little diners that I just love and those are outstanding places to take video, talk to the staff and locals. Everyone loves free publicity.
3- What is your latest book? Tell the listener all about it in under three minutes. Think of this as the one-page synopsis. If you have footage you can use that might help describe the book, use it.
4- Behind-the-scene with you and your writing space.
Readers and other writers are very interested in the writing process, and everyone loves to be in on the secret. Anything that might be considered “behind the scenes” is golden author brands and for video: a tour of your writing space or a spot you’re researching; character interviews or interviews with your research partners; a quick video of a vacation spot you’re at or a museum you’re visiting.
5- Do a “man on the street” video.
This means grab five people and ask them a question about anything. Latest book they’ve read. What about your book they loved? Who is the president of the United States? These can have something to do with your book or not. The point here is for the reader to get to know you. The more they like you, the more likely they are to read you.
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