Monday, June 17, 2013

Picture Book Workshop #18: Video: Why & How


These days an author has to wear a lot of hats to compete in the picture book world.

Now, I'm going to step out of the pre-published arena for a little post-published post, because this is the stuff I'm dealing with in my career right now.  It's really not enough to have a book published.  You have to get the word out.

The sad fact is, your publisher may not do that much for you.  (And I'm not trying to be whiney, this is just reality, folks.) Let's break everything down to small numbers and say JOE PUBLISHER has ten books coming out this Spring and $100 to market them.  JOE's not giving each book $10.  He's picking a front runner or two and putting $90 behind them.  You, my friend, might get $2 of marketing.  Sure, they'll send your book to Kirkus and all that jazz, but they might not pay to have your book shelf-out at Barnes & Noble or all the other things they do that I don't know about.

This is why more and more, authors have to become their own marketing machines.  (That was the WHY right there, people.)  And for someone who is very comfortable being alone for 7 hours a day, this is not easy.

Author/illustrator Katie Davis is a HUGE advocate for authors making videos.  So much so that she has an online course called Video Idiot Bootcamp for those who are step-one beginners.  (And let's just say right now, she's way more technically savvy than I am.  No joke.  That woman knows things.)

But I have a BA in Theatre and an MA in Theatre Education, so I don't shy away from scripting things or filming myself.   The problem lies in the HOW.

Back when Magoo was a baby, I used to take a lot of video and I knew how to use iMovie '02.  Fast forward 10 years and I'm a little lost.  So I made an appointment at the Mac Store for a one-on-one video tutorial this morning.

I had already made a storyboard.  Shot the video.  Uploaded the music.  Basically, I got my act together so when I went in, I had all the raw materials and was ready to roll.  I spent an hour there, learning how to trim video clips, speed them up, lay music down, and record voice-overs.

Here's what I made:

(FYI, it looks like the video is a little cropped on the right side when viewed via the blog.  This is not a major deal, but if you prefer to see it in all it's glory, go here.)

So, to recap.

Q:Why does an author need to make videos?

A: To promote their work on the internet and social media sites.

Q: How does one do it?

A.  For me, it's iMovie. But if that doesn't work for you, I would highly recommend cruising around Katie Davis' webpage and podcast and see if you can find something more you.


Leandra Wallace said...

Fun & quirky! I loved getting to see inside your world- and I had no idea your books were illustrated by collage, neat!

Julie_c said...

Thanks so much, Leandra!