Sorbet for your writing OR yes, another way to procrastinate today's 2k words ;)
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ThrillWriting welcomes author Jina Bacarr to talk about the many ways that an author is called on to express their creativity. While we all know it takes excellent words on a page, in our now publishing/marketing climate an author needs more tools in their toolbox. Jina is here to share some information about videos in the hopes that we can excite more readers and encourage them to read our work. Jina, how do you use videos in your marketing and publicity?
We live in a world of instant gratification -- breaking news, Instagram photos, texting. It's a total sensory experience. I like to use video to enhance the reading experience. Show the reader the "movie in my mind" with photos, music, and words from my stories. Give the reader a peek into the colors and textures of what I see and feel when I'm writing the story.
For example, for my Civil War time travel romance, LOVE ME FOREVER, I want to take the reader back to 1862 and put on that hoop skirt. But see that world in color and taste it, smell it. Video gives me that opportunity. And, yes, I'm a ham. Southern style, of course, and I enjoy doing the voice-over and bringing the characters to life.
How can an author get started with pulling out the least amount of hair, and shedding the fewest tears.
Think of video as a story...there are many different ways to tell that story. POV, tense, novella vs novel. Same with video. You can make short videos or long ones, though I don't recommend anything over 2 minutes. Best for promotion is 30 seconds (we'll get more into that later). I've done some long vids 6-11 minutes that I'm proud of, but for
promotional purposes, let's say you start with 30 seconds.
First up--a video editing program. Windows Movie Maker should be on your system as a starter tool (Windows 10 DOES NOT support this system). If you don't have WMM, your best bet is to download a free 30-day trial of a program such as Cyberlink Power Director 14 (latest) or Photoshop Premiere.
I use Power Director and enjoy the added special effects available to enhance your project. Once you have the video editing program, next decide what visuals you want to use: Royalty Free photo stock or RF video, video you shoot yourself, photos you shoot yourself--I've done it all! The most important thing is to have fun. Don't try to be a Hollywood production--let your imagination guide you.
And like writing, editing your video is so important to making the final product the best it can be.
Now that I have Windows 10, I went to Premiere, and I really like it. It was part of the process when I created this video:
Jina, is there a site to get free video footage?
(I found this blog article with a quick Google search.)
To be honest, I'm leery of anything "free" when it comes to videos or photo stock. My favorite site is www.Dreamstime.com. They have RF photos and videos.
Your best bet is their subscription service (you can subscribe to one month rather than ongoing). They run periodic sales and since Black Friday is coming up, I wouldn't be surprised if they run a great sale where you can get pick up video and photos for a great price. You have to download the photos/videos on a consistent basis to get the most from the subscription, so I recommend creating "lightboxes" where you pick out the videos/photos you want and have them at your fingertips when you subscribe.
A sidenote: always check the license for a photo/video before you use it. There's usually no problem using a video/photo you purchase for a book trailer, website. book cover. A commercial license is different. There are other photo sites that are popular as well: iStockphoto and Shutterstock, to name two.
The bottom line is, it takes time and the desire to do it. Like writing...videos tap into your creative psyche and are time consuming. That doesn't mean you can't do it. Making videos can be the sorbet to clear your mind. Give you a chance to get away from the written page and yet still make your creative self happy.
Can you drive the bus here Jina? What's the next things we need to know?
Okay, now for that bus ride. What you need:
- a video editing program
- RF stock/videos or photos/vids you take yourself
- music -- RF (I like Shockwave-Sound.com or Creative Commons License (e.g. www.incompetech.com)
- your imagination. That magical fountain that ebbs and flows with ideas, hopes, and dreams. You'd be surprised what you can come up with if you give yourself the chance.
Fiona - Video's made - Woohoo! Now, how do we use them?
Video is the new black...it's everywhere. You can use it on your blog, website, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Facebook. Again, 30 seconds is great -- Twitter only allows 30 seconds, e.g. I find Twitter videos are great for promotion.
ThrillWriters, Jina made this special video with us. Not only can you see some dynamic video techniques, but she tells us about the audio portion of the video and offers resource sites.
And now we need a story break, something harrowing, please.
My Wild Mulholland Ride
The moment the sexy Australian walked into the radio station, I felt his magic.
