Trying to decide whether it’s worth making YouTube videos to advertise my indie books.
The Smashwords publishing guides suggests video as a good form of marketing, as it exposes your work to an audience that may not have otherwise come across it. However, I am no filmmaker. This was confirmed the other day when I was making a preliminary attempt at a video to see what it might look like, and I wound up filming sideways. Had to do several tests, filming a few seconds and then sending them to my email, and then opening it in MovieMaker, just to know which way to hold my iPad. I probably could have looked it up but … it didn’t occur to me. Honestly.
There are many fabulous online videos, and I’m sure YouTube, alongside Netflicks and Hulu and other things we don’t have in Australia yet, will soon take over television completely. But many people take the tagline “Broadcast Yourself,” in my opinion, a little too literally. Honest, simple home video footage aside, I believe these videos should have considerable thought and effort behind them. And, unfortunately, many don’t. There are too many questionable videos posted on YouTube, questionable in both content and quality. I don’t want to add to add to them with my shoddy advertising clips.
But, putting aside personal feelings and going back to marketing opportunities, any video is better than none. Isn’t it? Starting a YouTube channel wouldn’t drive away present readers … I don’t think. Videos wouldn’t lose me business. They would either help me gain it, or do absolutely nothing at all. Which won’t hurt me. Except for my feelings.
Still thinking. May make a final decision a bit later down the track.
And when I’m talking about advertising, I don’t mean book trailers. At least, not like one in particular I’ve seen. Terrible. Made me swear I’d never, ever read that book – some hideously generic fantasy, showing off its generic-ness in subtitles while medieval tapestry-looking still images scrolled. I know, I’m a terrible snob, a terrible person. But it really switched me off. I don’t want to try anything like that. Something making use of reviews would probably be the best way to go. But to do that, I think actually having a review might be necessary.
Right now, if I made a video, I reckon I’d have a short blurb section, a short background section (what led to the story being written, etc), maybe a very small part with a few points of interest about the story, and a reading from part of the story. And the intro and outro. Probably just me wearing as conservative a top as I can manage talking in front of the most static background I can find – in the preliminary shots I used the heavy grey curtains over our back door. Not overly interesting. I should think about setting, studio related stuff more … said I was no filmmaker. I did shine a bright light in my face, though. I thought of that much. If the videos and books started doing well, maybe I’d think about making more types, like Q&A videos, longer readings … other stuff. Haven’t gotten that far yet. Clearly.
So. To use the wonder of YouTube in an attempt to spread awareness of my work further into the collective consciousness of cyberspace by the creation and sharing of poorly-made advertisement material? Or … not?
(A few days late, my biggest gap in a while … had a meeting after choir on Wednesday – long annual general meeting is very, very, very, very, very looooooooooong – and spent all of yesterday working on the third Treading Twisted Lines story … and finished the rough draft. Hooray)