Readers like to connect with writers and a photograph in the back of your book with your biography is a good start as long as it’s not one of you scowling into the camera.
Just as I’ve never liked hearing my voice recorded and played back to me, I don’t like being photographed and definitely not at my age. However if you want to another tool to help get your book out there, you may want to consider a short promotional video. It’s about your book, not your glamorous looks.
You can pay up to a thousand pounds for a two minute clip if you want the best possible quality or you can focus on the content of what you say, the warmth of your personality and not worry too much about the technicalities.
I invested in a good microphone, as sound is important and took some time to design a story board to keep my new video within a 2 minute time frame. It’s worth bearing in mind that people might watch it on their phones or tablets and lose interest very quickly if you don’t get your message across quickly and succinctly.
You don’t need expensive equipment. In fact a tablet or smart phone with the right adapters for a microphone are good enough.
For anyone considering doing this, here are a few tips I learned from my mistakes.
- DO plan in short sections what you want to say. A few words of introduction and not a whole paragraph.
- Mention your book in the first couple of sentences and whether it’s your debut or your thirtieth. Show the cover.
- In less than 50 words, outline what the book’s about. Don’t read the blurb on the back like I did in my first take.
- Explain why you wrote the book – think back to those days when it was simply an idea and get inject that passion into your voice.
- Thank people for watching and include some links so they know where to buy it from.
- Think about changing scenes but not too often. To control sound and environment you might prefer to film inside your home. Make sure it’s clear of clutter. If you film outside think about suitable locations where it’s quiet and not too busy. Keep your face out of shadow and bright light.
- Practice each section a few times until you feel confident. Get several takes to choose from.
- Add a simple title slide with a few graphics on the front and important links with a copy of your book at the end. A bit of music ( check for copyright) is optional. I get a bit fed up with long musical introductions so keep in mind what your viewer wants and rather than showing off your technical expertise.
- Be professional. Keep your voice strong, your language neutral ( no swearing) and smile. Be yourself. The aim is to relate to your readers as a human being so they want to support you.
- Don’t stress over it. If you don’t have fun doing it, then it’s not worth it!
Look out for my 2 min promo coming soon!