Tall, dark, and handsome with a stubble beard. And that accent. Made me tingle down to my cowgirl boots. I loved hearing Max talk. The manager at the radio station where I worked had hired him for a guest gig to pull up our ratings with the female audience 18-49.
He was AM. I was FM.
I did radio commercials, filled in, wrote PR and commercial copy, acted in skits with the other DJs, including doing remotes like chili cookoffs and handing out trophies at the racetrack. I even got to be a pink-sequined mermaid in a parade during a promotional weekend in Catalina.
But nothing thrilled me down to my lace undies as when Max asked me out on a date.
Not to the local pizza joint, but backstage at a club on the Sunset Strip.
Max was best buds with a band from New Zealand on tour in the States and he wanted me to meet them.
We were hanging out at the house the band and their manager, Georgie, had rented in Laurel Canyon when Georgie ran out of smokes. Max volunteered to drive him down the winding, two-lane road to the store. Winking at me, he said he wanted to check out the view of L.A. from Mulholland Drive on the way back.
Did I want to come along?
Oh, boy, did I.
The romantic music in my head turned up a notch. Then another when his lips brushed my cheek. I wiggled my toes in my boots.
With a secret smile curving my lips, I slid into the black leather bucket seat of his shiny, black Mustang. I loved sitting next to him. Every time he shifted gears, we’d take off like a speeding rocket over the bumpy road. Twilight hovered over the hills like an exotic dancer sliding down her pole, revealing just enough to tease.
I couldn’t wait till we got to Mulholland. I thrilled to the idea of Max holding me close while we enjoyed the city view. Then me sighing over a kiss or two while Georgie had a smoke in the backseat.
I was so enchanted with my daydream—and hanging onto the door handle every time we rounded a steep curve—I didn’t see the truck’s blaring headlights heading straight toward us until it was too late.
“Hold on tight, baby!” Max yelled, his deep voice as hot as dragon’s breath. Every nerve in my body was suddenly on alert.
Zoom! He jammed down on the gas pedal and swerved to the right to avoid hitting the truck, grinding the gears and shifting the sports car into overdrive. With the wind in our faces, the Mustang took off like a roadrunner, flying over the asphalt and onto the grassy terrain on the shoulder.
The scary, wild ride lasted only a few seconds, but it seemed like a lifetime.
I knew this old road well. If we didn’t stop, we’d plunge over the steep hillside and go straight down Mulholland Drive.
Five hundred feet . . . down into the canyon.
Broken branches. Scraggly bushes and overgrown vegetation might slow us down, but mud from the recent rains made the hillside as slick as a waterslide.
We were goners if the brakes didn’t hold.
Max never lost control of the Mustang. Talking to her in that smooth, sexy voice that sent females drowning in their lattes. I swear the car listened to him as if she were his best girl. Slipping and sliding, moaning and creaking, the black-hooded bombshell finally screeched to a stop.
Sooo close to the edge.
The city lights twinkling below us like fallen stars.
Shaking, we got out of the car and stared down into the darkness, utterly freaked out . . . not believing how close we came to flipping over the hillside. Inches. Only by the grace of God and Max’s skill behind the wheel did we stop in time. His big, strong hands taking control of the steering wheel and making the Mustang purr . . . later I discovered what those hands could do.
Heads bowed, Max led us in a prayer of thanks. Georgie, him, and me. The three of us held on to each other as Max’s big voice boomed our thanks out over the Valley. Our personal airwave to heaven.
Afterward, Georgie got his cigs and we went to the show as planned. The band rocked the trendy club with their fast-moving techno sounds, but I never forgot that night. Or my handsome DJ.
His soul-melty tones filling the air over Mulholland.
And those hands of his.
God bless him.
Thanks, Jina, I need to go drown myself in a latte now.
Okay folks, you came keep up with Jina at:
Twitter - @JinaBacarr
Also, you can see Jina's movies, read a fun exchange by her characters, and get some great recipes mentioned in her book from our FREE cookbook - KP AUTHORS COOK THEIR BOOKS.
The cover and link are just above on the right sidebar. (There's some Weakest Lynx backstory in there, too). ENJOY!
And as always, a big thank you stopping by. Thank you, too, for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.